Feeds

Symantec fires off false alarm on WoW update

Here be dra... oh, ignore me

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Updated World of Warcraft denizens are complaining that an anti-virus update published by Symantec over the weekend falsely labelled a component of the game as potentially malign.

Instead of throwing spells or wielding axes, fans of the role-playing game who choose Symantec for their security protection complain that the firms is listing benign scan.dll.new library as an information stealer. Multiple posts on a WoW forum suggest that the problem is far from isolated.

In a statement, Symantec acknowledged the problem and apologised to affected customers.

On May 15, 2010, Symantec issued Rapid Release and Live Update definitions, which erroneously detected a component of the World of Warcraft game as malicious.

As soon as Symantec discovered the misdetection, we immediately began working to correct the problem and on the same day, released updated definitions replacing those that caused the false positive. The updated definitions and the restoration of the scan.dll.new file will remedy any complications Symantec customers experienced as a result of this application-level false positive.

Symantec takes the security and proper functionality of its products very seriously.

We apologize to any customers who were affected by this misdetection and are standing by as necessary to assist customers with this issue as needed.

False positives involving anti-virus have always been a problem with anti-virus products but the frequency of incidents has increased over recent months, as this well researched list from security website Attrition illustrates. Issues with false alerts and security suites are becoming more common despite improvements in system architecture simply because the increased number of malware threats, estimated at 50,000 a day, are forcing suppliers to publish updates far more frequently.

Where the false positive involves applications files, such as the latest Symantec and Warcraft case, temporary inconvenience results. Things get a lot more serious in cases where system files are flagged as potentially malign, a problem that left substantial numbers of corporate PCs running McAfee unusable last month.

Days later a gang of guerilla marketeers turned up at the Infosec show in London wearing hoodies brandishing the slogan "You were only supposed to blow up the bloody viruses" in an Italian Job-themed dig at the security giant over the incident. ®

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.