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Botched McAfee update shutting down corporate XP machines worldwide

   
12:50 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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McAfee Antivirus Program Goes Berserk, Freezes PCs [nytimes.com]

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.

McAfee could not say how many computers were affected, but judging by online postings, the number was at least in the thousands and possibly in the hundreds of thousands.

McAfee said it did not appear that consumer versions of its software caused similar problems. It is investigating how the error happened ''and will take measures'' to prevent it from recurring, the company said in a statement.


If you've been affected: How to fix your McAfee-crippled computer [download.cnet.com]
11:39 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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All that's missing is the punchline
12:15 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Oh, no, the punch-line is still there--in fact, I get the feeling that the line will be wrapping clear around their headquarters building. A lot of people are going to be very upset about this--I wouldn't be surprised to see McAfee in legal trouble over a problem of this magnitude.
1:50 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ouch!
3:32 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Pushing out an update at the beginning of a business day, really McAfee?
3:35 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Maybe its their way of celebrating Earth Day ;-)
3:51 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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there it is! hay-oh!
4:18 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I like the "Users should note that it's labor-intensive and must be applied manually to each computer."
LOL, an IT Guy's worst nightmare.
10:17 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>an IT Guy's worst nightmare.

Um, not really.

The worst nightmare is upgrading every computer in the office to Vista ... labor-intensively and manually, one by one.

Which is one of the reasons those XP machines are still out there.

The second-worst nightmare is a virus wiping all the hard disks in the company.

Which is why McAfee is still out there.

Third-worst, I'll grant you.
11:01 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If there weren't evil scumbag hackers we wouldn't need McAfee in the first place.

What really happened today isn't so much a reflection of McAfee's poor SQA, or complete lack thereof, but in fact a sad statement on the very underbelly of humanity that causes us to create virus scanners in the first place.

Hard to blame the protectors of our computers because people in general just suck.

The worst nightmare is upgrading every computer in the office to Vista ... labor-intensively and manually, one by one.


Nah.

The reason all those clunker XP boxes are still out there is because corporations are cheap and a new OS requires re-training personnel. Also, upgrading the OS causes software compatibility issues, requiring further upgrades, more purchases, more re-training.

Besides, why bother with Vista, which is a perfectly fine OS, when you can skip to Win 7 which is even better yet.

In all my years of being a software developer, from CP/M, MSDOS, LINUX and WINDOWS, I must say I've never seen anyone cling to an outdated OS this long in the history of MS operating systems.

XP's not all it's cracked up to be either. Not as buggy as 95 or ME, but plug 'n play more often plugged 'n failed in XP than played. Overwrote the wrong drivers, all sorts of nightmares that I don't see happen in Vista and 7.

Besides, most devices I plus into Vista and 7 just run, it already knows what to do with them or can download the device driver in real time.

Using XP at this point is like driving the 15 year old car with rusted out side panels.

Sure, it still drives, but it doesn't have all the cool new features, improved safety and uses way too much gas compared to the newer models.
1:13 am on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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How lucky for me my McAfee ran out a week ago and I did not re-subscribe (although had been happy with it, just went el-cheapo with AVG Free for now, may be new comp on horizon), else I would have been very very pi**** off too. Yikes!
4:02 pm on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Somehow Comcast just fliped from McAfee to Norton as well.

XP at this point is like driving the 15 year old car


Not to take of topic, but I love me some classics.
5:28 pm on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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McAfee apologizes [news.cnet.com]
Barry McPherson, executive vice president of support and customer service, issued the apology on behalf of McAfee, saying the company was sorry for the headaches it caused for so many customers.
He also detailed the fix that McAfee quickly patched together for early Thursday morning. The SuperDAT Remediation Tool stifles the updated driver that creates the false positive and then restores the svchost.exe file. McAfee said support reps are available for anyone who needs further help.

How did this problem occur in the first place? The short answer: poor testing. McAfee recently changed its quality assurance process, leading to the buggy DAT file to get past the test environment and onto the PCs of customers, MacPherson said.
6:39 pm on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>McAfee recently changed its quality assurance process...

SO "been there, been done to by that, got the tire tracks across my shirt to prove it". Why is it that MBAs all seem to think QA isn't needed, or is a waste of money that could better be spent on executive bonuses?
3:07 pm on Apr 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The SuperDAT Remediation Tool stifles the updated driver that creates the false positive and then restores the svchost.exe file


How about SiteAdvisor.com's False Positive reports? pissing-off innocent websites big time [google.com ]
7:59 pm on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



Anyone still uses McCrappy or Norton? I am surprised...pseudo "protection" is really there...I am sure it is catching lots of rootkits...actually more like NONE.

Sure, it still drives, but it doesn't have all the cool new features, improved safety and uses way too much gas compared to the newer models.


It is nice to see people drinking coolaid provided by Gubbermint Motors and such. Safety did go up a bit, but so did various fees and the PRICE. So you overpay for "safety" regardless of whether you need it or not. Car fuel economy went DOWN since 1980th, when average was 22mpg and change, vs around 21 in 2006, and it really didn't increase much since 18th century. How else would you have 5 out of top 10 non-bank companies in the World in OIL?
 

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