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View Full Version : McAfee antivirus program goes berserk, freezes PCs



Sporkman
April 21st, 2010, 10:02 PM
NEW YORK 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 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...

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

doas777
April 21st, 2010, 10:03 PM
yeah, that happens when svchost.exe is missing.

Crunchy the Headcrab
April 21st, 2010, 10:04 PM
Ahahaha. That's rich.

lisati
April 21st, 2010, 10:07 PM
It wouldn't be the first time AV software has had a false positive that caused problems. Some months back I was reading in the Pegasus Mail (http://www.pmail.com/) forums about how one of the AV packages considered legitimate software to be a trojan, and when users called the AV software's help desk to point out the problem, they were told, "You have a trojan, which has been deleted." ](*,)

MindSz
April 21st, 2010, 10:07 PM
+1 :)

Excedio
April 21st, 2010, 11:06 PM
This is so priceless. :lolflag:

lisati
April 22nd, 2010, 01:17 AM
From http://www.3news.co.nz/McAfee-anti-virus-bug-hits-NZ-businesses/tabid/412/articleID/152264/Default.aspx#top


A bug in an anti-virus computer programme is causing chaos in the United States looks to have spread to this part of the world, with a New Zealand newspaper publisher among the infected.

McAfee's popular antivirus software broke down overnight, causing networking problems for some Windows XP users.

The spreading bug has already crashed thousands of computers in some major networks in the United States, and it is now causing problems in New Zealand.

Publisher APN, which has the New Zealand Herald among its stable of titles is affected by the virus.

Kingsley
April 22nd, 2010, 02:45 AM
People should just run Microsoft Security Essentials.

steveneddy
April 22nd, 2010, 03:19 AM
Just another reason not to run Windows.

Even applications that are supposed to keep an errant user safe can't be trusted in a Windows only world.

Viva Ubuntu!

Jive Turkey
April 22nd, 2010, 03:34 AM
People should just run Microsoft Security Essentials.

I thought I would be OK with MSE on windows 7. I was dead wrong, it managed to cough up a warning right before my windows partition got owned, it have deleted a file or 2, but it definitely did not prevent the trojans and rootkits from making themselves at home.

Also @ Kingsley, that stuff in your avatar while pretty safe for humans is actually toxic to dogs, and Yorkies have a hard enough time managing their blood glucose no joke!

cloyd
April 22nd, 2010, 03:36 AM
I remember trying to use McAfee. I'd spend days trying to get it to update, when for some strange reason, it just wouldn't work. I finally decided that the money spent for McAfee was wasted. I had $50 invested in the subscription. The time I lost was worth much more than that. I switched to Norton. I never had a problem with Norton. Always updated.

But now, maybe by next year, I won't have Norton any more. With Ubuntu, who needs it?

RiceMonster
April 22nd, 2010, 03:38 AM
People should just run Microsoft Security Essentials.

+1

I've had great experiences with it.

oldsoundguy
April 22nd, 2010, 04:00 AM
Maybe the folks at Install Your Own Virus (McAffee) are giving up. They just lost their largest single client in ComCast .. as that outfit is now installing Norton on users systems.

Linuxforall
April 22nd, 2010, 04:49 AM
FP's are common in AV, the top notch Avira suffers from that, KAV has been known to wipe out hard drives and break the partition table, Nod has been known to flag system files as virus and wipe them out, bane of living with AV, actually in that way MSE which is MS's offering is free, it may not be top notch but it has no issues and combined with limited account and DEP, it makes Windows safe relatively.

3rdalbum
April 22nd, 2010, 05:28 AM
Viruses don't usually make your computer slower, nor do they cause freezes or data loss.

Anti-virus programs do.

The cure is worse than the illness.

uRock
April 22nd, 2010, 07:29 AM
I thought they were making anti-virus, instead they seem to have outdone some of the viruses in taking out a record amount of systems in one day. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36694120

Elfy
April 22nd, 2010, 07:39 AM
I thought they were making anti-virus, instead they seem to have outdone some of the viruses in taking out a record amount of systems in one day. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36694120

threads merged

d3v1150m471c
April 22nd, 2010, 11:00 AM
You mean windows worked at some point? Interesting.

forrestcupp
April 22nd, 2010, 12:27 PM
I've always hated McAfee. It has always seemed to slow my computers down much more than others.

Sporkman
April 22nd, 2010, 01:33 PM
Viruses don't usually make your computer slower, nor do they cause freezes or data loss.

Anti-virus programs do.

The cure is worse than the illness.

I don't necessarily agree with this... I'd rather have a slower computer that a virus having its way with my data & my internet connection.

Phrea
April 22nd, 2010, 01:43 PM
Hmmm, a few weeks ago there was that BitDerender debacle, now this...
Good times for the AV houses.

Detonate
April 22nd, 2010, 02:02 PM
I operate a small computer repair business. Whenever I work on a computer with McAfee or Norton installed, I remove them and install AVG Free. Both of those AV programs are huge resource hogs. And expensive.

uRock
April 22nd, 2010, 02:57 PM
I turned off AV on my W7 machine weeks ago. I got tired of it bogging my system. I only use it for a handful of sites and they are all virus free, so I am not worried. I do plan to fire it up soon and run a scan to see just how well it is doing. Nothing more irritating than a slow system that you have just fired up and started getting busy with a project just to have AV begging for a restart to enable its new definitions.

MindSz
April 22nd, 2010, 03:14 PM
I've never had an AV in my windows machine, since all I ever do in Windows is check e-mail and facebook.

If you're careful you can live without an AV.

doas777
April 22nd, 2010, 05:33 PM
Viruses don't usually make your computer slower, nor do they cause freezes or data loss.

Anti-virus programs do.

