back to article Pandemonium as Microsoft AV nukes Chrome browser

Users of Google's Chrome browser are in an uproar after antivirus software from Microsoft classified it as virulent piece of malware that should be deleted immediately. On Friday, a faulty signature update for both Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft Forefront incorrectly detected the Chrome executable file for Windows …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Duh!

    An accident just waiting to happen, just happened.

    Every time someone pushes the button to rollout an update, they have to pray that it'll only take out intended targets - killing Chrome is a huge FU.

    Don't they have an in-house representative test bed of a selection of typical user setups before going wild?

    "Chrome users that do not send usage statistics to Google are unaffected"

    Admittedly, such an in-house test bed would probably not be sending usage statistics to Google, so how could they have known the scale of the impact?

    I feel sorry for the affected users and whoever's ass is going to get kicked to Mars for this...

    1. Grease Monkey

      "An accident just waiting to happen, just happened."

      It hasn't been waiting, it's happened several times already. AV updates have hammered legit software more than once in the past. And the fact that it's happened before in a way makes it even worse each time it happens.

      But this should be a lesson to everybody to set their AV software the prompt for an action for every positive. And for every IT department to test updates before they roll out.

  2. Black Plague

    Anti-virus programs should classify IE as malware, lol

    1. LDS Silver badge

      And not a browser that sends everything to Google?

      Chrome **IS** a malware. Every AV should detect and obliterate it.

      Even Android phones are a piece of malware, as friends of mine who have it have sent Google all my contact data (phone numbers, addresses, email address, date of birth, etc. etc.) without asking **MY** permission.

      1. DarkOrb
        WTF?

        Then that's your friends fault for not reading the ToS and agreeing to them blindly. Not Google.

  3. Jim T
    Unhappy

    Hmm, a continuation of chrome bashing?

    Microsoft were bashing Chrome continually through their Build conference, are they getting serious now?

    1. Wibble

      Bluster

      How could Microsoft possibly bash Chrome? They have created the absolute worst browsers ever thrown together in the known universe!

      Oh, they're still looking for a clue.

      OK, here's one. Write your operating systems in a way that doesn't need AV software.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Write your operating systems in a way that doesn't need AV software.

        presumably you mean by having a tiny install base that's not worth targetting...

        1. Hardcastle the ancient

          @sabroni

          Sounds good to me. After all, Vista came close.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          Or ...

          Writing an operating that takes seriously ownership of files and user privilege.

          Its only been around since 1970 or so after all.

          1. Tinker Tailor Soldier
            Thumb Down

            Can you be specific?

            What about the NT security model: Users, Groups, ACLs, process isolation is actually worse the Unix?

            1. Tom 13

              Same as it ever was, though MS keep changing its name:

              ActiveX

            2. Neil Cooper

              Yes because its way over-complicated so the chances of getting it configured properly are lower. Also Windows is installed with settings that are by default insecure. So you have a ton of work ahead of you even if you understand all that stuff.

              The whole Windows model is fundamentally insecure, partly as a result of Microsoft software architects getting away with making stupid design decisions, and partly because windows was originally never meant to be an OS itself, let alone a professional multi-user environment. Consequently it still has many stupid legacy issues in its design.

              Such as, mechanisms like the registry and the fact that when you install apps they can and usually do put stuff into the Win32 directory, No 'proper' OS would have a model where just installing user applications extends the Operating System itself.

        3. Joe Montana
          FAIL

          Tiny user base

          // presumably you mean by having a tiny install base that's not worth targetting...

          Exactly, if instead of one huge target we had a number of smaller ones, then these problems would all be far less serious... Why do you think browser exploits are less common now that no browser commands 90% marketshare, and the most common attacks now target software which still has a huge market share.

          1. westlake
            Pint

            Tiny user base remains tiny.

            >>Exactly, if instead of one huge target we had a number of smaller ones, then these problems would all be far less serious... <<

            Incompatible hardware. Incompatible software. More tightly bound together than OSX and the Mac are now.

            There are no economies of scale.

            Prices remain high, market penetration remains low. The introductory price of the C-64 was $1326, adjusted for inflation.

