Skip to comments.Samenuk's McAfee Mistakenly Flags Microsoft Office Components
Posted on 03/13/2006 6:42:06 PM PST by Republican Wildcat
London - Collateral damage? Virus slayer McAfee admitted on Friday that an error in its definition file meant its security tools had flagged a few harmless good eggs along with its usual horde of saboteurs as it policed the cyber-streets.
Antivirus software detected Microsoft Office components--Excel.exe and Graph.exe--and Adobe Systems' (nasdaq: ADBE - news - people ) AdobeUpdateManager.exe--an application installed alongside Adobe products that deals with software updates, as a virus called W95/CTX. According to a media report, W95/CTX is an obscure Windows 95 virus that McAfee first identified in 2004.
A malicious flag was even applied to updaterui.exe, McAfee's (nyse: MFE - news - people ) own update program. "Files that we did identify would probably be deleted or quarantined, depending on your settings," the director of operations at McAfee's Avert labs, was quoted as saying in a media report. When a file gets nabbed for quarantine, it's renamed and moved to a different folder. McAfee has pushed out a faulty virus-definitions update and a repaired emergency-definition file.
Batches of so-called "false positives" like these are apparently quite common among the anti-virus vendors. George Samenuk's McAfee normally has to do an emergency release of a virus definition file once every so often because of a false positive issue, though the most recent mistake was slightly graver than usual since the company flagged Excel. Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) is rolling out its own security service, to compete with McAfee and Symantec (nasdaq: SYMC - news - people ).
McAfee's solution for customers affected by the overzealous clean-up? "Users who have moved detected files to quarantine should restore them to their original location. Windows users who have had files deleted should restore files from backup or use System Restore."
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
FREEavg works great and is free for home users.
IMHO, norton and mcafee are virus' in their own right.
After that experience, NEVER AGAIN will I install McAfee. I've had good luck with Norton, though it can be clugy, and currently have Computer Associates antivirus products (plus one AVG) on our home PC's. I thing I'm going to stick with CA's EZAntivirus - it was pretty easy to install and use, and seems to catch all of the bad actors. (Plus I just picked up a 3-user license on Ebay for about $10.00.)
Well, anyway, this was the first issue I ever had with McAfee. I've used them for about 10 years now and never had any major problems (and thankfully I had that CD in the drive and didn't have a problem this time around).