Did Microsoft OneCare kill your Outlook?

Did Microsoft OneCare kill your Outlook?

Summary: If you use Microsoft's OneCare Live and Outlook, there is a chance that your stored e-mails have been wiped out.

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If you recently signed up with Microsoft's OneCare Live antivirus service -- and you use Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express -- there is a chance that your stored e-mails have been wiped out.

According to user forums on Microsoft's Web site, a year-old bug -- fixed some time last year -- has re-appeared. Apparently, an unknown number of OneCare customers have discovered that their e-mails and calendar entries in Outlook have vanished.

It seems the problem stems from OneCare scanning the Outlook .pst file, discovering that it contained traces of a virus and then either deleting the entire file or moving it into quarantine.

As the .pst file contains all the users' e-mails, the result could be a disaster.

There seems to be confusion as to how many people have been affected by the problem. Some users of the forum have pointed out that because OneCare is designed for home users, many will simply think that their e-mails have gone because of a mistake they made and start again -- without alerting anyone.

Microsoft has already suffered a number of security embarrassments this year. Last month Windows Defender was actually helping virus writers infect a PC; Microsoft also had to patch a 'critical' vulnerability in OneCare that could have allowed a worm to propagate.

Are you a OneCare Live customer? Have you been affected by this problem? Please let us know by using the talkback below or e-mail us at edit@zdnet.com.au.

Topics: Security, Malware, Microsoft, Windows

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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