            Companies enter and exit the business at a bewildering pace, leaving you high and dry. You had a computer.

            Now you own a souvenir paperweight.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Wibble

        I don't think anyone is looking forward to go back to the DOS era, even though it knew no virusses.

        Its impossible to prevent virusses on the OS level these days. At the very least a trojan horse can wreck havoc on your own data.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Get back in your pram

          "I don't think anyone is looking forward to go back to the DOS era, even though it knew no virusses."

          Presumably you weren't around for Brain, Stoned, Vienna, Jerusalem ...

        2. Neil Cooper

          >> Its impossible to prevent virusses on the OS level these days.

          You're very wrong. Especially if you're talking about virusses that get in through the browser.

          Windows especially sucks at security. Consider running a browser in a sandbox under an OS that properly implements permissions like Linux. . Even the most virulent website wouldn't have a hope of being able to infect your OS.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone remember when McAffee

    ...flagged svchost.exe in XP SP3 as a virus?

    Not sure how, but somehow I managed to miss out on this one :)

    1. Piro

      But that's McAfee..

      Which, as far as I can tell, only exists to establish the bottom of the barrel in terms of anti-virus software.

      Completely awful and useless. Worse than no anti-virus software at all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or when PC Tools Spyware Doctor generated lots of BSOD's,

      OR when AVG left you in a continual reboot cycle.

      Shit happens, but nothing decent backup process would fix in minutes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ok, OK, and um,.. no.

        Don't recall the first two, but I wouldn't be surprised by them. But when an AV signature kills a couple of hundred programs in an office, even a decent backup process won't fix it in minutes. The McAfee one was particularly bad. Most systems we were able to repair, but a few of them wouldn't let us get in even as a local admin. No local admin, no backup.

        Yeah, I have to support McAfee, but not by my choice.

  5. Will 28

    Wait for it... Oh no, we won't have to

    Let commence the conspiracy theories regarding deliberate mis-classification.

    1. Spearchucker Jones
      Joke

      But it's true!

      Chrome IS a virus!

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Angel

      Just as Planned!

      Also, WHO are these "long-time chrome users"??

  6. g e
    Happy

    A Mistake My Arse

    No, I don't mean my arse is a mistake I mean

    Ohhh you bloody well know what I mean :oD

  7. Wang N Staines

    hahahaha

    Simple mistake to make!!!

  8. Arctic fox
    Joke

    "Users of Google's Chrome browser are in an uproar..............

    ..............after antivirus software from Microsoft classified it as virulent piece of malware that should be deleted immediately."

    Yes, and your problem is?

    1. Grease Monkey

      You ain't kidding.

      The fact that apparently only users who send usage stats back to Google should give these people a clue. Chrome behaves in some respects like a trojan. It just happens to be that the users have asked it to behave like that.

      I've been warned before that certain software is exhibiting behaviour like a particular trojan. Could it be that MS are too keen to shoot first and ask questions later.

      1. Steve Knox
        Headmaster

        "Chrome behaves in some respects like a trojan. It just happens to be that the users have asked it to behave like that."

        A trojan is by definition software that does things that users have specifically NOT asked it to do.

        Chrome behaves in some respects like _spyware_.

        1. Andus McCoatover
          Windows

          "...by definition software that does things that users have specifically NOT asked it to do.."

          Er, Windows?

          E.g., the perpetual popups reminding me of something I've known about for fuc*king years???

  9. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Who doesn't backup their bookmarks?

    "Chrome's beta version is unaffected, making it a suitable substitute until Microsoft can correct the error."

    What was the error, deleting Chrome or not deleting the beta version?

    1. Argh

      I thought that Chrome's bookmarks were synchronised to Google Docs anyway, so a user could just visit there to find them.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Warning: Visiting this site may harm your computer!

    Microsoft.com certainly harmed mine.

    1. N2 Silver badge

      and

      Mine

      Busturds

      1. RegGuy
        Linux

        Well not mine...

        I never go there.

