Feeds

Bonkers MS security update flags Google.com as malign

Don't be evil silly

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A dodgy update to Microsoft's anti-virus software on Tuesday meant users of the software were wrongly warned that Google's homepage was infected with the infamous Blackhole Exploit Kit.

Users of Microsoft's Forefront corporate security products (here) and freebie Security Essentials scanner software (here) were both affected by the snafu. Following the false positive update, surfers who visited Google.com were falsely warned* that it had been contaminated with a "severe" threat – specifically Exploit:JS/Blacole.BW.

Taken at face value, the warning implied that users visiting the site were being hit with scripts that attempted to use browser exploits and the like to push malware onto vulnerable PCs. Microsoft's Technet support forums soon filled up with notes and queries over the alarming warning, which turned out to be entirely bogus. Microsoft published updated definition files that avoided the false positive within four hours of the first report of the glitch.

False alarms involving anti-virus software affect all vendors from time to time. Such problems, as is the case with Microsoft's misfiring Valentine's Day update, normally only cause minor inconvenience and confusion. False positives only really become a serious problem when system files are incorrectly classified as malign, leaving users with unstable – and in some cases unbootable – Windows boxes. ®

Bootnote

*IE users were hit by the false positive as soon as they visited Google.com. Firefox fans were only warned when they initiated a search, according to posts on Microsoft's Technet support forum. There have been no reports of alerts for Windows users using either Google Chrome or Opera.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
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 and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?