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A Long Day at McAfee

313
By on Apr 21, 2010

As I approach my 14th straight hour on the phone with my worldwide support team, and a number of them logging a similar number of hours, I can assure you that we are still working because I and the rest of the McAfee team are taking the issues raised in your comments to my previous blog, in our support forums, on the phone with us and elsewhere very seriously.

In our ongoing efforts to protect our customers from a seemingly endlessly multiplying variety and volume of attacks, today we released a update file that clearly did more harm than good. There was a legitimate threat and we wanted to protect our customers, as we have done successfully thousands and thousands of times before. But in trying to do so, we created negative and unintended consequences for some very important people. Many of you.

Having talked to literally hundreds of my colleagues around the world and emailed thousands to try and find the best way to correct these issues, let me say this has not been my favorite day. Not for me, or for McAfee. Not by a long shot.

Mistakes happen. No excuses. The nearly 7,000 employees of McAfee are focused right now on two things, in this order. First, help our customers who have been affected by this issue get back to business as usual. And second, once that is done, make sure we put the processes in place so this never happens again.

If you are a enterprise/corporate account, and you have an issue these entries in our virus information library and the knowledge base provide workarounds for this issue. If you are a consumer and have an issue, this support page provides information for impacted consumers or call +1 866 622 3911. We have teams of people standing by to help. (To contact McAfee by phone in your region, go to the “Contact Us” page on our Web site and select your country for the correct number.)

I also recommend customers sign up for our Support Notification Service to get real critical product information via e-mail. Go to the SNS Subscription Preference Center to subscribe. For more information, view the SNS KnowledgeBase article and FAQ.

Barry

313 Comments

  • JMR

    Big old smile on my face, running Linux……dropped Windows and all these monkey-bit AV programs long long ago!!!!!!

  • Mcafee has recently been offering HORRIBLE protection. I have had what are CLEARLY viruses that Mcafee is too dumb to detect. If you want me to continue using your products, I need to see huge improvement. Mcafee used to be GREAT, but now, it has decreased TO THE POINT OF IRRELEVANCE. So, now, with all of your mistakes, there are more rough antivirus software being advertised, and other people are being infected with them as well. You have caused many computers to be DESTROYED. Today, my friend got the rough antivirus program “XP Antivirus 2010″ and they were stupid enough to pay them, and now they had to through out their computer and credit card. If it weren’t for Mcafee, this problem woudln’t exist. True to form, cybercrooks are taking advantage of the frustration the debacle caused, knowing that people will be searching for alternatives to McAfee’s antivirus protection. Rogue antivirus or “scareware” makers have started pushing links offering fake antivirus software to top of the search engine results. And people are falling for them, causing even more headaches. Make sure you, your friends, family and co-workers are protected from this type of scam. WOT will let you know the reputation of the link – before you click on it. Do someone a favor and install WOT on their computer this weekend. Affected users who want to know how to fix the problem the faulty update caused, our suggestion is to access McAfee’s website directly.

  • RiCk

    Barry that was a real world ooooooops! Darn, that was almost nasty. Once we became aware of the issue we Simply started each of the 24 potentially affected pc’s into Recovery Console, copied the affected system file from “cache” into the system32 folder and voila` problem solved. Or, was the problem really solved simply by not allowing WinXP SP3 installed on our computers? Thanx Barry, you guys just reinforced my paranoia about Xp SP3. Excellent R&D. Absolutely the most fun I’ve had in weeks. Sorry about all the other problems you are now facing. Hopefully most of your company customers see this as wakeup call to back off a tad on the “automation” of software. After all, we as humans are not infallible, hense what we create can also be less than perfect. What’s that old story? “Made in the image of …”

  • Mike

    We weren’t affected – Mcafee has never been on our short list because of many past versions either being resource hogs or or just plain wonky. Thanks for continuing to prove us correct.

  • Peter Weedon

    My computer crashed with this last Wednesday (21st). I was offline for 3 days while the computer was repaired – at considerable cost. I sat with the technician for some of the time and am in no doubt about the hours involved.

    Thankfully, he restored my data. But today (27th) an automatic update from McAfee bombs me back to virtually factory settings. 6 DAYS AFTER THE INITIAL FAULT.

    This comes after McAfee’s failure to detect a rogue XP Security Tool virus.

    And McAfee’s offer of compensation? A 3 month extension to my subscription……

    Who do you think you are kidding?

  • John Smith

    I think the busiest department in your organization right now is not the ’7000 employees’ but the small group that make up your the legal department which must be guiding you on the public respone you have initiated.
    It’s ironic and also just that you must now trust the legal department to save your company just as many users/corporations trusted McAffee to save their enterprises from the dreaded virus.
    In my view, even if you are able to get through this episode, the long term damage is most likely not recoverable. It’s one thing to make a mistake and then acknowledge that mistake, its quite another to acknowledge the mistake too late to make it meaningful or effective. I think that is the biggest lesson you will learn, albeit most likely too late, but is great stuff for the business schools.

  • Barry,

    Our organization has been a enterprise McAfee customer for 15 years and being a good corporate citizen we were at the latest McAfee code levels and MS XP patch levels. Our organization was hit with the perfect storm, 8.7, XP SP3 8,000 PC’s in a hospital system and McAfee was nowhere to be found. To make matters worse, your claims of less then .05% of customers hit is unfounded, I’d like to see the data that quantifies that. I know of 25K plus machines in the Northeast hit, and those are just the folks I know. Lastly, and most disturbing, not coming clean with the truth and entirety of your mistake is jepordizing the credibility of the same IT folks that have supported your products for years. To say that almost no customers were affected only instills mistrust from senior leadership of IT credibility in those customers who were hit hard. This tact by McAfee is destroying your customer base and will ruin the livelyhood of many hard-working, exetremely credible, IT professionals. Maybe you should start asking your customers for the real numbers affected and publish information that helps us all through this McAfee created crisis.

  • Toast

    McAfee, you have done some awful things in the past. I was appalled that my new computer, which was pre-installed with McAfee, and McAfee products used scareware tactics to get me to buy their product, prompting me “Within 60 days, your trial will expire, and your computer will be open to infection!”. Needless to say, I uninstalled McAfee’s security suite, and installed a much better, free, protection. Glad I didn’t have to see this company which uses discouraged marketing tactics screw up my computer.

    Note to McAfee users:
    UNINSTALL McAFEE.
    Install BETTER, FREEWARE virus protection.

  • Wes

    Here I sit, some 5 days after having this first stop my PC in it’s tracks. I Was promised last Fri to be called today at 7-nada, then 10-nada, then 12:45-nada. Unbelievable!!

  • Patrick

    Simple to fix, I did uninstall and get a new Antivirus from somewhere else.
    Yes, Mistake heppen but too risky for my biz to go through it again. They should have tested their own system first before they pushed it.

  • Dear Editor
    We run a small company (started by my wife and I when we were made redundant in December) and employ 5 people

    We lost 3 of our pc’s to last week’s McAfee update bug

    We did not know what had happened and the last thing you suspect is the system designed to protect you – bit like an employed bodyguard turning round and shooting you!!
    Anyway we employed a company to sort it out and they had to reinstall the complete system in each machine

    This cost us nearly £300 – we are having to buy the complete office suite and have lost all of our data bases – so potentially thousands.

    All I am asking back from McAfee though is the cost of the repairs.

    They have refused!!!!
    The only support I get is remote
    Here is the conversation

    GoToAssist (09:28:29):
    Thank you for contacting McAfee Consumer Support. How can I help you?

    Customer (09:29:21):
    we were effected by the update virus last week and paid over £300 to have 3 of our machines sorted out – is mcafee going to pay for this – we are a new company?

    Benjamin (09:29:30):
    John, I am more than glad to assist you. Your service request ID for this chat session is 493898306.

    Customer (09:29:52):
    how are you going to assist?
    Customer (09:31:03):
    hello……………………………

    Benjamin (09:32:19):
    As I understand your concern, you would like to know if McAfee will compensate your expense for having your computer repaired, am I correct?

    Customer (09:33:02):
    Yes we did not know what had caused the problem and employed a technician to sort it out

    Benjamin (09:33:20):
    I do understand your frustrations and on behalf of McAfee, please accept my deepest apologies for all the troubles you have gone through.

    Customer (09:33:46):
    and are you going to pay me back ?