  11. Mark Dowling
    FAIL

    Chrome beta

    "Chrome's beta version is unaffected, making it a suitable substitute until Microsoft can correct the error"

    Until you try and go back on release ver and it tells you your profile has been upgraded beyond that version.

    As for the false poz, it happens, but the clients were configured to quarantine (and thus able to restore after new defs downloaded) not delete... right?

  12. A. Coatsworth
    Windows

    Hanlon's razor

    Yes, Microsoft is an evil company, but I'd bet this time (as with most of their actions) it was their stupidity and not their malice what got them into trouble.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @A. Coatsworth - I would vote for both

      Knowing the long and well documented history of Microsoft.

  13. Chris 171
    Gimp

    Solution

    Use Opera.

    The irony of the line “Chrome users that do not send usage statistics to Google are unaffected.” is not lost on me.

    Bit of a snafu tho hey, think what would happen if the corporates actually started doing this kind a on purpose....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Opera is too quirky for most people...

      ...who are not a bit quirky themselves. I am quirky myself and tried opera several times over the years but simply could not live with it, although I can understand why some people do like it, especially with very fine grained control over individual site security etc.

      Since firefox changed to the awful 4+ i have bizarrely started to use IE9. I have not used IE of my own free volition ever, I even preferred Netscape when there were only the 2 choices, but now IE9 is very safe if on limited rights account and MS are doing a much better job that Google and others at identifying and blocking malicious sites.

      I recently carried out my own tests and the MS solution was surpisingly effective, and together with the blocking from Malwarebytes Pro it has stopped almost all of the really nasty things that I threw at it, and the rest was stopped by PrivateFirewall HIPS. MS Essentials is also there to check only downloads and incoming files onto the system as an extra condom, just in case.

      Back to the point, MS are doing a much better job these days,apart from the very rare false-positive mentioned here, and in some cases are better than the competition, strange as it seems to me, but my own tests have proven it. Professional tests have shown that MS actually have one of the most impressive fals-positive rseults of any AV, but Google definitely behaves like a trojan and so they deserve it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      @Chris

      NO! Don't give MS more ideas on what to trash next!

    3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Hmm

      I do use Opera at home, not configured the remote bookmarks which I think I will do when I return home then if it does occur reinstall login and download.

      I was pretty sure Chrome and Firefox had this feature as well if linked to a Google/Mozilla account? Probably looks like a much more useful feature today.

  14. Sarah 7

    There are actually 3000+ people in this world who are using both Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus software and a non-Microsoft browser? Wouldn't users of a non-Microsoft browser tend to use one of the many other free anti-virus products that aren't from Microsoft? Avast? AVG?

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

      lots more, actually

      It may come as a shock to some, but there are people in the world who evaluate products on the basis of usefulness rather than which company released them. Accordingly, large numbers of people use MSE and its corporate cousin for antivirus while also using non-MS web browsers (around here, usually Firefox, with a few Opera holdouts and one or two Safari nuts. No Chrome users to my knowledge, though, and if there are any, they undoubtedly will have turned that Trojan-like 'report to the Chocolate Factory' setting off.)

      What I find interesting is that persons allegedly working in IT who haven't figured out how to set the automatic actions in MSE. (Hint: it's really difficult, as it involves going to the 'Settings' screen and unchecking a checkbox, actions which should require at least a MCSE.)

    2. Toastan Buttar
      Windows

      Not necessarily

      MSE is the best of the free AV packages available for Windows at the moment. The 'best' browser, OTOH, is mostly down to personal use case.

    3. Steve Knox
      Windows

      MSE and non-MS browsers.

      Both Avast and AVG, and most of the other free antivirus products, are tending towards graphics-heavy interfaces with lots of "pay for our full version" popups.

      Many users of Chrome and Opera use those browsers because the minimal *ahem* chrome that gets in the way. MSE is the free AV equivalent to that, at least for now.

      Ah for the good-old days, and F-PROT for DOS...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Totally agree: MSE is the best free AV now. No annoying messages to upgrade and a simple, clean interface.

