Feeds

McAfee false alert snares innocent JavaScript files

I didn't do it

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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 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.