Feeds

Update glitch derails Kaspersky

Lock-up issues

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Update 2 Problems in updating Kaspersky Lab anti-virus software led to some machines locking up.The Russian anti-virus firm said the problem was due to an error in a threat signature update issued on Thursday, which are now resolved. It apologised for problems caused by the SNAFU, which were severe for those affected.

"This error led to system instabilities and, in some rare instances, to system failure on a limited number of computers with Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7.0, Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 and Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 for Windows Workstations MP2 and MP3," a statement for Kaspersky explained.

"Unfortunately, the error did not occur when the defective threat signature update was initially installed, but only when the next correct update was performed. Therefore, the error was not detected during internal testing of the defective update and was subsequently sent out to users of the company's products."

The SNAFU affected both consumers and corporate users. Windows PCs bugs hit by the bug after applying the faulty anti-virus definition files displayed the message "previous application launch failed" before becoming stuck in an endless loop. The problem caused all sorts of grief for sys admins administering users running Kaspersky's anti-virus software package, according to forum postings.

Updates reportedly froze 26 per cent of the way through the process. Thereafter machines operate at a snail's pace, forcing users to reboot.

"In the vast majority of cases, users can rectify the error by rebooting their computer. In any other cases, the error can be removed with the assistance of the company's free 24-hour technical support service," Kaspersky advised.

David Emm, senior technology consultant at Kaspersky Lab UK, said Kaspersky developed a resolution for the problem at 10pm GMT (01:00 Moscow time) on Thursday. The exact cause of the glitch is still under investigation.

Kaspersky is working with affected customers in attempting to resolve the any lingering problem. It's unclear how many punters worldwide were affected (quite a few in the Antipodes judging by forum posts). Few, if any, UK users of Kaspersky have been hit because of the timing of the release. Kaspersky said it was reviewing its testing procedures to prevent a repition of the problem.

"Kaspersky Lab deeply apologises for any inconvenience caused to users by the error. The company's technical support service is currently making every effort to minimize its effects. Furthermore, measures will be taken in the nearest future to upgrade the internal testing system for Kaspersky Lab updates, in order to prevent the repetition of any similar errors in future," it said.

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 April 2005, for example, a duff anti-virus signature update from Trend Micro floored the PCs of many who applied it. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.