The cure is worse than the illness.

I gotta question your logic there. a slow computer is not comparable to having your bank account cleared out from a ATM in the Ukraine. is the av perfect? no. does it provide some protection? yes. to argue otherwise would be to imply that an AV system has never protected anyone from any cyberthreat, which is obviously not a supportable argument.

sydbat
April 22nd, 2010, 05:38 PM
I've never had an AV in my windows machine, since all I ever do in Windows is check e-mail and facebook.

If you're careful you can live without an AV.The 2 places Windows AV is needed most!!

Also, has anyone else noticed that this only seems to have effected (affected??) XP? Might be something to that...

aysiu
April 22nd, 2010, 05:46 PM
does it provide some protection? yes. to argue otherwise would be to imply that an AV system has never protected anyone from any cyberthreat, which is obviously not a supportable argument. Of course it's a supportable argument. As a matter of fact, every Windows computer I've ever seen with malware on it had antivirus running. It's a placebo that makes people complacent. It dulls people's common sense, because they think "I don't have to protect my computer, because this anti-virus will protect me."

If people want protection, they should use a limited user account and Firefox with NoScript, install Windows updates regularly, and get some common sense about trojans.

doas777
April 22nd, 2010, 06:04 PM
Of course it's a supportable argument. As a matter of fact, every Windows computer I've ever seen with malware on it had antivirus running. It's a placebo that makes people complacent. It dulls people's common sense, because they think "I don't have to protect my computer, because this anti-virus will protect me."

If people want protection, they should use a limited user account and Firefox with NoScript, install Windows updates regularly, and get some common sense about trojans.

so it's better to just hope that your precautions and procedures are enough? not a very wise choice.
I agree that there is SOME placebo effect, but your argument is an exaggeration, when these "useless tools" turn up hundreds of thousands or millions of pieces of malware daily, worldwide. are you arguing that these users did not deserve to be aware of the compromise?

yes, you are right that there is a world of difference between "not detected" and "not infected", but arguing that these tools do more harm than good, is a lot like telling everyone to become IT sec professionals. that is not a viable alternative.

so tell me, do you trust your computer solely because you trust yourself, and thus believe that you are immune?

aysiu
April 22nd, 2010, 06:22 PM
You don't have to be an IT sec professional to secure Windows. Seriously. Follow the tips I give above. You won't be infected.

And, no, it's not because I solely trust myself, hence the limited user account, hence NoScript, hence Windows updates. If I just trusted myself, I would use an administrator account, ditch the Firefox extension, forego Windows security updates, and use common sense alone.

Of course you can never know for 100% certain whether you are infected or not, and that's regardless of whether you run "antivirus" software or not.

Yes, I do believe antivirus software does more harm than good. Your insisting that antivirus doesn't isn't a convincing argument to me.

bvanaerde
April 24th, 2010, 07:21 PM
I posted (http://iezy.be/news/id/142/) about antivirus software and operating system security in general yesterday.

In short: how is it possible that a third party software is required for a system to run stable and secure? People are paying for an operating system that is broken by default. And when something goes wrong, they get responses like "oh, that's normal... you should have installed a virus scanner"...

From my point of view, it's the operating system that needs taken care of.

aysiu
April 24th, 2010, 07:26 PM
how is it possible that a third party software is required for a system to run stable and secure? It's not required.

bvanaerde
April 24th, 2010, 07:30 PM
Ok, it is not required, with what you said in your previous post:

If people want protection, they should use a limited user account and Firefox with NoScript, install Windows updates regularly, and get some common sense about trojans.
But you won't be able to enjoy your OS to the fullest. Using only a limited account is not the way to go for most people, as they won't even understand why they can't install a new program.

aysiu
April 24th, 2010, 07:49 PM
Ok, it is not required, with what you said in your previous post:

But you won't be able to enjoy your OS to the fullest. Using only a limited account is not the way to go for most people, as they won't even understand why they can't install a new program. Yes, the Windows defaults are terrible. But actually if you use Windows 7 with a limited user account as your main account and a separate administrator account, you will be prompted automatically to password-authenticate to the administrator account if you try to change a system file or folder (change the time, modify system-wide control panel items, install new software).

oldsoundguy
April 24th, 2010, 08:34 PM
Yes, the Windows defaults are terrible. But actually if you use Windows 7 with a limited user account as your main account and a separate administrator account, you will be prompted automatically to password-authenticate to the administrator account if you try to change a system file or folder (change the time, modify system-wide control panel items, install new software).


Really, virus programs .. although there are over a million of them in the wild for Windows, are not the issue any more ..
I occasionally fix machines for friends that are just like the average Windows user .. one that takes a machine home from the store and plugs it in and expects it to be like a toaster or a George Foreman grill .. an appliance .. and just wants it to work.
The big issue is what is lumped into the category of spyware and spyware related. THOSE enter via the browser in the main .. and the script kiddies have already found ways around administrative accounts! (you can even buy a PROGRAM that helps you create malware!)
A good study is to go to the Cisco site and read their descriptives of the various types of malware and just what those types do to a Windows computer. (there are five main categories.)

I have removed as many as 3000 pieces of malware from a single computer! (do you think it ran slow?)
All the programs I use are FREE.

GRANTED Vista hardened up Windows a lot more than anything previous, and Win 7 has taken it further .. but those steps can be eliminated BY THE USER and many do .. because "they are annoying" and "take too much time".

That is what we are dealing with .. not a knowledgeable user that takes precautions and doesn't do stupid things.

There is a REASON that there is a computer repair shop on every corner and that they stay in business and that reason is NOT, in the main, HARDWARE.

And why do you think the bogus "fix your computer" programs that are sold on television and on Facebook and over the counter are so successful?