    Benjamin (09:34:44):
    I regret to inform you that McAfee is not processing a refund for your repair expenses.

    Customer (09:35:33):
    why not it is like paying for a body guard who then shoots you!
    Customer (09:36:25):
    I will take this up with all the national papers. we are a new company and can\’t afford this please give me david dewalts email

    Benjamin (09:36:57):
    I understand how frustrating this issue is to you. In this case, I want to make sure that you get the best attention possible. Would you want my Supervisor to call you back to further discuss things and to help you resolve your issue immediately?

    Customer (09:37:10):
    yes please

    Benjamin (09:38:37):
    Please be advised that McAfee Customer Service is available from Monday to Friday, 8:00AM to 6:00PM, British Summer Time.
    Benjamin (09:38:48):
    Are you located in United Kingdom?

    Customer (09:38:54):
    yes
    Customer (09:40:27):
    can I have the email address of Mr Dewalt please Benjamin
    Customer (09:40:58):
    Who is the CEO in the UK Please

    Benjamin (09:42:44):
    I apologize we cannot provide that information as policy restricted us to do so.
    Benjamin (09:42:59):
    You may send your concern through our Postal Address below:
    Benjamin (09:43:04):
    McAfee Inc
    227 Bath Road
    Slough
    Berkshire
    SLI 5PP

    Customer (09:43:17):
    You are a public company and he is therefore a public figure

    Benjamin (09:43:48):
    I understand.
    Benjamin (09:43:49):
    Can you provide us your phone number and your most convenient time so that my supervisor will discuss this matter to you?

    Customer (09:44:23):
    023 92483991 as provided in the form i filled in!!!!!!!
    Customer (09:44:33):
    Now is convenient

    Benjamin (09:45:47):
    I understand. Please be assured that my supervisor will call you immediately.

    Customer (09:45:53):
    I am not going to rest until I get our money back

    Needless to say no one has called back!!

    Can you help get them to contact me??

    John Waddington

    Sales and Marketing Director
    Nursery Fresh Ltd
    www.nurseryfresh.com

  • Sonia

    I am terribly angry with Mcafee I still did not get any further help, the only thing I have received is a charge of my account for a never asked renovation of macafee services for one year.
    I will cancel my contract forever the only thing I want know is first clear help, second an apology. And no sirs, this sort of mistakes do not happen if things are done well and controls are established.

  • McAfeeLover

    Mistakes Happens–everyone has done it this time its us.We are with you McAfee.Good work.

  • James

    A blog post said, “Don’t blame Mcafee.” Don’t blame Mcafee? I was down three days and way behind in my work. Up and running but still not working right at day five. And you’re making excuses for Mcafee? Well, Mcafee provides a service they claim the best, yet guess that’s now open to question. I’ve been twice to their support line, waiting over an hour both times, then having difficulty communicating with the techs. They don’t speak English very well. The first call got my computer up and running at day three after 3-hours on the phone — until I shut down for the evening. When I restarted the hard drive acted odd, blank screen, loaded slow, the mcafee splash took over five minutes to show on the screen, now it doesn’t always show at all, can’t perform a DOS superDat scan at the safe mode dos prompt, says illegal operation and screen loads with strange characters; easy network won’t load, the Virtual Tech program won’t load claiming I have to first reboot my computer to install a new update. And my ‘D’ drive acts damaged – recognized at start-up then drops off the board — I have years of files on that drive, backup is old, tried to back it up, but won’t do it. Although back on the net, seems ok there, the computer itself is still much slower to load at startup than before and all the other issues I mentioned. But they are trying to tell me I’m 100% protected so no problem. 100% PROTECTED FROM WHAT? Not the damage they have done to my computer, and not the time it has cost me trying to get it working as before. Do I now have to write the major press networks across this country until someone at Mcafee gets the clue that I’m not happy until they’ve restored my computer back up and running like before?

  • Bryan

    We will now be removing your software from our computers. You have lost our trust. say goodbye to 700 laptops!

  • Mke a.

    My PC continually reboots. When given the choice of safe modes, start normally, etc., no matter the choce selected the machine reboots again. I can find no solution online and have caled McAfee support # and have been on hold 3 different times for more than an 1-1/2 hours each time and not gotten through. McAfee is supplied through my ATT/Yahoo DSL service. No help from them either. Thank goodness for a laptop with Trend Micro.

  • Kyle

    Is this an apology or a defiant excuse? I’m a design engineer at Intel regularly working 70-hour-week, and you are touting 14th hour “long-day” by you and some of your employees in this crisis you created?? There were thousands computers at my campus alone that were paralyzed for half day and beyond. What a “long-day” you created for your customers? Should I thank McAfee for giving me a rare break? No. Because of this mess I had to sleep even fewer hours to make it up, and skipped Wednesday’s lunch to manually fix 6 computers for myself and co-workers. You get paid to defend PCs against virus, not to behave like a virus. Yes, mistakes do happen, but your blog and your corporate response are insults to customers who paid you and entrusted you. That showed what kind of arrogant culture McAfee has. I hope some of your corporate customers will dump you because of this. And I’ll not buy any McAfee product for personal use.

  • Ken K

    Says the McAfee web site: “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.”

    Wow! Two more years of McAfee! My recommendation: Get your security protection software changed ASAP! Too bad. They’ve been good in the past. But this one “Oh Sh*%” will put McAfee out of business or filing for bankruptcy within a year or two.

  • Peterk

    “Why didn’t McAfee send a notice to its subscribers? You have our emails for billing purposes and know which products we use.”

    er-uh if if you don’t have internet access and your computer is toast what the good is a notice from the vendor going to do?

  • David

    This stuff you call a protection “product” ins’t supposed to take down systems, let alone companies. This dribble you are peddeling brought down a fortune 500 companay for hours.

    I trusted McAfee bucause my Hi-Tech employer did. No longer. I am NOT renewing my personal subscription.

  • HEY JT
    and anyone else who thinks that you or I as a customer need to check the quality of an update!
    That is like me getting a car fixed, then before taking the car out of the parking lot, make sure the repairs were done, asking the same mechanic to check it that fixed it.
    I subscribe to an AV solution, giving them my confidence and paying them to make sure this kind of thing does not happen. I don’t care what kind of excuse they would give me, quality control should be a pretty high priority, especially crashing a whole row of computers, that is pretty unacceptable. I support more than 200 users, vastly using XP SP3. I don’t have the time or manpower, do it all myself, to check every piece of software, every update, everything that runs through my network. WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO CHECK EVERY LITTLE DETAIL? that is what i am paying the company to do, the ones that are putting out the AV updates! If my current AV solution started going this route, i would hose them and find something different. THINK TOYOTA!!

    I think admitting to the mistake and also giving people a refund would greatly help the IMAGE of McAfee. People don’t want to hear how hard or long McAfee technicians are working, nor speak to their incompetent technicians. They want to hear: “We are very sorry this happened, we would like to help you get back to work, or pleasure, we will refund you for expenses incurred and make sure it WILL NOT and CANNOT and WON’T EVER EVER EVER HAPPEN AGAIN.”

    I have used various AVs and they all have their flaws, symantecs heavy system resource usage, AVG network edition not detecting viruses that have been out since 2006, having to renew a Avira subscription every six months, etc etc. This one is definitely the one that has taken first prize in failures. Imagine you are the reason for the failure of hospitals, banks, businesses, government agencies, websites, airlines, trains, you name it, its been shutdown. This is not a virus, but, like someone said, an ANTIVIRUS COMPANY.
    Can’t even eat at my favorite restaurant because their credit card machine is linked to the cash register, which uses McAfees AV.

  • Is this representative of the layoffs and budget cuts McAfee has been making over the previous few months?

  • Hermann Wilhelmer

    I am from Austria with 3 machines running Vista Business, one with Vista Ultimate and one with XP. The machines running Vista Business ran into deep troubles after having installed McAfee updates two days ago with IE8 breaking down completely. Though I checked McAfee homepage in German and English I got no clue on what was going on. By chance I read an article on McAfee´s big problems worldwide in an Austrian daily paper today and was able to fix my Vista Notebooks an hour ago. Mind: It cost me two days to find out!! So McAfee: Please dont give me empty PR talk´! I simply hate it!

