Feeds

PC-cillin killed my PC

Trend Micro so sorry

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Update A duff anti-virus signature update on Friday from Trend Micro floored the PCs of many who applied it. The Japanese firm pulled the update 90 minutes after it was issued but the error caused mayhem to affected systems, particularly in Japan which because of the timing of the release was particularly badly hit.

The faulty update (pattern file 2.594.00) to Trend's OfficeScan, PC-cillin products as well as ServerProtect for NT and two of its small business packages, Client/Server Suite for SMB and Client/Server/Messaging Suite for SMB caused systems to freeze up. Reg reader Derek Law said his home PC stopped working after applying the OfficeScan and PC-cillin updates.

"Essentially, the update on Friday locked up all the CPU preventing anything from running," he said.

Another reader writes: "In the one and a half hours the update was up, it's likely to have been rolled out to every desktop in the enterprise."

Trend has apologised for this incident and pledged to improve its quality assurance procedures. Raimund Genes, head of EMEA operations at Trend Micro, said the pattern file was downloaded between 300,000 and 350,000 before Trend issued a corrected update. He said that because the release came out at 23:30 GMT on Friday night users in Japan were particularly badly hit. A reported 70,000 support calls were generated in Japan by the dodgy update. "There were not many enquiries in Europe," according to Genes. He added that Trend Micro has experienced glitches with signature updates before but has never one that had such a debilitating effect.

In a statement, Trend said that changes it made to its heuristic scanning functions to provide better detection for the prolific Rbot worm accidentally caused the reported system instability. The problem escaped detection prior to the release of the update because of an "isolated anomaly in the engineering, development and pattern release process". Users running the affected Trend products with either Win 2000 SP4 or Win 2003 SP1 on their servers or Win XP SP2 on the client were among those affected.

Trend reckons the update was not checked against XP SP2. Genes blamed human error for the glitch. He said the company was putting more resources in quality assurance as a short term measure. Longer term, Trend plans to update its Scan Engine to include a self-monitoring mechanism. Users are advised to upgrade to OPR 2.596.00 or higher.

Duff anti-virus signature updates are rare but not unprecedented and generally cause far less inconvenience than computer viruses. Nonetheless their very occurrence illustrates some of the pitfalls of the anti-virus scanner approach created by the need for frequent updates.

In this case its not just users who've been affected by the glitch. Trend Micro's share price fell 4.2 per cent to ¥4,100 on the news, Reuters reports. ®

Related stories

Trend Micro squashes buffer overflow bug
BitDefender bug bites GFI
Sophos updates snag unwary
McAfee virus update freezes PCs
The trouble with anti-virus

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.