    4. bitten

      Nowadays it is my standard configuration for third parties: I am an Opera fan but I install Chrome, and while using Avast (at home only :), I go for Microsoft Security Essentials to avoid the yearly reregistration.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chrome is a virus.

    it installs the browser binary in your appdata.. (which isn't for executable binaries but from application data... duh) to bypass the security of windows, so it doesn't need elevation to install loads of spyware on unexpecting victims from its browser.

    it shows every behavior a virus has.. So I don't see why a virus checker should get a slap on the wrist for detecting it as such.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You smoking something?

      C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe

      1. Musafir_86
        Facepalm

        That only applicable for Standalone or Enterprise (MSI) Installers....

        .....most users will install using web-based installer (that <1MB one), which put the Chrome application directory in .\Documents & Settings\<username>\ (XP) or .\AppData\<username> (Vista & above). This will make sure non-Administrator accounts could install Chrome without the need for privilege escalation (even Guest account can do it!). The downside is there will be a separate copy of Chrome application folder for each user (that installed/use Chrome) on that system . Try for it yourself.

        Regards.

      2. defiler Silver badge

        Smoking? Not so much...

        Howcome users in my office on XP SP3 can install Chrome on their desktops? They don't have admin rights. They can't write back to the "Program Files" folder or to the HKEY_LOCALMACHINE registry key. But Chrome goes on regardless.

        That's the sort of behaviour a virus shows. And it pisses me off.

        Ordinarily Id be pretty ambivalent towards Chrome, but the simple fact that unauthorised users can install it makes me hate it.

        And I'm sure that enough people on here will recognise that for what it is; not IT-department control-freakery, and a fascist attitude to user freedom, but a sensible way of trying to keep unknowns to a minimum to reduce user-issues.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @defiler - Actually it is a fascist control-freakery attitude to users

          A virus would clearly try to modify the OS in order to evade detection and eradication.

          Users are writing files on an area of the C: drive where even Microsoft default policies allow, they are not messing with the Program Files directory or the registry so what is your beef ? The fact that they still have some freedoms left ? Heck, make the whole computer read-only or take it from their desks and replace it with a TV where they can safely sit and watch documents all day long.

          YOUR Office ? I'd rather guess you consider it your own privately run plantation.

          1. defiler Silver badge

            @AC 08:37

            My office = my employer's office. I didn't think I'd need to be quite so verbose on that one. Similarly, my employer's users/staff who should be doing work on my employer's computers. They need no freedoms over and above what is required to do their jobs. On the other hand, it's the real world and they're given plenty of leeway to do stuff (particularly web browsing) on their downtime.

            My beef is when someone calls me and says "X doesn't work on my computer", and I find out that they're using Chrome. And that "X" works just great in Internet Explorer, because I know that a number of the companies that we deal with have ActiveX controls on their "extranets" (or whatever the word is these days), and these only work in Internet Explorer. And I'm wasting my time, at my employer's expense, chasing people for installing Chrome on "their" machines.

            They seem to think it's their god-given right to install what they want on "their" computers, and don't for one moment stop to consider the security and administrative nightmare that would cause; Google Chrome not only panders to their delusion, but reinforces it, especially with the attitude that "it's from Google, so it's fine". The office computers are tools to do jobs, not toys. They're the company's, not the user's. Personal internet access at work is a privilege, not a right. Many people seem to forget that.

            Presumably you would like all of "your" users in "your" office to run whatever they damn well please? Where does that end then? When someone calls because they're having trouble with Outlook under WINE running on UbuntuCE? Good luck with that, by the way...

            1. Grease Monkey

              "They seem to think it's their god-given right to install what they want on "their" computers"

              I agree and we come down hard on people like that, except...

              ...when they are senior managers.

              ...when they are senior managers PAs.

              ...when they bend the ear of a senior manager. For some reason senior managers always believe people who say "but I need Chrome/Google Earth/Whatever to do my job".

              As soon as the request comes from a senior manager then our manager rolls over and dies. No matter how much the request contravenes corporate policy or indeed policies to which we must comply.

        2. Grease Monkey

          "Howcome users in my office on XP SP3 can install Chrome on their desktops? They don't have admin rights. They can't write back to the "Program Files" folder or to the HKEY_LOCALMACHINE registry key. But Chrome goes on regardless."