  • Reis308

    Just how in the HELL are we to aply a fix to a computer that endlessly Re-BOOTS? DUH? Fortunately I had a NORTON Save and Restore Copy of my C and E drives and restored EVERYTHING B4 your Update. I’m switching to the Norton/Symanted product and Dumping yours.

  • DeepPurple

    After two days, there is still no clear communication about this huge problem on McAfee website. And why don t you write to all your customers to apologize and to give them the solution (which is rather easy to implement) ? I was ready to reinstall my computer from scratch, losing all my data, when I have fortunately seen information about the McAfee problem on a computer magazine site. To make a mistake is always possible, but not communicating with your customers about it is unforgivable.

  • Chris

    Boy, now I’m glad Comcast quit supporting McAfee and switched me to Norton last week!

  • Canuk

    having to take down our entire company to avoid a “virus” was bad. having to wait until the following day for a fix was worse. Our 2 engineers figured out the problem in 3 hours and made their own fix, which works better than the mcafee (and arrived 12 hours earlier).

    I take issue with a number of items. The first is this idea that a small percentage were affected. On ALL WinXP SP3 machines, this destroyed them. 100%. We avoided by shutting down for hours!

    The second is that due diligence and testing were done, and this slipped by. How much is Microsoft paying you to try and force users to purchase Windows7? I hope it will recover the costs of all your XP customers defecting, because apparently you dont have a *single* XP machine fully patched to current release from microsoft!!! A single one! Thats comforting…

    So – you might as well fire your whole testing and qa team – they arent helping. Maybe outsource it to a software company. I hear microsoft can do it, just not on windows XP.

  • http://www.response-it.co.uk/blog/news/mcafee-update-problem-deletion-of-svchost-exe-no-windows-xp-taskbar

    You can see our fix here , what I would like know is about reimbursement for our customers who have had to engineers to each of their sites? I would least expect a refund of their existing product so they can move to something more reliable!

  • John R.

    I’m from Italy, I had only 1 critical computer in my office hit by this “issue”, but it took nearly all day to realize what was happening, and only because a news post flashed for a few minutes in google news: probably you already guessed that it was the only pc running McAfee and that it was promptly uninstalled afterwards. I agree with the folks saying that it was not a mistake, but a major negligence letting this update out. I won’t surely suggest it to anyone seeking my advice.
    Thanks McAfee for wasting my time (and money).

  • Enkidu

    Linux. Really.

  • Jon

    Yes, mistakes happen but the company’s response has been miserable. I contacted the technical support group, was transferred to another who gave me a toll-free number to call which turned out to be disconnected. Another call reuslted in a half hour call with someone who had no idea what to do (how many times do I tell you I can’t boot my machine!)and he said he would send me a link to connect with an on-line technician. 24 hours later. No link.

  • Jennifer Ross

    I think it is very disappointing that McAfee made no effort to communicate with its clients about the problem. Additionally, the website still has not posted anything prominently about the issue. Having a small link about a false positive is not as clear as saying “Attention XP Users: DAT file may be disrupting your operating system.”

    Why didn’t McAfee send a notice to its subscribers? You have our emails for billing purposes and know which products we use. Since I didn’t learn about the true cause of the issue until CNET (not McAfee) announced this Thursday afternoon, I wasted most of Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning attempting my own fixes based on symptoms. Then I needed to spend Thursday afternoon and this morning, fixing the computer again because my “fixes” created new issues.

    Had McAfee sent an email with the link to the fix, I could have spent less than 30 minutes, instead of approximately 10 hours trying to fix one of our older workstations.

    How will McAfee be easing the pain of its customers?

  • Charlie

    Wheew, I sure am glad I stopped using McAfee years ago. I am REALLY sorry that my federal agency stil uses this product. I oversee support for over 5,000 desktops for a major HHS OpDiv and I have never seen an entire agency grind to a halt like what happened Wednesday and Thursday. We had to touch over 5,000 machines in 24 hours while untold amounts of US Taxpayers dollars just got flushed down the toilet.

    Way to go McAfee. As for me, I’ll stick to AVG.

  • Marcelo

    Barry, thanks for your words. They sounded belivable and I think it was nice from you (or from your secretary ;-)) to publish it.

    However, the thing that made a lot of folks so angry was the fact that a simple test before releasing the update would probably catch the problem and avoid all this.

    The question now is: will people feel safe to install an update that they are not 100% sure it has passed a basic test?

  • Rick Doxtater

    How the hell can u let this happen, I’m PC illiterate and have NO IDEA how to fix this mess. Whata bunch of idiots u people are.

  • Jorge

    Barry,
    1) Can you explain why some customers have been warned by a phane call from McAfee NOT TO DEPLOY faulty DAT and others were not warned ?
    2) Instead of percentage of customers affected, do you have an estimate of number of computers worldwide that have been affected ? If yes, which is it ? That reflects more the scope of the disaster
    3) Have you considered that it could be an internal “sabotage” as it appears totally incredible it could be a mistake. That mistake can’t just exist. Negligence, sabotage yes, but not a mistake.
    Jorge

  • Bruce Frith

    I am very mad that my computer wouldnt work. I couldnt look up more stuff for my x-box 360 i will never use McApee for as long as i live. Thanks for your screw up

  • grngrl

    14 hours, huh? I spent 14 hours the first day of this disaster trying to get my users up and running. The fix itself was easy… it was the going from machine to machine to machine that chewed up way too much time.

    Things happen, true. But an apology from the CEO would be nice.

  • Sales Organization

    That is what happens when it is sell at all costs. You used to actually care but with many executive changes, you now eat your young like some of the places from whence you came. I bet you are fudging your numbers now as well.

  • Ryan

    Wow, talk about terrible PR. I’m glad I don’t run McAfee. For all of you out there affected, I will suggest the following: If you have access to a Windows optical media (CD/DVD), you can run a “repair install” on your machine.

    1. Insert your Windows bootable media
    2. Select the option to boot from CD (usually on Dell systems this is F12, your mileage may vary)
    3. Boot to the CD, and allow it to load drivers
    4. Do *not* hit the repair option initially, that is for the recovery console and not what you want. Act like this is a new installation (it won’t be)
    5. Accept the EULA, and have the installer scan for existing installations
    5. Assuming it finds one (should be C:\Windows) there is an option to format or do perform a repair installation. Hit R.
    6. From there, it will delete portions of the Windows folder (but maintain your program settings), and reinstall them with the restored version.
    7. After that, simply proceed as if it were a normal Windows installation.

    Assuming that this works (I don’t know that it will, but having run into similar issues in the past, it has), after your repair install is complete, either boot right into Windows and download the McAfee fix, or do yourselves a collective favor, boot into Safe Mode, and uninstall the program. They are apparently unwilling to provide you proper support outside of “sucks to be you, hope that helps,” so with any luck my aforementioned steps will help you get back on track ASAP.

    Shame on you McAfee.

  • Peter McKeil

    We had to basically close our doors to business. It took a dedicated group of 12 IT staff and 2 very long days to overcome the damage.

    I survived the MCAFEE VIRUS!!!

  • JRM

    Heck of a pissing contest we got going here. Wonder how this will effect your Gartner Magic Quadrant rating. At the enterprise level Mcafee, Symantec, Trend Micro & Sophos have scored high for years… maybe that will no longer be the case for 2011.

  • Delij

    I am not going to blame anyone and I promise this is not a sarcastic comment. It seems that this mistake has mainly affected XP users. XP is over 9 years old. Why are people still using XP? It is unreliably ancient and has been on crutches for a seriously long time. I understand that cost plays a factor and some cannot afford upgrading, but if everyone (especially businesses) keep holding onto XP (which has ALOT I repeat ALOT of Security issues to begin with) then technology can no longer move forward (bloated software, backwards compatibility). XP is no longer viable and can BARELY handle the new technological developments. I am not a McAfee employee and I am not a die hard fan. They screwed up and their trying to fix it. I am just an engineer.

  • Wow, a 14-hour workday! That’s slightly more than halfway around-the-clock! Really burning the daylight oil!

  • Adam

    Really the smartest thing you could do if effected by McAfee is to get a refund for your product and buy Kaspersky

  • As a company you should always test your updates first. You also should always have a policy in place for employees who surf the web. By drilling down the access to the web you can prevent some malware and spyware to access your. What is your policy in regards to employees whom install software on the computer provided by the employer! P2P, instant messaging, skype, facebook, linked in and other stuff which you do not need to do your job. Be reasonable and start with a policy which states all the do’s and don’ts and let it sign off by your employees.

