Antivirus Program Goes Berserk

carl6969

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This story was distributed by Associated Press yesterday and I found it amusing.

Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves Wednesday after an antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus. McAfee Inc. confirmed that a software update it posted at 9 a.m. Eastern time caused its antivirus program for corporate customers to misidentify a harmless file. It's not uncommon for antivirus programs to misidentify legitimate files as viruses. Last month, antivirus software from Bitdefender locked up PCs running several different versions of Windows. However, the scale of this outage was unusual, said Mike Rothman, president of computer security firm Securosis. "It looks to be a train wreck," Rothman said.


Carl
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Smith6612

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This is why you configure Anti-Virus software to ask you what to do instead of letting it do an action automatically. IT would have taken care of it without the hassle of having to fix PCs that will not boot through a simple phone call. I really think that these large companies such as McAfee and Symantec on their corporate products need to get far better quality control with these products. It's starting to get ridiculous with anti-virus software breaking Windows.
 
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carl6969

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This is why you configure Anti-Virus software to ask you what to do instead of letting it do an action automatically
Excellent point. My goal in starting this thread was simply to inject a little humor into the day, but there are, indeed, lessons to be learned here. I recall that a couple of years ago before I started using Linux I would allow virus programs to auto update themselves. One uses the logic that the very purpose of these programs is to keep you computer safe so let them "do as they wish" as a general rule. This article proves that is not a good idea. I am completely unfamiliar with Win7, but I have considerable experience with XP and Vista, and there was more than one occasion when Windows Update broke things so I quickly learned not to let that run without explicit authorization and monitoring.

Carl
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carl6969

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The bug only affected Windows XP :D
Another reason to upgrade to Vista or 7.
While I have no first hand experience with Win7 I have primarily heard positive remarks about it so far. On the other hand, I would never use the terms "upgrade" and "Vista" in the same sentence as this seems like a contradiction of terms to me. I have probably said this before in these forums, but, IMHO, Microsoft should make Win7 available as a free upgrade to current Vista users. I would never recommend "upgrading" to Vista.

Carl
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bradym

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While I have no first hand experience with Win7 I have primarily heard positive remarks about it so far. On the other hand, I would never use the terms "upgrade" and "Vista" in the same sentence as the seems like a contradiction of terms to me. I have probably said this before in these forums, but, IMHO, Microsoft should make Win7 available as a free upgrade to current Vista users. I would never recommend "upgrading" to Vista.

Carl
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Although I didn't upgrade to Vista, I did purchase a new Dell with Vista already on it a couple of years ago, and I love it. AFter turning off the annoying warnings, I love the way it works. I have viewed and approved updates carefully, and haven't had any problems yet. On another note, our school recently asked me to pilot some Windows 7 machines in my classroom, and I love that system too. Maybe I don't ask much from an OS, but with AVG running in the background I have never had any major problems to date.
 

Corey

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Vista is up there with Windows ME, should never have happened ;).
 

carl6969

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Vista is up there with Windows ME, should never have happened ;).

ROFL. I had just about forgot about Windows ME, but that is a very good analogy.

Carl
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masshuu

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Its a progressive theme(NOTE THAT I'M IGNORING OS'S THAT ARE PRE-MERGER WITH NT, so don't kill a cow because i left out NT4 and 2000)
3.1 = Great OS
95 = had a couple issues but fine
98 = Great OS
ME = Failure of an OS
XP = Great OS
Vista = Epic Falure
Windows 7 = Great OS

Anyone else see the reoccurring theme here?

Going by this, Windows 8 will be an Über failure, while Windows 9 will be a Great OS
 

frillypinkmonster

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Pretty sure this is what took down the computer system at my college this week. Some kind of virus got in and started screwing things up for everyone.
 

carl6969

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Pretty sure this is what took down the computer system at my college this week. Some kind of virus got in and started screwing things up for everyone.

