Microsoft says Gmail is a virus

Microsoft says Gmail is a virus

Summary: It seems that Microsoft has started flagging Gmail as a virus in their virus scanning software Windows Live OneCare.  Many people are reporting that every time they open Gmail, a warning is displayed telling the user they are infected with "BAT/BWG.

TOPICS: Malware

It seems that Microsoft has started flagging Gmail as a virus in their virus scanning software Windows Live OneCareMany people are reporting that every time they open Gmail, a warning is displayed telling the user they are infected with "BAT/BWG.A".

Now, either Gmail is a virus, or Microsoft is generating false positives.  Some affected by this "virus" say other anti-virus products do not pick up the infection -- to me, this is a bit suspicious.

So who should be responsible for fixing the problem?  Either Google can wait for Microsoft to update their virus definitions (I don't know how often that happens, or if this will be fixed when it does), or they can identify what is being flagged and change it right away to avoid annoyed users.  Another question I have is whether any sort of legal action can be taken if this continues for an extended period of time, and it turns out to be false?

One thing is certain, those who use Windows Live OneCare and Gmail are all worried they have a virus they can't get rid of.  Some might even get frustrated enough to either quit using Gmail or Windows Live OneCare depending on which one they think is to blame.


"I would like to confirm that this was a false positive and let you know that we pushed a fixed signature to Windows Live OneCare users today.

We will investigate how this false positive happened and take steps to minimize the risks of additional incidents." -- Ziv Mador, response coordinator in the Microsoft Antimalware team.

[thanks Murrell]

Topic: Malware

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  • Showdown at the *Not-So-OK Corral ?

    *Dirty tricks...
  • I dont trust you guys

    Lately ZDNet and CNET opinions have been so biased against Microsoft. Especially their evaluation of Firefox and IE7 is completely crappy. I donot trust you any more.
    • Examples/proof? and everything is slightly biased...

      yes, I will be biased in this post, however, I won't be black&white.

      while the articles on ZDNet/CNET tend to be biased against microsoft, they're very minimally biased, given the level of knowledge/experience the authors have.

      And with Firefox versus IE, it's all about individual preferences... I personally use Firefox. I found that IE7 was too radically changed, and as such, only use IE7 when I have no choice... I prefer firefox.

      Microsoft has been behind the game for a while now, and is just catching up in most regards...

      and really, you should be able to filter for the bias, and get any useful data out of the articles on your own.

      I trust that ZDNet WILL be biased. I also trust that they're not going to just spout FUD at every chance. I trust that they'll have good data, buried in their bias... and thus, I can dig it out.

      maybe it's not their bias that's the problem, but your unwillingness to put any cognitive effort into it.
    • Anymore?

      Did you ever? ZDNET and CNET are like any information gathering/disseminating organization - Take what they report with a grain of salt. Every news/info group will always have some biases, based on individual reporter's personal viewpoints. Like they say, "Trust No One!"
    • hey probably switched to Mac

      or Linux
      Graham Fluet
  • One Care

    If it is picking up Gmail as a virus, wonder what else it is flagging, or more importantly, missing.

    Think I'll stick with my current av system...
    • RE: Microsoft says Gmail is a virus

      The most important aspect is to have a <a href="">registry cleaner</a> application installed on your computer. Most viruses and trojans usually hit there because it's the core of any Windows operating system.
  • Makes me dislike Microsoft even more.

    They sound very threatened by them.
  • I wondered about that

    Which is why I don't install their Genuine Advantage nor their "malicious software" tools, either. I suspect they'd see my Linux dual-boot as "malicious" to their bottom line, likewise for other competitor's software, and mess up my computer.
  • Gmail > Microsoft

    Mircosoft is jumping the gun by lashing out at Google mail (Gmail)about a suposivly hazardous file that flags as a virus. The only files Gmail places on your computer is its cookies and cache which all anti-virus programs search. If you do use Microsoft's anti-virus program (why you would beats me)you could remove that error message just by delete your cookies and cache files from your browser and by turning off acceptance to gmail's cookies and blocking gmail's files from your cache via through your browser window.

    I personally use Gmail and I love it, I've had no problems in the past with it and neither has my computer. But if your still paranoid about gmail and microsoft, get rid of microsoft's anti-virus program and get Norton 2006 for $30 + yearly subscription fee.
  • "My Skills with a browser far exceed yours"

    play the <a href="">IE-Firefox game</a>...
  • Good job!

    Great job browsing the web as Administrator, that's sure to not get your machine owned!
  • I see where this is going

    I suppose [I]Windows Live OneCare[/I] will start detecting copies of the [I]GPL[/I] as a virus
    (each version a different variant).
    • TalkBack: Reply to message TalkBack: Reply to message I see where this is going [2]

      Or worse yet, any software "infected."
  • Gmail a virus?

    I am suspicious. Show me.
    • How?

      How can I show you how? Please explain with more detail...
  • VistaDB gets lower search on Live than Google

    Our VistaDB .NET database product competes with Microsoft. Try searching for ".net database" and "database for .net" on, then try it on Big difference.
  • Um so what?

    So everything MS does is to hurt some other business? That is what I read in this artical. When I <b>had</b> Norton AV it reported a file in Teamspeak as a virus - the first thing I thought was "Norton must hate teamspeak" not that norton made a goof....
    • No....

      Not necessarily "Hate", BUT, It doesn't take all that much to discover that there IS a trend with M$ to blackball other companies products and services, particularly when it's an area where M$ has special interest. I personally believe that this IS an example of a goof up in the sigs of their product though. At the same time, with the very high number of Gmail users, I cannot help but wonder just how many Gmail users received that response and snap decided to drop e-mail touting a virus !
  • Just another nail in the M$ coffin they are building for themselves

    I quit M$ Office years ago. I run OO for M$S and LINUX OS. I'm using W2000 as my last M$ OS. The 64 bit machines will do the 64 bit core LINUX OS. Having the M$ offerings post false positives on an ESTABLISHED entity like Gmail looks suspicious to me.
    I think this might hurry my conversion to LINUX based OS systems.
    Old Timer 8080