Cookies at Which? We use cookies to help improve our sites. If you continue, we'll assume that you're happy to accept our cookies. Find out more about cookies

McAfee apologises for faulty security update

McAfee pledges to refund consumers for PC repairs
Protect your computer from viruses

Viruses are programs that can infect your computer

McAfee has apologised for releasing a faulty antivirus update which froze millions of computers around the world.

The PC security firm has also pledged to reimburse consumers for ‘reasonable expenses’ incurred while grappling with the flawed download.

In a posting on the McAfee Security Insights Blog on Friday, Barry McPherson, McAfee executive vice president of support and customer service wrote:

‘As you know, McAfee on Wednesday released a faulty signature update file that caused problems for a number of our customers.

‘I want to apologise on behalf of McAfee and say that we’re extremely sorry for any impact the faulty signature update file may have caused you and your organisation.’

Essential Windows file flagged as virus

Last week, McAfee released a standard signature update file designed to update the McAfee protection software running on PCs. Unfortunately, the update wrongly identified the ‘svchost.dll’ file, which is crucial to the running of Windows, as a virus.

As it result, it attempted to quarantine or delete the file. Consequently, many of those who downloaded the update found that their computers either froze or constantly rebooted.

Genuine viruses can wreak havoc on your computer so don’t be put off protecting your computer from attack using Which? Best Buy security software.

Mr McPherson said McAfee was implementing additional protocols for any releases that directly impact critical system files in order to prevent the situation happening again.

Consumers to be reimbursed for PC repair costs

After receiving a number of complaints, the company has issued a statement on its website which reads: ‘If you have already incurred costs to repair your PC as a result of this issue, we’re committed to reimbursing reasonable expenses. Steps to process your reimbursement request will be posted in the next few days.

‘Because we value our loyal customers, if your PC was rendered inoperable or severely impaired as a result of the faulty file released, you are eligible for a two-year extension of your existing McAfee subscription free of charge.’

How to follow the latest Which? Tech news

Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.

Prefer RSS? Don’t miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed

For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.

Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared – find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up – we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 – find the best laptop deals

Back to top