McAfee Antivirus Snafu Crashes Windows XP Machines

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print

A poor signature file update falsely identifies a valid Windows process as malicious for PCs running McAfee AntiVirus on Windows XP machines. The fix causes PCs to go into a continuous reboot cycle that locks out users.

McAfee channel account managers and resellers are racing to get the word out on how to fix the antivirus snafu that arose this afternoon causing Windows XP machines to suddenly reboot.

The problem arose earlier today when McAfee pushed a new DAT file to update its antivirus signatures. DAT release 5958 incorrectly tags valid Windows XP SP3 system file "C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe" as containing malicious code. When it attempts to clean the file, it puts the PC into a continuous reboot cycle that effectively results in a denial of service.

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Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.