    I understand that McAfee has made an extremely stupid mistake, but as an IT manager or Security Officer you should also look at yourself and learn from this. Never rely on a 3rd party and test everything before you update your systems. We are all humans and humans make mistakes!

  • IT Girl

    You took out 5,000 of our computers, so where exactly did you pull this number from? Thank God we had our own fix WAY before you guys did. Way to go!!!! Nobody really cares if you had to work 14 hours, we had hundreds of employees working that long to fix your mistake.

  • IT in Canada

    In any regard, DAT verification is a now a MUST do process that IT centers require. McAfee needs to provide guidance and tools to do an effective and complete job. (Can they really do that ? We need to craft our own.)

  • Kim

    JT wrote:

    “All this negativity. Even if this slipped past McAfee shouldn’t everybody be testing their DAT files in their own lab environment? I test every one of mine in a VM lab environment to make sure nothing bad can come out of issuing a new DAT globally.”

    That doesn’t really help with zero-day exploits that hit on a Friday night/Saturday morning when no one is there to take care of it, does it?

    Kudos to you, it must be nice to have the time, staff and resources to have someone available 24/7 to take care of this. I wish we could. Oh yeah, that’s what we’re paying McAfee support supposedly for!

  • Delij

    I am not going to blame anyone and I promise this is not a sarcastic remark. It seems that this mistake has mainly affected XP users. XP is over 9 years old. Why are people still using XP? It’s unreliably ancient and has been on crutches for a seriously long time. Believe me when I say that I understand that cost plays a factor and some can’t afford XP, but if everyone keeps holding onto XP (which has ALOT of Security flaws to begin with) then technology can no longer move forward and helps bloat software as it has to be made backwards compatible for a system that is no longer viable and can BARELY handle the new more secure technological developments. I am not a McAfee employee and I am not a die hard fan. They screwed up and their trying to fix it. I’m just a curious engineer. This isn’t a “XP are reaping the whirlwind” speech either. I just believe that XP users should be informed how XP is adding a lot to the cost hardware and software advancements. This includes adding to the cost that engineers, app and web developers have to charge in order to temporarily fix the inevitable. It seems to me that XP is the loveable but long suffering family pet that should be put to sleep. That should be allowed a little dignity, yet no one wants to address the pink elephant in the room. Just an opinion. I could be wrong, but everyone knows XP although robust and trustworthy at one time can no longer be sustainable. Too many workarounds too many patches and definitely on its last leg.

  • Jane

    Four hours and $200 later I’m back up. I’m not feeling secure using McAfee. I may have to explore other options.

  • As a technical product manager, I can understand your fatigue … but my experience has always been to approach the client with the idea that they don’t want to hear about my problems, they just want me to solve theirs.

    That said, I also appreciate your transparency and willingness to discuss this openly. That also goes a long way, so kudos there.

    Still, I’m reading that all this came about due to changes in testing?

    I can see how that might happen if test procedures are changed, but again, I’ve always thought that wholesale changes in a testing process that has proven past success are better augmented and modified than replaced when dated.

    Or at least run both testing approaches side-by-side for a couple of releases until is clear the new processes work just as well, if not better than previous methods.

    Also, was there 1st an incremental roll out? That is to a subset of your customer base – perhaps to clients aware that they’re helping you on the bleeding edge – before a full-scale deployment?

    I’m sure you guys did all that — still figured this is as good an opportunity to mention it.

  • Ian

    In Responce to JT and this is not meant to sound as a flame or criticism of you but I am a home user and have no access to a lab to test the DATs its just not an option. I’m also disabled and reliant on my computer for communication purposes. I’m currently writing this on loaner laptop running Norton. I no longer feel any security or trust running McAfee on my Desktop PC which I fixed not via anything on McAfee’s site but by finding the fix at www.computeractive.co.uk I have ordered a copy of Norton for my Desktop, which I will not use again until that has arrived. Because this has ruined my trust

  • Shawn C

    Im sorry – you worked 14 hours – boo hoo.

    You sound like an arrogant incompetent fool with that as an opening statement. I routinely work 60 hours a week. And yes, thats building software and we QA our non-mass market products.

  • Kevin

    Mistakes happen. I understand. Although this most recent incident is awful, it’s important to recognize that McAfee wastes its customers’ time in many other ways as well.

    Simple things like renewing and reinstalling McAfee software sometimes requires hours of customers’ time and multiple calls to McAfee’s difficult-to-reach customer support team.

    What’s my point? This most recent incident is just additional proof that McAfee doesn’t respect its customers.

  • Christine

    @ John: Barry is the Head of Global Support at McAfee. In my honest opinion it’s exactly the right person to address this first.
    According to the Web, the CEO already provided some official information in relation to the 5958 DAT issue.

    @all:
    I think that McAfee did a good job making this issue visible and is constantly working on that.

    There are a lot of hits when you google for McAfee 5958, nevertheless I’d recommend you to only refer to the official communication from McAfee.
    There are KB-Articles available with the current status and FAQ’s.

    And bare with them, I know that McAfee is still working to provide an official response why this happened and what has been changed to prevent this from happen again.

  • TechGuy

    Yep, I will be 100% switching from Mcafee once the current contract expires.

  • Erik G.

    I could never get anyone to answer when I called. I waited on the line for 4-5 hours through out the day. Never got to talk to anyone. Maybe you should of worked longer hours. I am not very happy at all. My computer still does not work.

  • Jay

    I am an XP Home user who had the problem. My wife was sure I had done something to screw up her computer! Problem 1 was the bug. Problem 2 was that I, too, discovered the cause only by accident. You required my email address when I registered – a notification to that address would have been nice. I was actually at the point of saving data to a thumb drive using DOS commands from the command prompt-level and preparing to do a windows reinstall.

    Most importantly, the fix worked for my computer and I was quickly back up and running (after I learned it was your fault). I’m sure you will do a thorough lessons-learned analysis and put in place precautions to minimize the chance of this happening again.

  • Marco

    Why nobody called us advising about the problem?

    I had to stumble in a ZDnet Article to find out that one of my 90 pc was victim of McAfee.

  • McAfee also wrongly attacks the ocnextv3.ocx file.

  • Andrew Hines

    As a current corporate customer we have been using your product for several years. We were due to renew our subscription in July this year. This won’t be happenning and we will switch to an alternative. AV software occupies a trusted position in the network architecture and affects all machines. When you cause this level of disruption by an obvious lack of quality control we can no longer afford you that level of trust.

  • Dan

    McAfee support would be smart to examine Windows Support articles more and realize to fully test their anti-virus updates on all versions of Windows before releasing the update to everyone.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314056

  • Stephcra

    I actually worked at McAfee’s Beaverton, OR office about five years ago, as one of their principal software test engineers. I can tell you, without a doubt, that people would be appalled if they knew the actual caliber of testers they had in their employ.
    Unfortunately, like most software companies, they treat testing as an afterthought and so pay very low wages. Not surprisingly, most of the test team was made up of recent college graduates and people who had never really tested before (FYI, I was there because I had just moved from Redmond, WA after spending five years at Microsoft to Portland).
    In fact, it’s not really the testers who should be held accountable here, but McAfee’s management team. When I was there the head of the test department had regular conversations with me about women he wanted to date and how, for example, he only wanted to date Asian women because they were “more docile”.
    He also, after hiring someone straight from college (big surprise, she was a young Asian female), took her to the Mac Store and gave her the money to buy him an iPod with her still-valid student discount. Trust me, this is a tiny fraction of the stories I could tell of crap like this.
    I currently work for a very large software company which was hit with this problem. Because I am familiar with the Enterprise version of Virusscan I was able to help many co-workers get around it.
    Suffice it to say, however, that despite this suit saying that only a small amount of companies were affected, the company I work at lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in man-hours lost.

  • Jan

    Unbelievable, i work for more than 15 years in the IT business but i never ever saw something like this before.
    My god we were so lucky having 2500 workstations at clients all over the country , that only a small percentage was affected by this because of our update policy and the time-zone.

    To fix this remotely by phone is almost impossible , takes almost an hour to explain customers what todo, my goodness what a hell!

