According to numerous reports, McAfee has released an updated DAT file that mistakenly identifies hundreds of legitimate executables as viruses, including Microsoft Excel. I for one do not criticize McAfee for this. As Guy Kawasaki often says shitake happens. The key take away from this incident is that you should not blindly trust update services. Either from your AV vendor or even Microsoft whose Antispyware Beta recently incorrectly identified Norton as a spy. Enterprises should quarantine updates and test them before deploying them. Individuals have a greater challenge. I advise *not* doing Windows updates automatically. AV is another matter. Most people, including me, would not be able to remember to update on a regular basis if we turned off our auto-update.
(BTW, did you know that Symantec owns patents on “Live Update” that they bought from a small Michigan company called Hilgreave? All of the major AV players pay Symantec royalties when ever they sell an AV product. Nice.)
So, the best one can do is perform regular backups and have all of your purchased software licenses on hand, and the software itself so you can quickly re-install when this happens.
But the news about McAfee that caught my attention was this piece out of Israel. Evidently McAfee is on the prowl for an acquisition in Israel with the intent of having a development office there. I can think of several companies that would be good acquisitions but one in particular, my favorite, I am afraid would be too much for McAfee to handle. And I am *not* thinking of Check Point. I’ll tell you who I am thinking of after McAfee announces. Go ahead and post your speculations to TalkBack. (I know, you have to register. Sorry about that.)