Feeds

McAfee AV ate my application

False Trojan horse alert causes chaos

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

An Australian software developer has been left fuming after the latest virus definition update from McAfee caused his package to be wrongly identified as a Trojan horse programme.

The false positive meant that ISPWizard, an internet setup program wizard, was labelled as the BackDoor-AKZ Trojan by users running the latest update of McAfee's AV software. As a result, ISPWizard is being unceremoniously ripped from users' systems. This means that many people are unable to connect to their ISPs because the software that they need has been automatically deleted by McAfee.

McAfee's cock-up dates from 1 September when it released an antivirus DAT (signature file) update. It has yet to rectify its mistake.

ISPWizard Developer Mark Griffiths slammed McAfee's tardy response: "This is causing major problems for my business, the businesses of my customers [ISPs] and also their customers as well. Despite this problem being quickly reported to McAfee and it being stressed to them that this is a major problem which is causing damage to many businesses, they have been very slow to react," he said.

"Although they have now responded and admitted that this is a problem with their software, they have still not released a new update to their DAT files to fix the problem and say that it may take until Thursday [9 September] before it is actually released. In the meantime, the software continues to misidentify my software as being infected by a Trojan. End users that are being affected are either contacting the ISP for assistance and blaming them for distributing a Trojan - greatly increasing the support burden and costs for the ISP, or they are simply switching to another ISP," he added.

Other AV vendors (for example, Sophos) detect the BackDoor-AKZ Trojan without interfering with the operation of ISPWizard. "I'm not aware of any other anti-virus program that is misidentifying my software at the moment," said Griffiths.

So why is McAfee AV misdiagnosing a benign program as malignant? We don't know. Our repeated calls and emails to McAfee over the last two days failed to generate a response from the company

In copies of email correspondence between Griffiths and Avert Labs, McAfee's AV research division, a suggestion was made that the misdiagnosis could have arisen because components of ISPWizard were created with the same package as components of the backdoor Trojan program. But this remains only a theory. McAfee has offered Griffiths a temporary DAT file that end users would need to manually install on their systems as a workaround. Griffiths is unimpressed with the offer: he is frustrated that McAfee has not released an emergency automatic update. ®

Related stories

Email deletion bug baffles McAfee
Murder on the Outlook Express
McAfee virus update damages NT 4.0 files
McAfee virus update freezes PCs
Email deletion bug bites Norton Internet Security
Symantec undeletes mail deletion bug

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.