McAfee Anti-Virus Update Breaks Thousands Of PCs

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News Posted: Thu, Apr 22 2010 9:34 PM
If you've read any of our recent mobile reviews, you'd know that we'reno fans of pre-installed security/anti-virus software. Too often, thesesuits are nagging, and they generally bog down a system that wouldotherwise run far faster. We have no issues with these applicationsbeing bundled on a disc, but having them on the HDD right out of thebox is a less-than-great experience.

Despite arguments to the contrary or otherwise, many corporate PCs havesome sort of security suite installed. Generally, we see this as a goodidea--a virus getting around the office could seriously mess upproductivity, so it makes sense to protect an office full of PCs fromone rouge worm. McAfee is a pretty well-known brand in the anti-virusspace, but after this gaff, we think quite a few companies may beconsidering a switch to Norton or some other company. Why? Becausethousands and thousands of PCs are now not functioning, and it's allthanks to a McAfee software update.



Reportedly, an update to the company's anti-virus program caused afalse positive to freak Windows XP machines out, with continual rebootshappening without any fix in sight. Currently, it seems that the issueis reserved to corporate machines, with consumer versions of thesoftware being safe from the turmoil. The scary part is that there's noeasy solution. A machine that reboots continually cannot possiblydigest a new software update, so it seems that every single brokenmachine will have to be addressed by a professional individually.McAfee confessed that they were looking into the issue and would "takemeasures" to prevent it from happening again, but the damage has beendone. Hospitals, schools, police forces and even Intel were turnedupside-down by the issue, and we're still waiting to hear how affectedmachines will be fixed.

To say that McAfee has a mess on their hands isn't even scratching thesurface, and frankly, we have even more ammunition now to show thatthese programs aren't necessarily the best option for smart PC users.
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Inspector replied on Thu, Apr 22 2010 10:11 PM

Sucks for those people, thats why i don't have this on my computer or norton :D.

Whats the best anti-virus there is by the way?

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I heard about this when I was browsing the web in engineering this morning. Way to go McAfree. This is what extensive product testing is for, even for updates and other resources. Test the updates on every operating system that has ever been invented, do it will several computers, rinse and repeat.

I hate that this is effecting public services, but I think I hate even more that individuals are going to have to address each computer personally.

Is there any software out there that can access the files on a Hard Drive without the disc spinning inside of it?

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Devhux replied on Thu, Apr 22 2010 10:18 PM

I am quite happy with Microsoft Security Essentials myself, though you'll probably get different responses from almost anyone. I used to use Avast, but after a bad experience when trying to upgrade to version 5, I decided to try out MSE.

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This is why I cannot stand McAfee or Norton! Ever since they have become the leaders in the pre-installed software market, they have lost all credibility. They stopped caring about being good anti-virus software and just focused on how many PCs are going to sell this year!

Their software is a pain to get off a machine and not simple for most people who don't know what to do. they usually have auto update set when buying a machine so I am sure this hit even the smallest of consumers. It is really sad for the many paying customers of McAfee. Yet I am sure they are getting tons of help from India when they call customer service!

All I can say to both companies is what I always say, You suck! That is why I switched to AVG a while back and haven't looked back!

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la_guy_10 replied on Thu, Apr 22 2010 11:42 PM

Sounds very familiar "Trend Micro" had a issues a while back as well. I have never liked McAfee I stay far away from this software!!!!! I will leave it at that.

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Yeah, I used that McAfee program long ago on my Windows 98. Now i use very best and free is AVG programs on my Windows XP Pro SP3 . It did scan all info on HDD fast as in 5 mins or less. I will stay with AVG programs.

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AVG encountered similar trouble a while ago (read HERE). I would never use Norton or McAfee because they are both bloated, IMO. Avast! is a very good, free anti-virus program that I like very much. You can get Avast! Free Edition HERE.Yes

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I remember that problem with AVG.

I use Malwarebytes, Spyhunter, and my mother keeps updating our Norton subscription against my wishes.

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Apr 23 2010 7:57 AM

>> Whats the best anti-virus there is by the way?

Switching from Windows to FreeBSD. LoL.

Of course, that's also the best anti-gaming there is too. :)

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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AVG, Avast, Antivir, and Microsoft Security Essentials are the best free (for home user) antivirus programs out there.  If you want to pay money, then get ESET NOD32.  Personally, I use Avira Antivir 10.

*EDIT Below*

This is a link to AV-Comparatives most recent cert.  http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_report25.pdf
You want something with an Advanced+ rating.

Here is the link to the 2009 rollup.  http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/summary/summary2009.pdf
They do one of these every year and make comments about each product at the end (including which are free).  Just make sure youlook at the results of the most recent test above as well.  Avira for example went from version 9 to 10 with some nice improvements.

I would suggest you keep up with the developments in the different Antivirus software and if you are using a free one, switch if your current one starts falling behind the curve.  It happens to all of them at times.

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Inspector:
Whats the best anti-virus there is by the way?
Good online habits.

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realneil replied on Fri, Apr 23 2010 12:49 PM

"McAfee is a pretty well-known brand in the anti-virus space" (known to fail)

This isn't the first time for McAfee screwing up,.....I had it in 2006 when it went belly-up and trashed thousands of computers with a crappy update. Never even considered them again. Norton either.

I like a combination of security software. AVAST, and Microsoft Security Essentials work just fine together on my computers. The fact that they're free is good too.

Safe practices using your computer will hedge your bet and keep you a little bit safer.

The comments about Linux are true, you don't get messed with much with a good Linux distro running.

But I love to game, and you need Windows to do that properly on a PC.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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"Whats the best anti-virus there is by the way?"

Linux.

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Since everyone else is beating around the bush, Kaspersky is currently the best out there.

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la_guy_10 replied on Mon, Apr 26 2010 5:55 PM

ESET is another great product, IMO.

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la_guy_10:

ESET is another great product, IMO.

That's what my mom uses. Never have a problem with it.

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