          Because the installer just copies the executable to the users own Documents and Settings folders. Google did it this way to make it easy for people to install their software when they didn't have admin rights. Of course they claim it was just to make things more user friendly, but I can't believe that they are so niaive. I'm pretty sure it was a way to allow people to install on corporate machines as a way of increasing their user base.

          However smart sysadmins will have implemented some way of banning this sort of install. You can be specific and ban chrome.exe. You can be really draconian and have a whitelist of allowed executables, but this can be a major administrative headaches. The best way, however is to prevent ordinary users from creating any executable files. This is a good idea since there are quite a few poxy little toys out there that install in that way. And while you're at it make sure your Windows firewall GPOs don't allow Chrome to access the internet.

          I assume you do have a single approved browser on your network?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Virus-like behaviour

      Maybe not virus-like, but definitely sly-ware. The number of software installers that try to install Chrome (seems to have replaced the similarly sly Google Toolbar) is beyond me. It asks you, sure, but how many average Joes will just click through the installer, assuming it's only going to install what they wanted. Roxio springs to mind as an example.

      The amount of times I've turned up to my parents' PC to discover they've installed Chrome again and don't have a clue what it is or how it got there is enough of a reason that I won't use it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something don't make sense....

    So did the AV delete chrome.exe? Or did it really uninstall the whole product and then delete the %AppData%\Google\Chrome folders which hold those bookmarks?

    Reading between the lines, I would assume all the user data is still sitting on the computer ready for Chrome to be reinstalled and pickup that data again.

    Personally I think it is bonkers that companies are using that spyware based Google browser. I keep finding it on my client's PCs and they never remember how it got there. Installed in some stealth manner or sneaked in as part of an update to some other product. Ts&Cs then hide the Phone Home nature of Google.

    Microsoft identifying it as malware sounds about right to me....

  17. Darryl

    “Chrome users that do not send usage statistics to Google are unaffected.”

    Wow, yet another reason to not send usage statistics to Big Brother :)

  18. Adze

    You're kidding me?

    3,000 users affected? That storm is so small that it can't even be seen in the teacup! The fix is laughably easy too, seriously anyone who thinks this was deliberate needs to take a reality check... preferably to the face and very hard.

    1. PC Paul

      Hmmm... I think I'd better go and buy a lottery ticket, only 3,000 users worldwide affected by this and I'm one of them?

      I wonder where they got the 3,000 number from?

      Luckily I had already tweaked my MSE to ask before killing things.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "virulent piece of malware"

    And has anybody proved that it is not?

    Google these days does nothing except with the specific intention of collecting unnecessary personal information. It is extremely unlikely that chrome isn't collecting personal information which its users are not fully aware of.

    Sadly, far too many companies are collecting unnecessary personal information and making it pretty well impossible to do anything about it.

    1. DanceMan
      Flame

      "collecting unnecessary personal information"

      This afternoon I had an appointment with a new dentist who will eventually be doing the crown for an implant. Had to fill out three pages of personal and medical information, which even included "Have you ever seen a psychiatrist?" I told the receptionist that there were questions answered "no" that were either not applicable, not answerable by a yes or no, or none of their f**king business.

      It isn't just companies on the internet doing it.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        That is actually a very reasonable question to ask

        Since the medication that psychiatrists prescribe to you is protected knowledge, bu the fact that you saw one isn't. Asking that is a round-a-bout way of trying to figure out if you are taking medication that might interact with something they give you (Novocaine has a lot of drug interactions)

        Dealing with someone that will literally have your life in their hands is definitely not one of those times to be overly-cautious with personal information. And besides, they are legally obligated to never share that information with anyone or use it for any other purpose than to treat you. That is why you probably had a separate form with your contact information that you had to fill out, so they can use it to contact you.

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
          FAIL

          Protected knowledge?

          What on earth is that supposed to mean? Last time I saw a dental specialist I was given a medical history form to complete. It asked me whether I was taking any medication.

        2. TeeCee Gold badge
          Headmaster

          Er, no it isn't as the answer should invariably be "Yes", unless the patient's lying.

