McAfee Anti-Virus Update Breaks Thousands Of PCs

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.