    And then this comments from mcafee:
    it’s ONLY a small percentage (0,5%) that is infected?? ASHAME !!! and how on earth can you give a statement like that? what an arrogance! It\’s like a murder to the victim in court says: Ohh i only killed 0,5% of your family…

    I have no words for it, and were going to find a new AV product when our licenses expire u bet!

    Let’s see if mcafee statements are still the same when all customers leave you.

  • Amrish Shah

    Even without this goof up this ia product and company to stay away from. Got a free copy a couple of months ago with another product and installed it on windows 7. Machine was hosed. Uninstalled it and tried installing it again and it would not allow me to use my license code. Then sent email to support have not heard back. Took package sent it home yo the garbage department

  • John

    When is the CEO of McAfee going to apologize instead of having one of his people do it?

  • David

    You still don’t get it. You shut down entire businesses, hospitals, and customers lost orders because of your “mistake”. The reason you’ve permanently lost my respect (and business) is because you fail to realize this wasn’t a mistake. It was negligence. Mistakes are accidental. You should have a business process that prevents these types of events from ever happening. The only thing worse than your quality control appears to be your public response to the problem you created.

  • inspin

    Wow, day two, no access on my netbook and no viable solution. I’ve tried several and managed to recoup most of my cmd line skills to no avail. On hold with tech support for 43 minutes and counting. Downloading an alternative for my desktop, blessedly spared (i don\t know why but am so thankful). I’ll be looking to cancel as soon as I get this problem solved.

  • Dale P

    Barry – can I ask if your company uses your own product, how it was affected (or unaffected) by this really bad mistake and what response was taken to resolve?

    I have to think that mcafee “eats it’s own dog food”. If so, You could have had up to 7000 end users affected by this globally, let alone thousands of computers in data centers world wide – for your internal Corp applications, r&d labs, etc.

    Was mcafee support desktops impacted?

    I’m really just interested what “best practices” mcafee is using in your corpIT team to have avoided or bounce back so fast from this mistake. Are you using Symantec or Trend Micro (sorry, had to slip that in there).

    Regards,
    Dale

  • Nancy

    I just want to know how to fix the problem. I can’t use my internet. I have been on the tech support line for two hours, no one answers as I listen to your music.

    I don’t understand, why I’m not seeing the answer to fix my internet problems on your home page. Please post on your website.

  • IT in Omaha

    Like most of the other posters here, I am royally po’d. We have 8000 Windows nodes in 38 locations. The first thing we did when realized we had a problem was order them ALL shut down. Still, Mcafee took out 1000 of them. We were already looking at competitors due to poor OSX support, this just sealed the deal. Thanks to Bart and Windows PE we had a pretty easy fix in place within a couple of hours, but our staff still worked late into the night. We were done by the time the “super” dat was made available. Why did it take until 2 a.m. to get the superdat out there anyway?

  • Edgar

    As others have noted it is extremely telling that the CEO, David DeWalt, has not issued a statement about this matter on the McAfee web site. This is possibly the worst day in the history of McAfee and the CEO is no where to be seen!!! What great leadership!

    Does the CEO of McAfee think he is the Pope and doesn’t have to answer for this mistake? Does he have “his people” do it instead?

    It speaks volumes about the corporate culture of McAfee that its leader will not step up and take responsibility!!!

  • Mr Mcpherson,
    I hope that you get this before you step off the chair and swing to your fate. Anything, And I mean Anything manmade at some point in time with have flaws and fault. While I understand that there might have been a quality control problem in your evaluation of this update, I am sure that you are more than on top if this situation as CEO. I think that there will be some changes in the protocol for the release of updates forthcoming. And I think that you will have to do something to appease the above naysayers. But I for one will not cast stones. Mcafee has found countless viruses in my computer on numerous occasions. So this is a mistake, Learn from it, and don’t look back! I hate that all the good people that work hard there for a living have to worry about credibility in the aftermath. But fortunately, time has a way of healing all wounds. Even corporate ones. I can only imagine how many antacids and pain relievers, not to mention caffeine, has been consumed over the past several days. Mcafee will recover, and people will still buy the software. On a final note, any of you IT people that have not caused a network failure can keep posting all this negative diatribe here. The rest of you hypocrits need to shut your mouths and get back to work!!!!…………Enough Said!!

  • John

    “And second, once that is done, make sure we put the processes in place so this never happens again.”

    The issue is that these processes should have been in place from the very beginning. I think there is something more significantly wrong with the organization than a few processes can fix. The real issue here is that McAfee utterly failed in job #1 – do no harm! I don’t think a few processes is going to solve that. It will be a very long time before I touch another McAfee product again!

  • shawn

    You almost knocked out qwest. I have xp sp3. I was not affected. I know better than to give a software that much control. I keep control. I have now uninstalled your product and have moved on to another one.

    I don’t need to fight against my protection. By the way there is no apology in this post. You just complained at how bad it made your day to deal with this. No apology.

    Like I have told people for years use it at your own risk as you are on your own and if something goes wrong just bend over and ask to please use grease when you are shoving it to them.

  • Losing my iPhone 4G in a bar was a “mistake”. But I agree with the multitudes of people posting feedback. Sending out an update that was pure poison was no mistake. It is simply pure negligence from McAfee with obviously poor testing procedures in place.

    Also when you mention you are working a 14 hour day after disabling 10s of thousands of your customers’ computers around the world I really wouldn’t expect anything less. People work much harder for less.

    My advice to everyone, buy a Mac.

  • Ryan

    Thanks a lot McCaffee. I had to go out and buy a new computer to do required work because the software I paid you for fucked my computer over… by the way, it has never detected a virus on my old machine either. Just made it not work.

  • Eric

    Boy you guys suck. You can not find a solution to this problem on your home page. Deal with your customers. They are why you exist. Or maybe not.

  • YetAnotherITGuy

    First off – thanks for the overtime… Sleep is overrated.
    I don’t know where the 0.5% number came from but you can add another thousand to that count.
    At this point, the only way you can help me is to send your competent technicians to my shop and help my seriously under-manned department – first fix your McVirus and then remove your software.
    The last time I had this much trouble (5 months ago) was removing a 3 yr old virus from our systems…that every AV company in the world detected …except yours.

    …by the way – I can’t speak for anyone else but for the life of me, I can’t stand to hear how the (multiple) 6-figured “boss man” is sweating out a problem. I’m sure your sincerity will end when you go home for the weekend and toss around the idea of jumping on a plane and heading to Barbados for a few days…thinking that you deserve it after “all your work” you’ve put in over the last few days.

  • JT

    All this negativity. Even if this slipped past McAfee shouldn’t everybody be testing their DAT files in their own lab environment? I test every one of mine in a VM lab environment to make sure nothing bad can come out of issuing a new DAT globally. ePO does have a evaluation branch to check DAT files into and when you feel comfortable with them you move them to the current branch in the master repository.
    I think everybody needs to give the negativity a rest and go about their business.

  • Mcsnert

    Sure glad I don’t use McAfee. You guys may have just sealed your doom with this incredibly aggregious oversite. You may want to speak with those folks at Toyota. They may have some good advice for ya! My only advise to my customers, “avoid McAfee products like a virus”. Too bad I’m a MXLogic customer. Can I trust your credibility there or should I speak to Postini?

    Good luck, fools. I’ve made mistakes too, but this one is a doozie!

    Is that Taps I hear in the background?

  • Keith

    How’dy all,

    Corporate users with SCCM can boot a win pe and deploy the update with that method. A quick way to dump it to multiple machines. The svchost can be copied back from the \\System32\\dllcache to the \\System32 folder.

    Not sure where they get their figures from, it hit 700 of our 4000 fleet. Good one McAfees, would suggest you have lost the South Australian Government contract which is coming up for renewal.

  • richard

    thanks to barry, now other anti virus vendor can have a chance to share the bite on your pie lol…

  • random techie

    Honestly this was a huge failure by McAfee’s testing/QA center. This .dat file truly should never had been released to the public. When I received the first email from McAfee about this I was frankly shocked.

    I am also baffled that large corporations have been largely effected by this. Haven’t you learned by now to test things before moving them production? Why is AV any different? ePO makes this pretty darn easy. No exucses. The only computers messed up by this where I work were a couple of my evaluation computers in the IT department (which were then easily fixed). No one where I work even knows about this issue because I took the proper precautions.

