Symantec Update Inadvertently Cripples Certain Windows XP Machines

Security firm Symantec is busy cleaning up a bit of egg on its face after pushing out a signature update that decided not to play nice with some Windows XP machines. Symantec disclosed the problem on its website, saying that the SNAFU only affected machines running a combination of Windows XP, the latest version of its SONAR technology, and certain third party software.

"The root cause of the issue was an incompatibility due to a three way interaction between some third party software that implements a file system driver using kernel stack based file objects – typical of encryption drivers, the SONAR signature and the Windows XP Cache manager. The SONAR signature update caused new file operations that create the conflict and led to the system crash," Symantec explains.

Symantec says these problems aren't typical of its products and pointed out that its quality assurance process for SONAR signatures is quite extensive, starting with a peer review and vetting of all signatures, and continuing with true positive testing, false positive testing, functional testing of all signature content, and a compatibility test. Even still, Symantec missed this particular hiccup, and as a result, is now restructuring its testing process and withholding future SONAR updates until the new system is in place.
Via:  Symantec
realneil 2 years ago

This is just the new version of an old story.

They've done the same thing before too. LOL!

maxblack 2 years ago

I use Windows Vista and have been experiencing a frequent blue screen crash lately. I was frustrated that something seemed to have gotten by Norton 360, then I received a warning that Sonar, inbound as well as outbound email filters and my firewall were disabled. I could do nothing to correct. I contacted Norton/Symantec and they needed to assume external control of my PC to correct. Fascinating to watch and a bit spooky. I later saw this article and realized that perhaps they had introduced an unwanted visitor in the first place during a recent update. Again, I use VISTA, so apparently this problem is not exclusive to Windows XP.

Super Dave 2 years ago

In 2007 one of Symantec's updates crippled Chinese PCs.

FreeJet 2 years ago

Well I just recently let my Norton Internet Security expire and was thinking about just using a free version of something else from now on. This news just convinced me. AVG-Free, here I come!

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