If you've read any of our recent mobile reviews, you'd know that we're
no fans of pre-installed security/anti-virus software. Too often, these
suits are nagging, and they generally bog down a system that would
otherwise run far faster. We have no issues with these applications
being bundled on a disc, but having them on the HDD right out of the
box is a less-than-great experience.
Despite arguments to the contrary or otherwise, many corporate PCs have
some sort of security suite installed. Generally, we see this as a good
idea--a virus getting around the office could seriously mess up
productivity, so it makes sense to protect an office full of PCs from
one rouge worm. McAfee is a pretty well-known brand in the anti-virus
space, but after this gaff, we think quite a few companies may be
considering a switch to Norton or some other company. Why? Because
thousands and thousands of PCs are now not functioning, and it's all
thanks to a McAfee software update.
Reportedly, an update to the company's anti-virus program caused a
false positive to freak Windows XP
machines out, with continual reboots
happening without any fix in sight. Currently, it seems that the issue
is reserved to corporate machines, with consumer versions of the
software being safe from the turmoil. The scary part is that there's no
easy solution. A machine that reboots continually cannot possibly
digest a new software update, so it seems that every single broken
machine will have to be addressed by a professional individually.
McAfee confessed that they were looking into the issue and would "take
measures" to prevent it from happening again, but the damage has been
done. Hospitals, schools, police forces and even Intel were turned
upside-down by the issue, and we're still waiting to hear how affected
machines will be fixed.
To say that McAfee
has a mess on their hands isn't even scratching the
surface, and frankly, we have even more ammunition now to show that
these programs aren't necessarily the best option for smart PC users.