Feeds

Symantec undeletes mail deletion bug

That's a relief

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Symantec has issued a fix for a serious bug within Norton Internet Security 2003 which is responsible for the unexplained deletion of emails for some users.

Users are advised to run the LiveUpdate automatic updating facility to fix the flaw.

Symantec was first notified of the serious bug, which it says only affected a small number of users, on October 14. At first it was unable to replicate the problem, but our storyon Monday this week seems to have focused its mind.

The company released a patch for the flaw on Wednesday night, not a moment too soon as shown by this threadon the bug in Symantec's Knowledge base where users document their frustration at the vaporisation of important emails.

The Reg reader who first brought the deletion bug to our attention noted its serious consequences.

"People are having their email permanently and inexplicably deleted by a product that is supposed to be giving 'Security'," he said. "I've seen Virii do less damage than this."

The deletion of emails by AV products is uncommon but not unprecedented. Last year we reported a glitch in McAfee's VirusScan software which caused emails sent to Outlook Express users to 'disappear'.

An intermittent probleminvolving the interaction of Windows 2000 or XP with McAfee VirusScan 4.5.1 and Outlook Express 6 meant that the index file to existing email folders could become damaged when a user downloads new mail. In extreme cases folders were trashed - all users get is a message saying Welcome to Outlook Express 6 as if they were a new user.

The problem also affected Outlook Express 5.5 users, but to a lesser extent. The messages are still present in the .dbx file used by Outlook Express, but as the index is damaged, users can't read them from the email client itself.

Outlook users - or those of other email clients, such as Eudora - are unaffected.

Following our first story a number of readers wrote to us telling us that they had suffered email deletion when running other (far less common) AV packages too. ®

Related Stories

Email deletion bug bites Norton Internet Security
Murder on the Outlook Express
Email deletion bug baffles McAfee

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.