    I do feel bad for consumers who probably don’t know proper update procedure and may not have a lot of computer knowledge. It’s unfortunate that they have to pay for McAfee’s mistakes.

    Personally if it were up to me I probably wouldn’t use McAfee, but all-in-all ePO 4.5 is a solid system.

  • Bob

    I can’t believe you are whining about 14 hours after screwing up thousands of computer. I’m done with your company.

  • mibella

    This affected my computer last week 04/16/10 and McAfee CS rep made me feel like I was an incompetent, Computer illiterate, not knower. I don’t have a big organization it was just my home computer. Solution: PAY ANOTHER $85.00 AND WE WILL CLEAR YOUR VIRUS. Not even 1 year I subscribed and this happens. Now I know who the incompetent is. I want my money back!

  • Kon HS

    No apology from your boss or CEO? I don’t really think it is only affecting 0.5% of your customers. Even if it is really 0.5%, the impact is huge, we have about 4000++ machines affected in one of the largest banks that I am working in.

    Good Luck to Mcafee and hope you don’t repeat the same mistake again.

  • toughen up people – that’s why you use a real OS like OSx

  • MGG

    This affected my computer last week 04/16/10 and McAfee CS rep made me feel like I was an incompetent, illiterate, computer not knower. I don’t have a big organization it was just my home computer. Solution: PAY ANOTHER $85.00 AND WE WILL CLEAR YOUR VIRUS. Not even 1 year I subscribed and this happens. Now I know who the incompetent is. I want my money back!

  • argh – I just do not believe that “only 0.5% of your user base was affected, i.e., those that use XP.” MANY people have XP either because it’s on their older computers OR because they’re still waiting on Windows 7.

    In my case I’ve sent the entire day trying to recover (not successfully YET) my desktop which has lost ALL internet connectivity and ALL ability to copy and paste between or among drives unless I’m in CMD mode.

    I’ve tried all your fixes posted to date but more importantly I’ve lost a) a full day of productivity on one computer, and b) trust in “automatic updates from McAfee.com”.

    Even more I just KNOW my Millenial generation son will smirk at me for trusting a crass commercial virus service…. argh!

    You have pulled “A Toyota” here. I can’t recommend what you do just yet but I think you’re in imminent danger of going bankrupt in the next 12 months unLESS you do something drastic.

  • Former Customer

    Your attitude toward your customers alone is enough to cause anyone, affected or not, to consider ditching your product. No where in your posts do you own up to your responsibility in causing untold hours of work and frustration by everyone involved in fixing the massive problems you have caused by your shoddy production and QA practices.

  • Kevin

    How do I go about getting a refund for our organization for this year\’s subscription costs? We have added up the cost of fixing this problem and the downtime it caused for the employees affected, and it has surpassed the cost of our subscription for this year. Please advise how we go about getting our refund.

    Thank you

  • Dear “Barry”, or whoever in PR is using your name and picture,
    I just searched your homepage for the word “sorry”. All I find is references to a 2004 virus with that name. I have not anywhere found an apology from you, just countless statements explaining how hard you work. You expect sympathy where you should ask for forgiveness. Wrong approach, “Barry”. Please admit that mistakes have been made beyond spreading out a bad file- mistakes in communication and taking responsibility. A sincere apology, a true commitment to improve in the future is what we are looking for. Not a story how hard McAfee people work. Remember, we pay you to do just that.

  • Deez Nutz

    Been telling everyone for years that McAfee sucks. Thanks for proving me right AGAIN!

  • jeff

    My computer is ruined. I want my subscription fee back. I cannot believe that there is no serious feedback from management. My company is 11,000 users and I will do my best to have them change virus protection…
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I paid for protection because I thought that I shouldn’t rely on free virus protection!!! Maybe I’m wrong…
    I want my money back
    I want my money back
    I want my money back!!!!!!!

  • sharon

    I’ve spent 2 full days and am still stuck. Am trying to copy the svchost from my d:\ into the proper location in c:\ using safe mode because copy paste does not work. I need a safe mode class for dummies asap

  • Jeff Heller

    What is the FIX???? computers are locked up… no drag and drop features, No .exe working How What is the fix??

  • BEST VIRIS EVER

    WOW 14 hours you must be having such a hard day.

    Maybe you should be a bit more focused on your customers, (you know the ones that put the money in your pocket so you can eat) instead of complaining about how hard things are for you. Thanks for the BSOD oh and your 14 hours of work.

  • Sharon

    I ran scan removed all viruses; computer worked fine and now it\’s crashing again. No task bar; no 32.exe file. I can’t acess the internet or my e-mail. What to do now?

  • Patrick

    A word from the UK where there has been little if any publicity – whereas I gather this hit the main news in the USA. I am staggered that your Website does not highlight the issue in SIMPLE ENGLISH. All this talk of false positives is not helpful to tired home users like me trying to fix a PC that suddenly seems to be missing half its operating system. Not good. You should do better.

  • Mike Kuhns

    I realize that this upset a lot of people. However if you want to fix the damage, follow McAfee\\\’s procedure at http://service.mcafee.com/FAQDocument.aspx?id=TS100969&cid=77152 and it likely will work – it did for me.

    Now using McAfee in the future is another matter…

  • CM

    This ‘mistake’ took out the most of the global field force of our company and most office workers too. This was a huge impact that affected our sevice level agreement with our customers including YOU McAfee. So perhaps your error had a much further reaching effect other than ‘impacted a small percentage of our enterprise accounts globally and a fraction of our consumer base–home users’

    Personally I have not been a fan of your product so thankfully my home PC was not affected.

    I lost a day of productful work and scrambled today as a result.

  • What a nighmare for us this has been.

    Mcafee is the old school of virus protection. Good in its day, not any more.

    My advice Microsoft Security Essentials.

    I have tried every product recently. Nothing comes close to Microsoft Security Essentials. Its free.

    2nd best product AVG free.

    Worst product Mcafee.

    At my enterprise we recently we had undected usb stick viruses spreading causing massive destruction. Mcafee let is straigh throught the net. Microsoft Security Essentials picked it up staight away. We had to contact Mcafee to get an update emergency additional dat file. I am having to use Microsoft Security Essentials just to be sure.

    Microsoft need to release a more business like version of security essentials for then enterprise customers. We dont mind paying for something that works. At the moment it looks a like something for the home user but the below the hood its kick ass.

    Every techie around the world knows that svchost.exe is a generic host process how could you get this so wrong.

    We are organising a collection at work for to send a copy of computing for dummies to the Mcafee dummies who let out this update.

    My enterpise has 15,000 clients. We make a globally known brand. We came yesterday to within a heartbeat of shutdown of our manufacturing operations. This would have a catastrophy for our product during the glocal economic downturn.

    Mcafee FAIL.

  • ach

    McAfee, I purchased your product both at home and at my small non-profit because of its cost effectiveness. Now that I have to pay multiple technicians to fix my work computer (if it can even BE fixed!), I should have just paid for a program from your competitors! As it stands right now, I have lost three years worth of work, thanks for that, McAfee. I know that I am a very small consumer and my business does not really matter, but please know that I will NEVER again purchase one of your products and will tell everyone I know to do the same. Unfortunately, your egregious error just destroyed your credibility in the eyes of the world, and by extension, your business is now probably destroyed as well.

  • Nick IT

    What a BLUNDER! Negligent and incompetent testing prior to release.

    I work for a very large University Science Center with thousands of computers. Thanks to McAfee’s screw up I and fellow IT works have worked very long hours without compensation to correct this problem.

    That is why I run Kaspersky Antivirus on all of my person computers. Kaspersky in my professional opinion does much better catching virus and malware then McAfee’s suite.

  • Robin Long

    I have svchost.exe on another computer w/ SP3. However, the files are different dates and sizes. Is it safe to use a copy of this file?

  • Ben

    with EULA, this means that
    - if Mcafee do not test their update, end user pay for that
    - If McAfee send you bugs, end user pay for that
    - If McAfee cause your computer to crash, end user pay for that
    - If McAfee is doing the wrong way, end user pay for that

    you see the picture ?

    that’s what we call a sales oriented company
    come on guys, be a customer oriented company, your sales will not suffer from this….. and you will keep your customers because they will see that you’r putting all effort for satisfaction.

    let’s give free licence renewall !