Just to be clear, this particular problem was not a virus. It was a case where McAfee AV identified some legitimate Windows file as a virus and in the process of trying to "fix" the "virus" screwed up a bunch of computers. However this could have easily been the cause of computer issues at your college. There is an old joke that the entire Windows OS is actually a "virus" so maybe the McAfee incident was not actually a mistake at all................:biggrin:
 

frillypinkmonster

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Just to be clear, this particular problem was not a virus. It was a case where McAfee AV identified some legitimate Windows file as a virus and in the process of trying to "fix" the "virus" screwed up a bunch of computers. However this could have easily been the cause of computer issues at your college. There is an old joke that the entire Windows OS is actually a "virus" so maybe the McAfee incident was not actually a mistake at all................:biggrin:

I could be wrong. :biggrin:

All i really know is that McAfee sent over the wrong security file or something and somehow a virus got in and started shutting down all the computers.:confused:
 

Sharky

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Its a progressive theme(NOTE THAT I'M IGNORING OS'S THAT ARE PRE-MERGER WITH NT, so don't kill a cow because i left out NT4 and 2000)
3.1 = Great OS
95 = had a couple issues but fine
98 = Great OS
ME = Failure of an OS
XP = Great OS
Vista = Epic Falure
Windows 7 = Great OS

Anyone else see the reoccurring theme here?

Going by this, Windows 8 will be an Über failure, while Windows 9 will be a Great OS

Wrong.

The timeline from 3.1 ended at Me.

1, 2, 3.1/3.11, 95, 98, Me
NT3.1, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista, 7.

They started at NT3.1 because... it was the business version of 3.1.
 

henk506673

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Its a progressive theme(NOTE THAT I'M IGNORING OS'S THAT ARE PRE-MERGER WITH NT, so don't kill a cow because i left out NT4 and 2000)
3.1 = Great OS
95 = had a couple issues but fine
98 = Great OS
ME = Failure of an OS
XP = Great OS
Vista = Epic Falure
Windows 7 = Great OS

Anyone else see the reoccurring theme here?

Going by this, Windows 8 will be an Über failure, while Windows 9 will be a Great OS

masshu, dont be so hard on 8, from the test videos i have seen of it, 8 should be a brand new expirence like seven was, except it will be without the kinks of vista to seven

---------- Post added at 09:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:04 AM ----------

Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves Wednesday after an anti-virus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus.
McAfee confirmed that a software update it posted at 9 a.m. ET caused its anti-virus program for corporate customers to misidentify a harmless file. It has posted a replacement update for download.
"We are not aware of significant impact on consumers and believe we have effectively limited such occurrence," the company said in a statement.
Online posters begged to differ, saying thousands of computers running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 were rendered useless.
About a third of the hospitals in Rhode Island were forced to stop treating patients without traumas in emergency rooms. The hospitals also postponed some elective surgeries, said Nancy Jean, a spokeswoman for the Lifespan system of hospitals. The system includes Rhode Island Hospital, the state's largest, and Newport Hospital, the only hospital on Aquidneck Island.
Jean said patients who required emergency care for gunshot wounds, car accidents, blunt trauma and other potentially fatal injuries were still being admitted to the emergency rooms.
In Kentucky, state police officers were told to shut down the computers in their patrol cars as technicians tried to fix the problem. The National Science Foundation headquarters in Arlington, Va., also lost computer access.
Peter Juvinall, systems administrator at Illinois State University in Normal, said that when the first computer started rebooting it quickly became evident that it was a major problem, affecting dozens of computers at the College of Business alone.
"I originally thought it was a virus," he said. When the tech support people concluded McAfee's update was to blame, they stopped further downloads of the faulty software update and started shuttling from computer to computer to get them working again.
Such personal attention to each PC from a technician appeared to be the only way to fix the problem because the computers weren't receptive to remote software updates when stuck in the reboot cycle. That slowed the recovery.


Thanks


Norton coupon

hence why mcafee sucks and avast rocks
 
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