McAfee to compensate businesses for buggy update

Enterprise customers affected by last week's faulty virus definition update will receive restitution, McAfee has pledged
Written by Martin Gaston, Contributor

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.

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