McAfee mess as anti-virus attacks brings down PCs

PCs and servers around the world running McAfee virus software were brought down after a false-positive error.

Media reports claimed that some machines displayed the blue screen of death after McAfee VirusScan updated by downloading the latest signature file, and attacking core system files which it detected as viruses.

McAfee forum threads indicated that the failures only hit systems running an old VirusScan engine, and that the only solution given by the security vendor was to upgrade.

Some posters blamed enterprise users for not updating their systems with the latest McAfee VirusScan 5300, and instead relying on an old VirusScan 5100 engine.

However, user tonyb99' from Liverpool criticised McAfee for not releasing official information on what the issue was even though it was advised about it.

He said: "I still had to roll back my entire estate just in case'. Then they kept on not releasing any information.

He added: "It seems like in every case with McAfee when things go wrong they just ignore it.

"Yes, I am aware it was the 4th of July holiday, but McAfee are a global operation."

McAfee confirmed that VirusScan Enterprise users running the newer scanning engines (5200 and newer), were not affected. The incorrect identification has been resolved.