Feeds

Avast false alarm hits Steam's weekend gamers

'I am sworn to carry your burdens'

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Freebie anti-virus scanner Avast falsely identified an executable associated with the popular Steam gaming platform as a Trojan on Sunday.

The snafu, which persisted for around 90 minutes, meant that SteamService.exe was wrongly identified as a Trojan (specifically Trojan-gen) and sent to quarantine. Judging by posts on Steam forums, many tech-savvy gamers hit by the problem correctly deduced that a false positive was to blame for the problem, rather than a genuine malware infection.

A spokesperson for the Czech Republic-based firm confirmed this on Monday afternoon, stating "There was a very brief false positive issue which was corrected in 1.5 hours."

The misfiring virus definition file that caused the problem has been withdrawn.

Gamers hit by the problem will have to recover files from quarantine. In some cases this may involve re-installing Steam, if past experience of similar problems is anything to go by.

False positives are a perennial problem in anti-virus scanners which hits all vendors from time to time. Even though testing procedures have been improved, mistakes still occur.

Anti-virus false alarms cause the most inconvenience where systems files are falsely flagged as malicious, thus consigning important files to quarantine and leaving users with unstable PCs that might even fail to boot properly. That's not the case with the Steam false alarm, which is best characterised as an annoying inconvenience rather than anything more severe. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.