McAfee to compensate businesses for buggy update

McAfee to compensate businesses for buggy update

Summary: Enterprise customers affected by last week's faulty virus definition update will receive restitution, McAfee has pledged

TOPICS: Security

McAfee will provide restitution to businesses hit by a faulty virus definition update that rendered computers unusable, the company has confirmed.

"Enterprise customers will get compensation tailored to each individual customer and will receive a combination including products, services and support," a McAfee spokesman told ZDNet UK on Tuesday.

Businesses will also receive a free one-year subscription to McAfee's automated Healthcheck Platform, a four-hour remote consultation and further security recommendations. 

The original problems arose on Wednesday last week when McAfee issued a definition update with a bug that caused Windows XP systems to repeatedly reboot or crash.

Tens of thousands of business machines were affected worldwide, including systems at Intel, hospitals and jails in the US. In the UK, the Institute of Cancer Research had to shut down. Initially, the security company said "less than one half of 1 percent" of its enterprise accounts had been affected, but later modified that to a "small percentage" of business customers.

McAfee has already moved to help home and home office users, saying in a statement at the weekend that it will offer free tech support and a recovery CD to get their systems working again. It has also promised that it will "reimburse reasonable expenses" for costs incurred in having an affected computer repaired. In addition, people whose PCs were severely hit can apply to get a two-year McAfee consumer antivirus subscription free of charge.

The security software maker is not making a similar standard offer to enterprise customers as they vary widely in their use of McAfee products and services, unlike consumers, who use a defined range of products, according to the company's spokesman.

McAfee has also fixed the buggy antivirus update and has apologised for problems it caused. The company has pledged to improve its quality assurance testing and to update the way its software deals with Windows system files.

Topic: Security

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  • mcafee you have stuffed my machine. i am unable to gain access to the internet. have tried removing your software but unable to. spent all day speaking to india my isp supplier. who confirmed no problem with connections. have been given an 0906 7320028 to phone please supply a free phone number before i lose my rag. and sue you.
  • It happened to me in my company. I'm the IT administrator and 20 system died instantly after applying the McAfee update. I lost 100 hours of sales production. Bad day. But eventually i found a fix next day. Here it is:

    Option 1: Manual Recovery - Try this first

    - Download the extra.dat file from McAfee's site and place on a USB stick
    - As an administrator on the affected machine copy the Extra.dat file to the Engine folder
    On most machines this will be “c:\program files\common files\mcafee\engine”
    - Reboot your PC
    - Log back on as an administrator user
    - Using the command line, copy svchost.exe from the DLLCache to Sys32.
    Again, on most machines, this will mean:
    copy c:\windows\system32\dllcache\svchost.exe" to c:\windows\system32
    - Reboot your PC

    Now your system will operate as normal. If you have further queries mail me here:
  • Good move on McAfee's part. Every time you hear of viruses, you hear about the high overhead of resources to prevent them. We've recently experienced small bursts of outbreaks from Adobe Reader vulnerabilities in Windows only (not Linux). We've had to put in hours and hours to re-image PCs, because the viruses rendered PCs unbootable.