McAfee shutdown thousands of Windows XP PC with faulty update

Thousands of Windows XP (Service Pack 3) computers running McAfee Antivirus software couldn’t use their PC after a faulty virus definition update was pushed to the computers on Wednesday. According to reports, the faulty update causes computers to shut down within a minute of starting up. The problem was caused by virus definition file 5958, which quarantined svchost.exe.
svchost.exe?!?! How the heck did someone misidentified svchost.exe as a virus? Svchost is a generic Window host process name for services that run dll. It’s a very important process. (I know because I always see it running in the background when I see the Task Manager.) Although there are also worms and malware called svchost.exe, they shouldn’t be mistaken for such an important process in Window. According to McAfee, they changed their quality assurance process recently which resulted this error.
There is no way to fix the problem automatically since the affected computers can’t even boot up. If your computer is affected, you can check out the fix by McAfee for Corporate and Consumer.
McAfee has apologized for the mistake.

1 comment

  1. I can see why people get the confused with a virus. The vc in svchost is the normal for windows. However, the trojan slightly changes that to cv to scvhost. So without closer inspect, easliy confused with the real thing.

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