McAfee issues critical fix for defective software update

Update screen

A recent update to McAfee's security products left users unable to access the internet and exposed to malware.

The update affected all Windows McAfee suites and VirusScan products, including the latest version of VirusScan Enterprise and McAfee SecurityCenter, after anti-virus signature updates (DAT 6807, 6808) stopped working for some users.

McAfee was later forced to release a "critical" enterprise 100Mb Super DAT (Hotfix 793640) and a consumer fix (DAT 6809) for the defective updates.

A statement on the security vendor's website confirmed the issue and warned that users' machines could be at risk.

"McAfee has identified an issue with DAT 6807 and 6808. Specifically, these DATs can affect McShield.exe and may cause issues with the On-Access Scanner," it stated.

"If you have deployed either the 6807 or 6808 DAT, McAfee strongly recommends that you perform the remediation steps in the solution."

We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact on customers.

The botched update left many BT broadband users unable to access the internet.

In a statement on the BT website, the telco said it was "aware that some of our customers have lost access to the internet after recent updates by McAfee," and advised them to reinstall their security software.

Gavin Struthers, senior vice president of worldwide channel operations at McAfee apologised for the update blip in a blog post.

"We realise this DAT issue has inconvenienced both our customers and partners, and for that we apologise," he wrote.

"But, I also wanted to assure you, by outlining it here in this blog, we are doing everything we can to minimise impact with our partners and for our customers."

Further information on how to fix the problem can be found on the company's website here.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.