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Kaspersky update cripples thousands of PCs

Posted at 06 February 2013 20:43 CEST by Wombler

Russian based Anti-virus provider Kaspersky has apologised to users following a faulty anti-virus update that has left thousands of machines unable to connect to online services.

It would seem that Kaspersky users running Windows XP have primarily been affected leaving their machines in a state where an automatic fix can’t be applied.
The Kaspersky forums are awash with comments with one large user in particular here complaining after 12,000 of their machines were affected.

Kaspersky has released the following statement and advises affected users to carry out the procedure detailed therein.

“We apologize for the inconvenience. It does appear that there was a hiccup with an Update pushed out causing Windows XP machines to lose internet connectivity. An update was just released that should address the issue, what I will need you to do is:

To get XP users internet connectivity (temporarily), please disable the Web AV component of your protection policy for your managed computers. After doing so;

In Security Center (or Admin Kit):

1.) Go to the Repositories section >> (Right click) Updates >> All Tasks >> Clear updates repository.
2.) Go to the Repositories section >> (Right click) Updates >> Download Updates

After taking this step, please run your group Update task for Managed Computers. After the update has been pushed to your workstations, please re-enable your Web AV component in your protection policy. This should resolve the issue.”

Rather worryingly though it requires users to disable anti-virus security before going online unprotected to download an update.

Faulty anti-virus updates have of course been released before with the consequences varying from minor annoyances, to prolonged downtime, and everything in between.

The BBC also discusses this story here.

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There are 17 comments

ChristineBCW
MyCE Die Hard
Posted on: 06 Feb 13 22:19
    This might be one of the all-too-obvious research projects, funded by kajillions of dollars, that proves by destroying the OS, elliminating access to hardware and applications, we can eliminate Virus Threats by the millions.

    "Your computer is now safe!"
    alan1476
    Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
    Posted on: 06 Feb 13 23:08
      Good thing I use Eset.
      TSJnachos117
      MyCE Senior Member
      Posted on: 07 Feb 13 01:26
        "What does security software do?" -person A
        "It prevents hackers from crippling your system" -person B
        "How was yours crippled?" -person A
        "It was crippled by my security software". -person B
        debro
        Blown to smitherines
        Posted on: 07 Feb 13 11:35
          Today, my boss received an invoice from UPS ... which we have never dealt with, since we are in .au

          Attached was a html "invoice", which asked you to click a link, which opened a non threatening (apparently) ups website, that then asked you to download your invoice ... which was called "invoice #random number#.jpg.exe" and view it.

          Now this file was also non malicious. I used a site to scan it using all available antivirus, and 20/21 considered it non-malicious, and the one antivirus I've never heard of considered it malware.

          I'm not entirely sure that antivirus are any real protection any more. The only protection is common sense.

          On the last year, I've had to rescue multiple pcs (avast and avg) which were rendered unbootable, and even when in safe mode were unrecoverable.

          I'm not sure what causes more trouble now.
          marloyd
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 07 Feb 13 12:02
            I liked Kaspersky until I picked up a virus and I tried to contact someone at kaspersky and they finally sent me a email on what to do two weeks later.I'd figured out what to do by myself in one day and I got a different virus scan program so it wouldn't happen again they wouldn't refund any of the money I paid in since I had just paid for a year .And than they charge my card for another year automatic when that year was up, thats after I told them I quit them.
            ChristineBCW
            MyCE Die Hard
            Posted on: 07 Feb 13 13:25
              I've heard bad episodes from every commercial AV maker.

              My complaint since Microsoft delivered Defender then Security Essentials is that, when virus-warnings might pop up, Microsoft doesn't display their precise product's name in the Active Window Title Textbar.

              If MS Security Essentials detects a threat, the dialog box's Active Title doesn't read "Microsoft Security Essentials" but some other vague Microsoft AV name.

              Just like hijacker dialog boxes do - "Windows Anti-Virus" looks AS authentic as Microsoft's own Active-Window title spellings, yet that was an early Hijacker Website's attack method.

