An update has caused major problems for all McAfee security suits, making internet access impossible for users.
The assurance protocols that McAfee claimed they were putting into place have obviously failed. Now an affiliate of Intel, the security solutions editor last week released a defective update.
Following this, two data files were installed depending on the product (DAT 6807 and DAT 6808). This affected all McAfee product suites, affecting both home and professional users, with the VirusScan antivirus being most affected.
Under Windows (XP, Vista and Windows 7), some users were confronted with two problem types. A loss of network connectivity, with it therefore being impossible to connect to the Internet, and/or errors in McAfee SecurityCenter.
For the second problem, the consequence was that it was impossible to perform operations in the console, therefore making it unusable. In some cases, the mcagent.exe file which verifies the presence of updated virus signature files failed.
The defective update was released on Friday the 17th of August. On Sunday, McAfee confirmed there were issues and started to release a new DAT 6809 file.
Among the proposed solutions was McAfee recommending users who had lost their network connection to uninstall and reinstall their security product.
McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.8.x users had to wait until Monday to receive a "superDAT hotfix" which doesn’t require the product to be reinstalled on affected machines.
For McAfee VirusScan Enterprise, the defective update caused some problems with OAS (On-Access Scanner) which controls all files that can access the system with this also being what the malware signatures are based. This has led to some administrators wondering if the outage could have led to malicious programs propagating.
This isn’t the first time that McAfee has been confronted by defective DAT file problems. They also encountered issues in 2010 when an update to the enterprise client locked up Windows XP machines. McAfee apologised to users and offered free support and subscriptions to users.
Other security companies have also had problems in the past after releasing defective security updates that caused damage to user’s machines.