Wednesday, April 21, 2010
"PCs across the country rebooted continuously Wednesday, in a mass outbreak reminiscent of the widespread computer viruses from a decade ago. The cause this time wasn’t a virus, however, but a glitch on the part of a company that’s supposed to stop such malicious programs.
"Security company McAfee Wednesday morning issued a software update intended to give the computers that it’s contracted to protect a new list of malicious files to block and delete. Somehow a file that is part of Microsoft’s Windows operating system made it on to the list. And when McAfee’s software deleted this file, all hell broke loose.
"People all over the country reported that their computers stopped working. Among the victimized organization were a hospital in Rhode Island, police in Kentucky and the National Science Foundation, according to the AP.
"Jamal Mazhar, who runs LodgeXcode Inc., a consulting firm for hotels, says his computer and others in his office have been rebooting since morning. His tech staff downloaded a fix, but hasn’t yet been able to get the computers working again. `We’re down hard,` he says.
"McAfee said in a statement that the company was `not aware of significant impact on consumers.` In terms of numbers, it said the incident impacted less than `one half of one percent` of its consumer base and enterprise accounts globally."
More at The Wall Street Journal...
EDITORIAL COMMENT: I can't help but wonder if the McAfee employess who are going to get fired for this will turn to cybercrime.