              How could most users detect Real vs. Fake when their real Microsoft products refuse to use their real and specific names?!! Answer: users CANNOT.

              And one of the worst aspects is that a careful user may seldom see a virus alert, so after months or a year or more with "Microsoft Defender/Security Essentials" protecting them, they see a vague "Windows Anti-Virus Alert" titled dialog box and what's the first reaction?!! "SAVE ME!! PROTECT ME!!"

              And kablooey - the virus has been invited in and uses that User's Rights to disable any and everything else.

              And Microsoft merrily says, "That calibre of User has the rights to injure or destroy the Windows installation."

              If MS would use Precise & Exact Active Window Spellings and THEN install an interrogator-code that says, "If these words are used by any other Dialog's Title, check the IP address against Microsoft's authorized ones..." then most hijackers would be a far lessened threat.

              But since Microsoft programmers apparently can't spell or won't use precise and exact names, then the consumers are left at the mercy of any willy-nilly hijack threat.

              Common Sense is our best defense but Microsoft helps to undermine even THAT solution.
              DrageMester
              Retired Moderator
              Posted on: 07 Feb 13 14:21
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by ChristineBCW
                My complaint since Microsoft delivered Defender then Security Essentials is that, when virus-warnings might pop up, Microsoft doesn't display their precise product's name in the Active Window Title Textbar.

                If MS Security Essentials detects a threat, the dialog box's Active Title doesn't read "Microsoft Security Essentials" but some other vague Microsoft AV name.
                Are you sure this is still the case?

                I just tested with a zipped EICAR test file, and my Microsoft Security Essentials popped out with an info-window with the title "Microsoft Security Essentials".
                cholla
                MyCE Resident
                Posted on: 07 Feb 13 16:46
                  The only kaspersky I used was the online scan & that's been some time ago.
                  I used AVG for a long time but decided Avast is better (for me ).
                  I also use MBAM & SpywareBlaster.
                  I also ocassionally use a portable of another AV in safe mode & another AV I keep inactive & use in safe mode.

                  I've received the same type of e-mail debro's boss did.
                  It has came disquised several ways:
                  UPS,First class mail,USPS, & sometimes a name.
                  I think a few others I forget .
                  I don't actually "open" them.
                  I go in from the "backdoor" by right clicking , selecting "Properties", then"Details" , &"Message Source".
                  From there I can read the text & determine where it was actaully sent from.
                  Usually a very suspicious e-mail address. One I doubt would receive an e-mail if I sent one.
                  So far I haven't got a virus this way . I usually get one or two of these a week.
                  The e-mail address never seems to be the same so filtering or blocking isn't an option. I beleive the way I'm checking them is safe & I wanted to post it for others to use .
                  And tell them to beware of this type e-mail.
                  Seán
                  Senior Administrator & Reviewer
                  Posted on: 07 Feb 13 17:50
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by debro
                    Now this file was also non malicious. I used a site to scan it using all available antivirus, and 20/21 considered it non-malicious, and the one antivirus I've never heard of considered it malware.
                    This is quite similar with the fake courier notices I get at work. I usually download the linked "Invoice" or "Notice" to scan on VirusTotal for curiosity. I think I only once seen AVG (paid version) on my workplace PC report an infection and on one occasion I've seen no virus checker report it infected. In many cases, only ~5 out of the lot report it infected, usually Malwarebytes and a few less common name AVs. Rarely do I see Symantec, McAfee or any of the free virus checkers report it infected.
                    DukeNukem
                    MyCE Resident Commenter
                    Posted on: 07 Feb 13 17:58
                      Kaspersky sucks. Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO for me.
                      ChristineBCW
                      MyCE Die Hard
                      Posted on: 07 Feb 13 18:34
                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by DrageMester
                        Are you sure...? I just tested...
                        No, I haven't seen any viruses for many months now but I know I'd complained for a year over MSDN, and when I saw Win8 was abandoning SE and going 'back' to Defender (or actually creating a GOOD product - hip hip hooray), I didn't worry about it.

