Feeds

McAfee false alert snares innocent JavaScript files

I didn't do it

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Faulty virus definition updates from McAfee that flagged legitimate JavaScript files as potentially malign caused a headache for some sysadmins earlier this week.

The false alarm, which meant benign content was flagged as infected by Exploit-Packed-c-gen, was corrected promptly by a set of revised definition updates from McAfee late on Wednesday, but not before at least one Reg reader was inconvenienced by the slip-up. "We thought we were under virus attack today [Thursday] and cut back on our internet access for a few hundred employees," our UK-based informant told us.

In response to our inquiries, McAfee issued a statement apologising for the snafu, which it said affected only a "limited number" of customers.

McAfee is aware that a limited number of customers may have incurred problems fully accessing specific Web sites due to incorrect malware alerts on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

The problem primarily occurs when navigating to Web sites that use JavaScript compressed using a packing tool known as Dean Edward's Packer. McAfee worked to address the problem with a new signature update released Wednesday evening.

McAfee apologizes for any inconvenience to our customers.

Dodgy anti-virus signature updates make for a well known problem with security scanners which affects all vendors from time to time. The problems caused are far worse when Windows system files are affected rather than only general applications. For that reason the latest snafu is fairly minor in the bigger scheme of things, though obviously a right royal pain for those unlucky enough to get tripped up by the glitch. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.