          Are you absolutely *sure* that *none* of the people you saw on the way to work this morning was a psychiatrist? How about all the people you've seen so far this year?

          I'd be ticking the "yes" box and I have the icon to prove it!

          "Have you ever consulted a psychiatrist?" might be a valid question to ask.

      2. Cameron Colley

        A dentist is a medical professional.

        I would hope that they would keep anything they know about you confidential, in the same way your GP would. With that in mind I don't think it odd that they'd want to know if you were likely to flip out in the chair due to anxiety or have bad reaction to gas due to a mental illness.

  20. FrankAlphaXII

    I remember...

    About 4 to 6 years ago, some AV program classified the GNU public license as Malware. It was pretty damned funny really. It was easy to fix as I recall too. I dont remember what program it was but I think it may have been Panda.

    And I use MS Security Essentials with a non-MS browser. I dont have much use for antivirus software, nothing's getting on my network really, but it was the fastest way to shut up windows 7's nagging about needing antivirus software for free and without McAfee's plague infecting my laptop.

    But hell, Ive always said Chrome was a shit browser (lowest quality for the lowest common denominator, like most Google products) and apparently MS agrees with me. And I am not used to MS agreeing with me whatsoever.

    I notice Security Essentials has never deleted Firefox or Opera. Or even Konqueror for that matter and its pretty unstable on Windows still.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge
      FAIL

      I have heard that so many times, and usually a few days before I get spam from their address or they complain about their bank account getting drained. Installing AV should be done on every system, including phones. I have even AV installed on my OpenBSD boxes, AV software is free, takes up very few resources and it is always better to have and not need than get royally screwed when you do need it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Crazy Operations Guy

        Sorry, mate, you clearly don't know what OpenBSD is and does.

        A personal question for you, since you're so paranoid, do you wear a seat belt in bed while you're sleeping ? It is always better to have and not need one than getting royally... Nah, I can't go on arguing with you.

  21. KMJA

    and why are these people relying/using Microsoft AV? Wouldnt even let my mother in law use it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You have no clue

      Just read around a bit on various tests plus users reviews, it is a surprisingly good AV and it also has an excellent reputation for not seeing valid software as malicious, so clearly something is amiss with Chrome leaking user info and I reckon MS were right, and Google need to be in the dock not MS on this point.

      1. Annihilator
        Thumb Up

        @Frank14

        "it is a surprisingly good AV and it also has an excellent reputation for not seeing valid software as malicious"

        Indeed - exactly why this is a story. Two years of service so far and the first "oops" I've seen.

    2. Chris 3
      WTF?

      And what's wrong with MSE. precisely? It seem to work in an unobjectionable manner for the most part.

  22. kirovs
    Joke

    Hahahahahahahahaha.....

    Serves you right for using Windows!

  23. Alan Denman

    What do you expect from the Asda Smartprice type Essential brand AV.

    At least we know it occasionally does something.

    Just badly as usual.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Disclosure please?

      And do you have any connections with any AV vendor, I wonder? I do not, and neither with MS.

  24. dssf

    3000 CUSTOMERS... probably means

    3,000 SITES, which may have 10 named users all the way up to 50,000 employees, of which maybe some 1/2 may be named/disclosed/etc, depending on the licensing strategy the customer was angling for, and assuming ms didn' trojan the servers to report distint accounts and concurrent/disparate logins doing different tasks.

    So, hundreds of thousands could theoretically be affected, or maybe just 5,000. MS won't want to admit that in "its" client base, a high percentage adopted or condone use of Chrome, and yet, if it is small, they still can hope that 3,000 SEEMS like a scary number to wary IT departments.

    1. Fuzz

      Companies with 50000 users don't use chrome as a web browser. I'd also wager they are unlikely to be using forefront security.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        You might be right about the browser

        However, I suspect that many large corporations were using MS Forefront - we certainly are.

        The reasoning is quite simple - what else would you use? We have previously used both McAfee and Symantec and both were responsible for a lot of unscheduled downtime.

