Popular Antivirus Program Mistakenly IDs Windows as a Threat, Creating Chaos

An antivirus service used by tens of thousands of businesses and millions of home users shut down an untold number of computers around the world after it mistakenly identified core parts of Microsoft Windows as threats, the company confirmed Tuesday.

Webroot Inc. of Broomfield, Colorado, said it issued an updated detection rule that “identified false positives” for critical Windows operating files Monday afternoon, resulting in those files’ being “quarantined” and inaccessible to Windows.

Kristin Miller, a spokeswoman for Webroot, said the program incorrectly classified as “bad” a common folder that is often targeted for malware. She said that the false positives were being rolled back and that Webroot users should leave the program on and connected to the internet to get the fix.

“Webroot was not breached,” she said. “Actual malicious files are being identified and blocked as normal.”

The rule was distributed and applied by Webroot systems around the globe for about 13 minutes, the company said — long enough for businesses, users and administrators to be greeted by a red “blocked” screen and to find their files unavailable. Webroot reported serving about 30 million customers last year.

To make matters worse, Webroot’s own systems became “overloaded” by a mammoth backlog of customers’ requests to restore affected files from its cloud servers, it said.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s