Feeds

F-Secure Mac security scanner bug bins benign files

Whoops! Hope that wasn't a system file

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

F-Secure has apologised about a bug in its consumer-focused Mac security software that left surfers fighting against their own browsers as clean files were wrongly classified as malign.

A faulty definition in the beta version of F-Secure Mac Protection meant that the software had been wrongly identifying some benign files as being contaminated with malware. As a result some clean files were consigned to the trash bin.

The Finnish security firm responded promptly within hours of the discovery of the problem on Monday by withdrawing the mis-firing definition update and publishing a revised list. It also released a tool that restored files back to their original locations.

Users would not have been too badly inconvenienced providing they avoided emptying their trash during the period when the incorrect updates were applied. Discussion on F-Secure's support forum suggested the problem manifested itself as a battle between users' miscuing security software and their browsers that resulted in browser crashes and more multiple alerts as benign script and download elements were binned.

F-Secure has apologised for the problem, which only affected users of its Mac security software. Windows- and Linux-based users of anti-virus packages from F-Secure were unaffected by the problem.

Such false alert problems are all too common to Windows users. Difficulties in these cases hit hardest in cases where security software classifies system files as malign. Stripped of these vital files, systems become unstable.

Vendors try hard to screen against the release of problematic updates but the huge volume of Windows malware spewed out every day makes this process increasingly difficult. Even though similar strains of malware can be pegged with generic detection signatures, updates are still a big part of the mix and a huge ramp-up in Trojan creation inevitably means more frequent updates.

Developers of security software for Macs aren't stuck with this problem, so it's a slight concern that F-Secure's pre-release testing in the case failed to pick up potential problems, even though its handling of the problem once it manifested itself was open and praiseworthy. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.