back to article Antivirus update broke our interwebs, howl Win XP users

Thousands of Windows XP users were blocked from accessing the internet this week after they applied a misfiring antivirus update from Kaspersky Lab. The issue affected both consumer and business versions of Windows XP. Vista or Windows 7 users were untouched by the snafu. Even so, Kaspersky's support forums quickly filled up …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still a million times better than McAfee

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Still a million times better than McAfee

      Not by my arithmetic.

      Core Windows executables are all signed and have been for years. We've now had just about every AV vendor give a false positive to one of these executables at some point or other. Over the same period, we've had no indications that the signing key is in the wrong hands. If your suspect executable is signed by that key then the smart money is on "false positive" every time.

      The evidence to date suggests that AV companies are just trigger-happy.

      1. Ilgaz

        Re: Still a million times better than McAfee

        I always hated the concept of checking signed OS files however;

        1) core parts of operating system that checks signature can be cracked,deactivated

        2) the certificate itself would get stolen or leaked

        3) users are click happy

        4) impossible occurs and the OS vendor itself may release malware as update.

        Kaspersky users want to have an extremely paranoid Russian security chief in their machines. With the ever increasing OS complexity, these things will happen from time to time.

        While on it, vendors like Kaspersky already do a great deal of white list, cloud "common wisdom" etc. Things really changed. Personally I like their "security first, ignore couple of 'it is heavy, slow' trolls" approach so far. They could blindly trust all Microsoft signed executable files and they could be rated "fastest", "lightweight" etc. That is way easier.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still a million times better than McAfee

          "extremely paranoid Russian security chief"

          There are other kinds?

    2. Thomas 4

      But still not as good as Nort

      Huh. That's weird. My keyboard won't let me finish typing that sentence for some reason.

  2. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    "Actions have been taken to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future."

    Like the million-and-one previous occasions by just about every AV vendor there is.

    And what actions? Putting the damn software you're writing on a single test machine (or even test VM) running one of the (claimed) support platforms once per release? Otherwise known as the most primitive testing regime known to man?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      If only it were so simple.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        My head explodes thinking about how they test, they must do automated testing on platforms as a signature everyday requires a lot of checks.

        The end of the day the software is written by a human on a OS written by a human, unexpected things can occur :(

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Only affected (long list of their products.....)"

    Sounds like they did no testing with their products at all.


      Go easy on them......

      Go easy on them, they are only a small fry compared to the McAfee's, Symantec's and Trend Micros of the world. You can hardly expect them to find viruses and TEST...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Go easy on them......

        Bull, they are doing quite well - so well they have been running a share buy back program.

        Part of the reason they're doing so well is because they also flag government spyware as the malware it is. It's not that well known they do this (it's generally not a topic any party wants to see in the news too often) but it's a fact. That alone puts them for me pretty much at the top of my selection process for Windows as well as OSX.

  4. banjomike

    This is all fairly straightforward, providing you can get online and access these instructions.

    Not always so. If Internet access or booting-up fails then standard practice should include disabling your AV product product to see if that makes a difference. Where you really have problems is when the AV destroys or quarantines something essential.

    But it DOES sound like a lack of basic testing.

  5. IglooDude

    Setting a low bar, aren't we? A gorilla jumping up and down on a laptop is still better than installing McAfee on it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Did McAffe supply said gorilla?

  6. mhoneywell

    They all stink, but...'s good that Kaspersky actually responded to the article, in a timely fashion and, said sorry.

    So many companies, and their miserable PR outfits, still think they live in the analogue world. Digital moves faster than most PRs can think, let alone respond.

  7. Slackness


    Having used Kaspersky for about 5 years and about to renew, I would say that this is just 1 mistake amongst next to none (mistakes). Used on linux, windows & Android with zero issues. these guys are top of their game.

    Am even thinking of using on my mac.

    1. Chris007

      Re: Ok, @slackness

      I used Kaspersky for many years but I found that on older machines (I look after the family computers) it was causing them to slow down with the newer versions. I replaced Kaspersky with Avast and noticed a big difference in performance of the machines.

      no doubt I'll be doing the same again in a few years

  8. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    I really don't like Kaspersky

    I had their AV product, which was fine. But when after a year or so I wanted to upgrade to their security suite (Kaspersky PURE?) the upgrade bricked my machine. It took a lot of calling and complaining to get everything straightened out, and by"straightened out" I mean getting Kaspersky off my PC and replacing it with WebRoot.

  9. Spasch

    If one were cynical..

    You could attribute yesterday's SMBC comic to what they did..

    Oh look, company X said sorry in a timely fashion.

  10. Captain Obvious

    Someone had to say it....

    So Kaspersky eliminated a well known virus :)

  11. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    Kaspersky Lab - well deserved failure

    Their 'Confidence/Competence Ratio'™ slightly exceeds unity (dangerous territory). This sort of embarrassing failure at Kaspersky Labs was perfectly *inevitable* (and still is).

  12. Simon Harris Silver badge

    A slightly drastic action...

    ... but I suppose stopping you going online does prevent you downloading any nasty, so maybe they could claim they were protecting you!

  13. TheRealRoland
    Thumb Up


    "This is the self preservation society..."

  14. Robert E A Harvey


    That's what customers do, isn't it?

  15. pierce

    indeed, I was using kaspersky until it ground a dual core 3.1Ghz machine into the ground, making simple file copy operations so slow the system was unusable. I disabled kaspersky and holy-cow-it-was-fast-again. uninstalled kaspersky from all my systems and went back to MSE, which has not caused me any performance problems. still virus free here after all these years.

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  17. Chris Evans

    "apologise for any inconvenience" NO it is "for THE inconvenience"

    "Kaspersky Lab would like to apologise for any inconvenience" Statements like this really annoy me!

    It should be

    "Kaspersky Lab would like to apologise for THE inconvenience"

    My wife nearly threw her laptop out of the Window it was so infuriating!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "apologise for any inconvenience" NO it is "for THE inconvenience"

      Laptop is innocent, she should throw Windows out of her laptop....

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happily running Windows7 without anti-virus for years now

    since a botched AV software update convinced me that virus makers are less dangerous for my system when and if they will finally get to my system.

    And before you tell me, yes I know I could use non-Microsoft OS for increased safety online.

  19. petef

    avast! too

    The avast! service failed to start for many users yesterday, including one of my PCs. There does not seem to be much reporting on that outside of the avast! forum.

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