Skip to main content

McAfee Apologizes for Win XP Antivirus Meltdown

On Wednesday, security software provider McAfee pushed out an updated DAT file that deleted the svchost.exe file, which then triggers a false-positive in McAfee itself. This affected tens of thousands of business computers.

McAfee quickly released a fix, which can be now found here. Barry McPherson, executive vice president of support and customer service, issued the apology on behalf of McAfee in a new company blog post.

Of course many of you are asking how the faulty DAT made it past our quality assurance checks. The problem arose during the testing process for this DAT file. We recently made a change to our QA environment that resulted in a faulty DAT making its way out of our test environment and onto customer systems.To prevent this from happening again, we are implementing additional QA protocols for any releases that directly impact critical system files. In addition, we plan to add capabilities to our cloud-based Artemis system that will provide an additional level of protection against false positives by leveraging an expansive whitelist of critical system files.Again, on behalf of McAfee, I’m very sorry for how you may have been impacted by the faulty DAT file update and thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we work to remediate the situation.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • babybeluga
    I take apologies better when they're padded with money.
    Reply
  • curnel_D
    I've made about 200 bucks from this already. Not because the computers I fixed were infected, but because the owners of these computers were convinced that all their problems, past and present, were contributed to this.

    Thanks McAfee! :)
    Reply
  • NapoleonDK
    They should buy all those XP users a nice shiny new copy of Windows 7. :)
    Reply
  • rooket
    I apologize to anyone that I installed mcaffee on in the first place since it purely doesn't work. nothing to do with what happened recently. get avira.
    Reply
  • house70
    didn't know anyone still used McAfee...
    Reply
  • sliem
    F-ing bloated McAfee and Norton.
    Reply
  • bob_white
    Sam: Fred, did you press the red button?
    Fred: uh...
    Reply
  • digitalprospecter
    I wonder if the recent change to their QA Environment involved a disgruntled employee?
    Reply
  • misry
    Now they just need to apologize for their software.
    Reply
  • masterofm
    Guess what have we been doing the past two days? We have had several cases at MS related to this issue... a real headache.
    Reply