McAfee identifies Windows XP file as malware

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by *LTD*, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    Canada
    #1
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100421/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_mcafee_antivirus_flaw

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20003074-83.html

    McAfee identifies Windows XP file as malware
    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    "Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves Wednesday after [a McAfee] antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus," Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press.

    "About a third of the hospitals in Rhode Island were forced to stop treating patients without traumas in emergency rooms," Svensson reports.

    Declan McCullagh reports for CNET, "The University of Michigan's medical school reported that 8,000 of its 25,000 computers crashed. Police in Lexington, Ky., resorted to hand-writing reports, and turned off their patrol car terminals as a precaution. Some jails cancelled visitation."

    "Early reports attributed the widespread problems to a routine McAfee update that caused computers with Microsoft's Service Pack 3 installed to incorrectly identify a legitimate operating system component as containing a virus," McCullagh reports. "A report at the Internet Storm Center said the McAfee update registered a false positive and flagged the Windows file svchost.exe as a virus."

    "McAfee has posted a Web page on a separate site with detailed instructions on how to fix XP computers that have been crashing because of Wednesday's update. It recommends manually downloading and installing an 'EXTRA.DAT' file, and then restore files that have been incorrectly quarantined," McCullagh reports. "But that option requires a least a modest amount of technical ability, and as of 1 p.m. PDT, the company had not offered a better way."


    NOTE:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20003074-83.html

    McAfee's popular antivirus software broke down on Wednesday, causing Windows XP computers to have networking problems or repeatedly reboot.

    The update did not seem to cripple computers running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

    McAfee has posted a Web page on a separate site with detailed instructions on how to fix XP computers that have been crashing because of Wednesday's update. It recommends manually downloading and installing an "EXTRA.DAT" file, and then restore files that have been incorrectly quarantined:

    http://vil.nai.com/vil/5958_false.htm
     
  2. Scooterman1 macrumors 6502a

    Scooterman1

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  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #3
    And that's because the McAfee update debacle only affected Windows XP SP3 machines. Vista and 7 users were unaffected.
     
  4. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #4
    Good point.

    I removed my comment and instead want to leave this here as a public service. I'm modifying the post accordingly.
     
  5. thatrandomguy macrumors regular

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #5
    For what it's worth, McAfee is saying that the update only affected corporate McAfee installs.

    McAfee has been terrible for years though- this doesn't surprise me.

    Still, the fact that such a glaring issue was not caught in any form of testing is a sign of negligence on McAfee's part to test their updates carefully before handing them over to customers.
     
  6. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 1, 2008
    #6
    However, a lot of companies (esp. bigger ones) are dinosaurs and saddle their employees/users with the old OS.

    Hilarious story, though. Always hated McAfee.
     
  7. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #7
    As if that made things any better. When corporations get bit by problems like this, it can affect tons of machines very rapidly.
     
  8. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #8
    I never had McAfee or Norton identify XP as dangerous, but it certainly had enough trouble playing nice with the OS normally.

    Norton especially.. hooboy that thing caused more problems than it was worth almost. McAfee has better usability but I still had trouble with it.
     
  9. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Portland, OR
    #9
    This was a HUGE problem at my work when it came out. Thousands of machines were in a boot loop.
     
  10. thatrandomguy macrumors regular

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #10
    I'm not defending McAfee.

    They sell bloated garbage. The number one enterprise OS right now is going to be XP SP3 machines. It shows a complete lack of care or any testing of DAT updates. It's a system executable that it wrongly detected.

    They lowballed the estimate of machines effected, then published a true number. The "True" number only counted McAfee VirusScan Enterprise installs and not many third party products that use McAfee's engines + DAT updates that did the same exact thing.

    I witnessed some of the havoc of this update firsthand.
     
  11. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #11
    With MSE there's really no reason to pay for McAfee.
     
  12. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    #12
    Well, McAfee was right about one thing....

    That XP file really IS Malware.
    Well, really, XP itself is Malware. So it's really just a tiny fragment of the whole Malware package. At least McAfee found part of it! :p

    McAfee is kinda Malware-y too.
    Maybe it should have quarantined itself too?


    It would've been hilarious if lives, livelihoods and a big pile of inconvenience weren't at stake.

    I use XP at work too. As a result, I wish I was on Hourly! :eek:
    We were literally better off 10 years ago with the DOS-looking system we used to have.








    have
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    keri
     

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