Feeds

Sophos in Mac OS X worm false alarm

Cure worse than disease

The essential guide to IT transformation

Sophos has apologised after releasing a faulty signature update that flagged up legitimate Mac OS X system files as infected with a new low-risk worm, Inqtana-B.

The faulty signature file, issued on Tuesday, February 21, falsely identified a number of component files of Microsoft Office applications as infectious.

The UK-based anti-virus firm issued a new update in short time, two hours after the dodgy signature files went out. Inqtana-B has not been detected in the wild, so the false alert on legitimate files triggered by the Sophos update is doubly annoying for anyone affected, particularly if users had set their software to auto-detect infected files. As one Reg reader notes: "This will completely break MS Office and any users this has happened to will have to reinstall Office."

A Sophos spokesman said that its anti-virus software would not delete files by default and would normally ask for permission. He added that a "relatively low" number of Sophos clients had been affected. But this small number did include a couple of US Universities. "Only enterprises with Mac OS X computers would be affected and, of those, only those that did a scheduled scan during the short time the update was available would have been affected. Most got away with it."

Faulty anti-virus signature updates are not uncommon. Sophos blamed this week's mishap on testing particular to its security software on the Mac OS X platform, which is a relatively recent addition to its portfolio. The firm is to revamp testing procedures to prevent repetition. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
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

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
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.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.