        MSE and Forefront are actually pretty good - like a lot of commentards I switched to MSE because AVG and Avast have become annoying, slow and bloated blobs, with very little sign of what originally made them great.

        No doubt MSE/Forefront will eventually become an annoying bloated mess, however for the time being it's good.

      2. stuff and nonesense
        Go

        Very true

        Larger companies tend to use Internet Explorer for its integration into the Windows ecosystem especially Group Policies.

        Microsoft Forefront is the "professional" MS antivirus program. Again, it is solidly tied into remote administration functions that the administrators love.

      3. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Forefront

        "Companies with 50000 users don't use chrome as a web browser."

        You'd be correct there. I do adjunct instructing for a local community college and it has well over 50,000 students... and has Firefox and MSIE as standard browsers. Chrome is not visible. (The office has considerably fewer than 50,000 employees, but we don't have Chrome either.)

        "I'd also wager they are unlikely to be using forefront security."

        Ah... no. The community college uses Forefront. It works quite well, actually.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opportunity for Google to sue Microsoft for Billions?

    For a deliberate act of sabotage?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This should be a wake-up call for Google and Firefox

    as they spent all these years developing a browser and improving the overall web usability and user experience for Windows users. "DOS Ain't Done 'til Lotus Won't Run" is a myth for sure but those who don't take this seriously will have a nasty surprise down the road because Microsoft can and will pull the rug from under the feet of Google and Mozilla.

    Don't take my word for it, just read some enlightening documents surfacing as exhibits in the US courts of justice where Microsoft is being dragged. Not to mention that they have been tagged as monopolists in major courts of justice on at least three continents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      And Google

      is not a monopolist?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Frank 14 - Not until convicted by a court of justice

        Personal feelings, wishes and beliefs do not count here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 0837

          "...Personal feelings, wishes and beliefs do not count here..."

          You're new here, aren't you?

  27. Herby Silver badge

    When to believe Microsoft's AV?

    When it says that Windows 7 is a virus that MUST be eradicated from your computer. Until then, I wouldn't believe any Microsoft Anti Virus even with all its signatures.

  28. Syntax Error
    Thumb Up

    But Chrome is just Google Spyware anyway. No FU.

  29. LDS Silver badge
    Stop

    Someone still not using WSUS and testing patches before applying?

    If it hit home users I could understand, but which companies is using Security Essentials (which AFAIK has a free license which should now allow commercial use, as most other "free" AV) without a WSUS server to take control of patch/updates before releasing?

  30. Doug Glass
    Go

    Optional

    Oh this is funny as all hell. Keep up the circus act boys, I just love a good three-ringer.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now i'm all upset...

    Pretty much what i'd expect when Google kick out Windows from their offices while Microsoft won't run Chrome in theirs. Neither camp wants to live in the real world, just like when warring parents don't cooperate for the sake of their children i guess (Gosh now i'm hurt). Microsoft and Google need to settle their differences and test their stuff with other stuff, period. Each must accept their respective contributions and i don't particularly care if Google think they might have the moral high ground on this issue, before one single Google customer has to suffer then they need to go camp in Microsoft's front office. Or am i just an over reacting Chrome kiddy.

  32. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. stuff and nonesense
      Go

      Or am i just an over reacting Chrome kiddy.... yes

      It is not in the interests of the OS maker to deliberately sabotage their competitor's software. The net effect of this example is that MS antivirus and Chrome users will migrate to other programs due to a lack of trust.

      (I don't use either, FF and Avast here)

      I agree that in the earlier days of MS programs like Word, Excell and IE were reputedly given a leg up from undocumented OS calls. This was not sabotage but "internal favouritism". Since the IE/MS monopoly trials MS has had to open up the APIs to developers. The result has been better software all round.

      No doubt Win 8 will break some software - (every release of Windows does, hopefully the developers will use the beta release time to update any affected software) - but this is not necessarily a deliberate attempt to damage a competitor.