    PS: GFI mail security had a similar bug few years ago, and they give new software version for free to ALL affected customers.
    this is a customer oriented company, and i’m still using their software because i feel like a VIP when doing business with GFI.

    that’s it.

  • Bob

    I do not agree with the very low numbers of affected users published. Every PC running XPSP3 that had checked in with our ePO servers went down. Every single one. I talked to a number of my friends in IT and they said the same thing: as soon as this DAT touched XPSP3 the machine was down. That’s thousands of PCs in maybe a half dozen shops. Just because a technician doesn’t want to call your help lines and wait for hours doesn’t mean they were not affected. I went to the net to fix this issue rather than waste time with the support line.

    What a spectacular failure of QC. Normally I don’t wish for this kind of thing but I seriously hope jobs are lost over this seat of your pants operation..

  • ThanksMcShitty

    Thanks McAfee, all my clients and coworkers have now stopped using your software. AVG has just beat you guys in sales.

  • Barbara Gray

    I have lost a full day of working trying to deal with this. At the very, very least I should get a couple of years of free McAfee coverage. But that really won’t compensate me for what I’ve been through, and I still haven’t been able to fix the problem. I just ordered a new computer and it won’t come for 10 days.

  • Westermann

    Your complacent handling of this crisis which is of major consequence for your victims is utterly disgraceful.

  • Our IT Guys

    One of our customers (40+ users) told me that I had to fix the problem because I recommended McAfee.
    That was 6hours of lost revenue!!! You, Mcafee arn’t going to compensate me and the customer wont pay me. Further, we have lost face with many of our customers!
    You poor man “14 hours on the phone”, big *#$%ing deal!
    On top of that your company has dropped SnapGear appliances. This is the last straw, we are moving ALL our customers to Trend Micro.

  • Lolazo

    LOL @all of you who use Winsucks and this crappy anitivirus…consider migrating to a professional SO like Linux…

  • Sandy in Chapel Hill, NC

    As a small business owner who does internet work with a number of clients, I understand that mistakes can and do happen. However, in business, we all need to be accountable and responsible for our mistakes and absorb the cost of recovery, especially -as in this case–it could have been prevented with even a small amount of testing prior to release.

    I also rely on my computer and my internet connection for my livelihood. No computer, now work. Your little fiasco cost my company a day of lost work and over $120 at the local computer repair shop — well over $1000 in revenues and expense. I’d like to know how you’ll make good on that. By the way, don’t think about offering the lifetime subscription — I believe I’ll pass on that for now.

    Please let me know where to send my receipts for reimbursement.

  • KDPhoenix

    I am sitting here at work in a sleepy daze after being up half the night trying to figure out what the heck happened to my Laptop running Windows 7 Pro… This is not only an XP problem!!! Where is my support? Poor guy…up 14 hours. You should be working 48 or 72 in my opinion and fly out to Phoenix and personally fix my machine!!

  • Senor Armando

    File this under Reality Check …
    Ive been in the IT business for 20+ years. During some sub-set of those years, anti-virus efforts because serious. Since then, I have used either professionally or personally, every so-called Enterprise anti-virus product out there – the big three and some others as well. During that time, I have had a major catastrophe caused by a false-positive at least once from EACH anti-virus product. Sooner or later, it seems to happen to each of them.
    McAfee was never my favorite product – and not one I use today, either professionally or personally, but honestly I have seen this type of thing with its competitors over the years too – including the company whos product IS my favorite – which I wont mention here by name, since they arent paying me to advertise for them.
    This certainly does not excuse McAfee from its obvious quality control issue. However, lets not all panic and assume that jumping to somebody elses product is really going to prevent this from EVER happening again. That probably really isnt going to make any difference.
    Ironically, in the aftermath of this event, McAfee may wind-up with the BEST quality control in the industry – for a little-while anyway.

  • Just went through the SuperDat.exe process – but I still couldn\\\’t replace the deleted .DAT file through the normal update process.

    Very glad my newest PC has Norton and not a McAfee product. I\\\’m sure the public will be fair in their response – remember Arthur Andersen – I will vote with my next virus software purchase.

  • This is so funny.. it is sad.. I feel really sorry for all the users that updated..lol.. to quarantine svchost ..this is not only negligent..but scary.. one test would have shown it a bad dat file..lol

    people.. I dumpped McAfee and norton in 2002 went to AVAST.. its free and is the best .. no virus in 8 years.. If it were my company.. I would have half the fron page of the site saying we are so sorry.. and free updates.. for years.. this is so funny.. where is the guys that tests the update dat files..???.. simple ..they dont test you are the testers..lol..
    Hope you all learned somthing.. jeez.. lol..

  • Jack Van Fossen

    This is a shallow apology. Designed to save face–recall a similar thing happening with Toyota? Only after they were caught with their pants down to their ankles did they show any contrition–and after several people died or were in accidents with accelerating gas pedals or failing brakes.

    Now, nobody died becasue of the McAfee 5958 DAT distribution–but lost revenue, productivity did occur.

    I do not use McAfee at home and never will.

  • Ryan

    There are tools available, such as Altiris, that can automate the remediation process. It certainly makes life a bit easier.

  • Kevin in Dallas

    I am lucky to still have a job today. As every IT Tech knows, the brass and the customers do not care if this was McAfee’s fault. I am ultimately responsible for everything IT. Fortunately, we have a great IT staff here that was able to minimize downtime. 14 hours? Seriously? I am not impressed. This is unforgivable, especially when we do not even hear about it from you, but from other blogs. Good bye McAfee.

  • Ryan

    I find it funny that everyone is still blaming Mcafee. Here are some facts

    1. You don’t know anything about testing software/releases unless you have done it before.

    2. You are using McAfee, fatal mistake right there, NOD32/MSE all the way.

    3. You are using Windows XP, GTFO updated, your too many years old!

  • Horrified RN

    Have any kids in college, Barry? Would you mind if one of them came to the college’s health services in severe pain and the nurses and doctors had no way for blood work to be reported or medical history to be verified? Would that make you care that “only” one-half of one percent of customers were affected?

    On the grand scale of things (i.e., this entire disgustingly mishandled fiasco of yours), perhaps a college health center doesn’t seem too vital. But our hearts ached for all the kids stressed by finals, who had little/no computer access on the entire campus, AND who had to experience magnified problems when seeking health care.

    Now let’s move on to hospitals and emergency departments and patient care units and operating rooms who were slammed into work-arounds because of your company. It just gets worse.

    I really, really, REALLY do not care about your 14-hour day. Your condescending lack of appreciation for the turmoil caused by your company is utterly unbelievable. What planet are you from????

  • Terry

    I pity your 14 hours on the phone. Somehow that does not negate the 6 hours that I spent trying to resurrect a dead PC and then the expense of taking it to a PC technician to PAY for what is McAfee’s failure to do simple real time, live, quality control testing before unleashing this on the world. How do you intend to repay me for my tech repair bill? You post a fix on your website … and the PCs affected can’t even get online to see that fix. This was an atrocious act of negligence. It was not a mistake.

  • Kevin in Dallas

    I am lucky to still have a job today. As every IT Tech knows, the brass and the customers don’t care if this was McAfee’s fault. I am ultimately responsible for everything IT. Fortunately, we have a great IT staff here that was able to minimize downtime. 14 hours? Seriously? I am not impressed. This is unforgivable, especially when we don’t even hear about it from you, but from other blogs. Good bye McAfee.

  • Kirk Campbell

    I hope the entire McAfee Corp goes broke!!!

  • Eric

    @CP actually I think there can be a class action lawsuit even though you accepted the license agreement.
    In the event you can prove that there was a breach in the contract, then the contract no longer applies.
    Gross negligence and misconduct would prove a material breach of contract. Of course it is really hard to prove this without having inside information.

  • Darleen

    oh, poor Barry. Nice “apology”. What a horrible business.

    My crisis was averted thanks to McAffee’s poor software! We purchased 20 seats of McAffee for our business about 9 months ago and it was such a system resource hog that we just finally UNINSTALLED the last instance of it last week. WHEW! What a piece of garbage this software was. I’ve really hated McAfee now for months – for making me look like an idiot for recommending their software to my company. From the moment we installed it, employees had not stopped complaining about how crippingly slow their system became. We finally gave up disabling singular features one by one, dealing with “You’re not protected!” constant messages, and nonstop updates, and just wiped it from all systems.

