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AVG slaps Trojan label on Adobe Flash

Third false alarm follows upgrade offer

Security for virtualized datacentres

AVG, the popular anti-virus package, has falsely identified Adobe Flash as potentially malicious. The snafu comes just days after AVG slapped a bogus Trojan warning on a core Windows component.

Users on AVG forums complained on Friday that Adobe Flash was detected by AVG's scanner as malicious, following a recent update. The gaffe follows an even more glaring screw-up when user32.dll, a core Windows component, was identified as a banking Trojan following a signature update issued on Sunday. Users who followed AVG's advise and deleted the "harmful file" were left with systems that either failed to boot or went into a continuous reboot cycle. Users of both AVG 7.5 and 8 (free and full-feature editions) were affected.

Less than a month ago AVG identified CheckPoint’s Zone Alarm as a Trojan.

False alarms by anti-virus scanners are a well-known Achilles heel. Everybody who's anybody has problems with false alarms from time to time but to have three such problems in less than a month is difficult to defend.

Quizzed on the latest issue AVG said it had nothing to add to a statement issued on Thursday, before the Flash problem blew up, offering users affected by the Windows component snafu a free one-year license or license extension. "AVG Technologies apologizes again for the inconvenience caused to our customers and wishes to assure our users worldwide that the company is actively putting new processes in place to avoid similar occurrences in the future," it said.

It's scarcely believable but a day later there's another problem of the same type.

Everybody at the Czech-based firm, particularly those in its quality assurance unit, ought to be be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

We've liked AVG as a firm, and a software package for years, but its serial false alarm problems shake this confidence, even without taking into account the fake traffic spew problems last summer. We'd offer you an image of AVG in a dunce's cap but our graphics artist is already at the pub. As an alternative we offer you this fine selection of football own goals (below) to make much the same point. ®

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