  33. Rocket
    Trollface

    In this modern era of cloud computing and choice who is still locked into just one browser/OS/w'ever

    Multiple redundancy is a known fix for many IT errors

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Rocket - An easy answer for you

      All those using MS Office documents

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong conclusion

    False positives do happen. No software is ever perfect. The scandal here isn't that a particular piece of software was incorrectly identified as a carrier of virulent code. MS' AV-tools should be able to fully restore any application, its data and configurations for every user when the problem has been solved, or as in this case a false positive has been confirmed. The inability to execute the restore-operation is the real problem.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    Yet another example of MS messing things up. How many more times?

    I'm glad I ditched Winblows long ago.

  36. bazza Silver badge

    Win7-x64 + current Chrome

    All's OK here...

  37. Beanie
    Mushroom

    Microsoft Broke a Browser?

    Microsoft Broke a Browser?

    If you cant beat em delete em! lol

  38. pitagora
    Thumb Down

    Chrome = spyware

    Every 1-2 weeks I have to delete Chrome from my parents PC, and they swear they don't even know what it is. I'll tell you though: it's a nasty peace of spyware that installs it's self with other products and steals personal information without the users knowledge, and then legalizes this through a very long T&C.

    Chrome is spyware, so good riddance. As for my parents PC, I wish MSE has some option like "permanently consider this program a spyware", because in the end this is what Chrome is.

  39. johnwerneken
    Mushroom

    fine with me chrome is a virus

    We would not have these toys without microsoft apple the old ibm google oracle facebook. And all the software from all of them was and remains basicly a plot to sieze the Earth, worthy of profound distrust. Browsers in particular are like that, offered free with hidden pitfalls.

  40. Qdos
    Windows

    I'm sorry, but I find it hilarious...

    Serves Google damn right, every time I get an Adobe Flash Update I don't want to have to untick a box to prevent downloading a flaky little Google browser which doesn't even have a bookmarks side-panel... at least Microsoft W7 provides a browser choice screen (if puny, and even if only in Europe anyway)...

    I do hope the person responsible at Microsoft turns out to be an employee who'd previously worked for Google... and the whole thing turns out to be a cunning stunt...

    Or were heuristics at work, not sure any M$AV could possess trustworthy heuristics... there's a risk it might delete the entire C:\Windows\System32 folder, file content, and sub-folders...

    1. cordwainer 1
      Thumb Up

      Title is Optional (really?)

      @Qdos re: "... and the whole thing turns out to be a cunning stunt..."

      Thank heavens you don't suffer from spoonerism.

  41. philippe schlossberg

    I can confirm that nothing happened here. Don't know what saved my Chrome install but it occurs that the dev version has a major bug at the moment, so I went back to beta a few days ago, that's one thing. The other thing is I never sent any usage stats to Google.

  42. Lamont Cranston
    Mushroom

    Waiter,

    there's a storm in my teacup.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No problems with IRON :-)

    I've not had any issues (yet) ..but then again I use the spyware-free version of chrome called IRON.

    Why somebody would install something that calls home to Google with their info is anybody's guess - and it is about time that it was flagged as a virus..'cos it is.

  44. Tom 13

    I would find it very, very, very odd if one of my friends was

    one of the "lucky" 3,000 MS hosed. Something tells me they dropped a 0 or two, or maybe even three.

  45. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Devil

    Fixed for you...

    Users of Google's Chrome browser are in an uproar after a virulent piece of malware from Microsoft that should be deleted immediately classified it as virulent piece of malware that should be deleted immediately.

  46. W. Anderson

    Uproar over Microsoft dirty tricks?

    I am constantly bewildered why computer users of Microsoft Windows get upset about the company's strange and what some would call "dirty tricks"- unethical and possibly illegal actions in regard to competitors' products.

    These people really need to get a life and accept -once and for all and unequivocally - the realities and catastrophes of using Windows OS software, most particularly with non-Microsoft applications from those they envy and wish to crush.

    Their whining and complaining has become a bore to most others who know better.

  47. BillG Silver badge
    FAIL

    Our Story So Far...

    O.K., so based upon Reg articles, the antivirus programs out there that have released bad updates that either brick PCs or create serious false positives are:

    - McAfee / CA

    - Kaspersky

    - AVG

    - Microsoft Security Essentials

    Have I missed any?

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