                        Thanks for that update but, no, I am NOT interested in testing!!

                        Like a lot of folks, MalWareBytes is the Big Stick and I've got machines running a variety of the freebie vendors' stuff.

                        I am pretty unhappy that more vendors don't supply a bootable ISO (downloadable, update-able) for their paying customers.

                        Kasp probably needed this 'come-uppance' issue - they've had a fairly great reputation for a long time.

                        I don't mind the occasional failure. If they were 'perfect', I'd probably be far more suspicious. But how they react to failure - that's how I ultimately judge vendors.
                        hogger129
                        MyCE Member
                        Posted on: 07 Feb 13 20:44
                          I haven't had any issues with Kaspersky on either of my two computers it's on.
                          Steve33
                          MyCE Member
                          Posted on: 07 Feb 13 21:28
                            Good browsing/ careful downloads habits trump any anti-virus program.
                            AV progs create a false sense of security.

                            There are ways to setup a browser....that will keep malware from entering a computer...but downloads from questionable sources are always a problem.
                            TSJnachos117
                            MyCE Senior Member
                            Posted on: 08 Feb 13 01:55
                              I've been using Comodo for some time. However their new Comodo Internet Security 2013/6.0 seems to give me many problems, so I found the old 5.12 version on filehippo.com, and reverted back. I believe 2013/6 has been updated since then, though, but I hate feeling like a beta testor, and don't want to deal with the problems it give me right now.

                              Also the new GUI seems to have been inspired by Microsoft's bad GUI designs of late, but that's a different story...
                              Wombler
                              Administrator & Reviewer
                              Posted on: 10 Feb 13 12:57
                                Quote:
                                Originally Posted by DukeNukem
                                Kaspersky sucks. Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO for me.
                                Microsoft Essentials has received some very bad test results recently.

                                PC Pro recently carried out their group tests again and MS Essentials ranked last, letting through 41% of the test threats.

                                That's way too high by anyone's standards.


                                Wombler
                                Dartman
                                MyCE Resident
                                Posted on: 10 Feb 13 19:50
                                  I've run Kaspersky when I can get a good deal on it and it always worked very well for me and is constantly updated. I guess maybe luckily my version expired so I'm back to MSE for free which also has work well enough too.
                                  I think I'll again get Kapersky next time a stupid price deal comes up as they usually are one of the top rated security suites and I never had a issue but anything can have a glitch now and then. I don't use XP anymore and will probably stick with 7 as long as I did with XP because it works well for me so why change.
                                  debro
                                  Blown to smitherines
                                  Posted on: 14 Feb 13 20:39
                                    Quote:
                                    Originally Posted by cholla
                                    I've received the same type of e-mail debro's boss did.
                                    It has came disquised several ways:
                                    UPS,First class mail,USPS, & sometimes a name.
                                    I think a few others I forget .
                                    I don't actually "open" them.
                                    I go in from the "backdoor" by right clicking , selecting "Properties", then"Details" , &"Message Source".
                                    From there I can read the text & determine where it was actaully sent from.
                                    Usually a very suspicious e-mail address. One I doubt would receive an e-mail if I sent one.
                                    So far I haven't got a virus this way . I usually get one or two of these a week.
                                    The e-mail address never seems to be the same so filtering or blocking isn't an option. I beleive the way I'm checking them is safe & I wanted to post it for others to use .
                                    And tell them to beware of this type e-mail.
                                    I probably should clarify that outlook flagged it as spam, and opened it in plain text mode. I also have external content blocked, just in case known users spam me with malware.

                                    These Days, it's probably best to test all mail in plain text, or block all external content, until you know who it is from, and whether whatever they have sent you makes sense.

                                    I've never actually received email notification from any postal service with "invoice attached". Typically incoming international postal services will call, and it takes several attempts for them to get information to you.

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