McAfee apologizes for crippling PCs with bad update

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Funny that those who keeps up security updates got burned with
unbootable computer with the Wednesday's McAfee update. In this case,
anybody who has XP SP3 installed. Nice, eh?

Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Windows XP SP3

Re: McAfee apologizes for crippling PCs with bad update

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Security update hits Windows PCs

Windows uses lots of copies of the svchost file

Thousands of PCs around the world have been paralysed by a security
update that wrongly labelled part of Windows as a virus.

The update was sent out by security firm McAfee and made affected PCs
endlessly restart.

Corporate customers of McAfee seemed to be hardest hit but some
individuals reported problems too.

McAfee apologised for the mistake and released a fix to ensure PCs
started working again.

Thousands hit [i would opine millions - CJB]

The problems were caused by an update to the long list McAfee's anti-
virus uses to identify which programs are malicious.

McAfee's 5958 update wrongly identified the Windows svchost.exe file
as the wecorl.a virus. This worm tries to replace an existing svchost
file with its own version to help it take over a machine.

The update wrongly labelled svchost as the virus and then quarantined
it. This caused many PCs to crash as Windows uses many copies of the
file to keep the operating system going.

Computers inside businesses running Windows XP with service pack 3
applied were the hardest hit according to reports. The University of
Michigan said 8,000 of its 25,000 computers were hit by the faulty

The SANS Internet Storm Center said the update was causing "widespread
problems" and said it received reports about "networks with thousands
of down machines and organizations who had to shut down for business
until this is fixed."

Analyst Rob Enderle said the update "pretty much took Intel down
today". Mr Enderle was at the chip giant's HQ for a meeting when the
widespread crash started to hit the computers of the people with whom
he sat.

"We believe that this incident has impacted less than one half of one
percent of our enterprise accounts globally," said a statement from
McAfee, adding that an even smaller percentage of its consumer
customers were hit.

It said it removed the update "within hours" and released an updated
file free of the mistake. It also issued a "sincere apology" for the
inconvenience caused.

Re: McAfee apologizes for crippling PCs with bad update

BillW50 wrote:
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My computer did not crash when the update came out.
I dont use mcafee :)

Re: McAfee apologizes for crippling PCs with bad update

Sjouke Burry typed on Tue, 27 Apr 2010 02:07:57 +0200:
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Makes sense to me if you don't use McAfee. ;-)

Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Windows XP SP3

Re: McAfee apologizes for crippling PCs with bad update

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The mind boggles how a company that purports to be a professional s/w
company producing a virus protection service could get it so wrong. It
was either exteme incompetance (and it should go out of business) or
it was deliberate sabotage. I would opine it was probably the latter.
My PC wasn't affected 'cos I have XP SP3 running Norton. But then
Nortom doesn't have a squeaky clean reputation either. Many on the
Groups <e.g. microsoft.public.internetexplorer.general > have posted
complaints of McAfee and Norton screwing up the registry.

In particular McAfee came pre-installed on my new Acer netbook.
Apparently it screwed up the registry settings for IE8 running on Win
7. This in turn meant that IE8 wouldn't activate hyperlinks and
wouldn't start new tabs or windows. MS itself have had to issue a
special cmd file to run to re-register IE8 dlls. The MS MVPs have also
told me to remove both Norton and McAfee (if installed) and use virus
protection apps. from elsewhere. This has wasted an inordinate amount
of my time.

Am NOT impressed with McAfee. CJB.

Re: McAfee apologizes for crippling PCs with bad update

CJB typed on Tue, 27 Apr 2010 00:03:12 -0700 (PDT):
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I am in total agreement with you CJB. Although I remember back in the
late 90's, McAfee was one of the better ones. Then they got fancy and
then had lots of compatibility problems. And I haven't used them in many
years. These Gateway MX6124 laptops came with McAfee software. I played
around with them and then uninstalled them.

Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 1 of 3 - Windows XP SP2

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