    Turns out to be the best move ever. I’m still mad we wasted our money on it in the first place, but I’m glad they’re getting bad press and glad we didn’t suffer from this disaster. I feel really bad for companies that lost so much time and money fixing this and that all the aggressor has to say is, “We strive to protect your system and just had an unfortunate moment”. You guys suck.

  • Not Mike

    Like Mike DeCeseare says, people make mistakes. But c’mon!!!! This is more than a mistake! This single incident has caused more down time than most malware has ever caused on unprotected computers!!

  • Pierre Montézin

    Got this great stuff yesterday night at 22.20 pm in Zurich took a full day to the IT guys to have my laptop running and still have some issues. I cannot beleive it you want your clients to have an account with a log etc. why not emailing an alert message? It is just crazy I bet more than 30% of your clients got this DAT issue…

  • ItsOK

    It is OK. Mistake happens.
    You will lose just one half of one percent of your customer.

  • Not Impressed

    I’ve been doing software development for 20 years. When testing something, it is impossible to replicate every possible combination or scenario in the world. You do your best, and soemtimes an unusual or rare use case will arise which was not reasonably forseeable, and software will fail. Despite best efforts, sometimes things happen.

    In this case, clearly even the most rudimentary testing could not possibly have happened. If you have XP SP3, you were affected, regardless of what other software you have, or what usage patterns occur on your PC.

    What this looks like to me is someone writing code, and deploying it into production if the compilation process completed successfully, without even trying to run it even once to see what it does.

    I’ve seen 1st year co-op students who are more thorough with testing than that.

    This almost sounds like someone intent on causing damage infiltrated your team, got hired, and used that access to cause damage on purpose. Seriously. The more I learn, the more I wonder if this was not an “accident” at all. Organizations like your which MUST have some processes and checks and balances in place, dont screw that badly by accident.

  • unacceptable!

    I am very very upset with McAfee, I have a small business that has been horribly impacted by McAfee’s inability to properly QA their product. While Barry has had a very long day, we almost lost a client and have had to shell out hundreds of dollars to have our PCs fixed. Much more than 14 hours later we are still not up and running.

    McAfee should compensate customers for the support expenses that they have been forced to incur.

  • OSS

    None of these companies will ever truly care about your well being as a user. They care about the bottom line. This goes for any for-profit company that hides its code away in locked vaults, including McAfee and its competitors.

    Someone mentioned the EULA that you had to accept in order to use this software. It’s hard to read through those without being a lawyer, but the bottom line is that someone is selling you a product for a LOT of money that they’re not guaranteeing while at the same time not opening their source code so others may examine it and fix it if need be.

    By paying these companies to put a product in your hands that they don’t guarantee AND trusting them with the well being of your important data, you’re making a big mistake.

    The solution is simple. STOP PAYING THEM AND COMPANIES LIKE THEM and seek other software solutions that are either legally free of charge or have code that is open to the community or both.

  • Nancy Shultz

    Someone owes me the $59 I had to pay Microsoft to fix my computer, nevermind the loss of business for an entire day. Disgraceful. You’ve lost a customer.

  • Having talked to literally hundreds of my colleagues around the world and emailed thousands to try and find the best way to correct these issues…

    Ummm….

    Your floundering patronizing blog cannot possibly camouflage the simple fact that McAfee needed (after the fact)to learn about simply slapping the pre-release version into a regression line of xP machines and running BASIC – and thorough-QC.

    You let the world QC that piece of garbage and will be harvesting the fruit for years to some.

    Truly unbelievable; you lost us and any hope of our 500 PCs forever.

  • Mike

    As a user of McAfee products for a decade, I am embarrassed at the response to this situation. It’s front page news all over the world, and McAfee doesn’t even put a clear and obvious link to it on their home page, just two sad and meaningless blog posts full of spin. How about letting the front page be taken over by one big link to a step-by-step fix?

    Worst handling of a problem I’ve ever seen. Don’t blame the guys that made the initial mistake – mistakes happen. But blame anyone who decided that burying your heads in the sand would be the right thing to do.

  • Ed Kilgore

    I would personally like to thank Mcafee for all the business they generated for me recently. They have pooched around one third of my customers computers (the third that ran Mcafee) and generated thousands in sales for alternative products.

    “14 hour day”? how long have you been around IT? Thats nothing! The number of round the clock days during a crisis, large rollouts etc.. that the average IT guy experiences in a career and you gripe about 14 hours?

  • Mike P.

    Dear McAfee,

    For years and years my clients had been protected by your products till a couple of years ago your retail distribution network in Spain ceased to sell McAfee software in English and I had to find them other solutions. Now those that remained by purchasing online have been trounced by your faux-pos. One whole office covered in technicians like ants on a dead body and a small hotel closed.

    That said, you fixed the problem and I hope you tighten up the flaws so as to keep offering excellent (er, downgrade that to good) service.

    I sure would not like to own McAfee stock right about now… At least you have made somebody happy in the world today; your competitors!

    P.D. I may have posted this three times because the security ID code is being rejected. Better check that too.

  • Observer

    What a pathetic response Barry. You talk about your long day. What about your customers? I suggest some quick Executive Coaching on showing empathy for your customers. This issue was not about the toll it took on McAfee.

    Go Symantec!

  • Gotty Enders

    I support a number of home users, and I’ve spend 18 hours on the phone trying to talk one individual through fixing what seemed more like a corrupted registry issue.

    When other friends and neighbours started contacting me (once I was off the phone), McAfee stood out as the common factor and, of course, with no network connectivity, none of them would have been known to McAfee.

    This shows a grossly negligent failure to check the release and despite the claims that they can hide behind the end-user license, this is simply not true (at least in most of the world) for negligence of this nature. It would be deemed an unfair contractual clause.

    Whether or not a class-action suit would succeed is a different matter, and I doubt I and my friends/neighbours would get proper compensation.

    As a MINIMUM, McAfee should be offering a three-year free extension to the subscription, which would go some way to compensate users (although a one-year extension might be a compromise).

    It would also go some way to keep users on board, as (at least at the moment) all eight of my McAfee-using friends will no longer touch the product.

  • Cliff Keevan

    This response is complete garbage. Your negligence caused more than an inconvenience, it brought entire companies down to their knees! And just what are you going to do for all those self employed people who do not have a support staff and don’t get paid if they can’t work??? Another self service line of BS? Or another fake apology?

    I like many IT Professionals spent the better part of 2 days (as of now) fixing a problem YOU created. This problem was not caused by the latest virus to hit the net, it CAME FROM YOU! We should be able to trust our AV vendor with out hesitation. You have ruined that trust, not with the issue YOU caused, but the extremely poor handling of the problem YOU created. Try taking responsibility.

  • UNGOOD

    I make a mistake, it costs me money. You make a mistake, and we’re supposed to accept your “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again”???

    Who reviewed the patch? Who’s the QA responsible for this? When are they getting fired?

    I have options – Norton, Karsperky, etc….

    SHOW ME YOU’RE SERIOUS ABOUT CORRECTING YOUR WICKED WAYS…

  • Guys, with the following solution, it took me approximately 10 minutes per computer to get it up and running again:

    http://blog.risharde.com/blogs/mcafee-update-cripples-windows-xp-machines.html#comments

    Got a fairly okay batch script to help with fixing an SP3 machine and this script was released since yesterday to help you guys. Sorry for posting this link so late on an official mcafee website.

    If the script helped you, just holla and tell me it worked please. Thanks (risharde@gmail.com)

    As for Mcafee, its very disappointing and quite shocking for IT professionals that are keen on security and since I check every 4 hours for updates, guess what.. I was the first to get hit. I expect that this never happens again, you’re certain to lose customers from this one, the next time around, you may not have ANY at all.

  • Teaching Moment

    This is a great lesson, folks, and as angry as we are we have learned something today. This could have been a legit virus sneaking through the myriad holes that exist on countless corporate systems. The only thing saving us is that most people who COULD take advantage of it do not, like how vulnerable your neighbors open garage is. Time to examine ourselves in the IT community and think about whether we really have our “stuff” together for when a real V-Bomb hits and have we the resources to deal with it. Get your D.R. plans in order, your boss will be asking for it real soon.

  • Well yeah, our day was hard to with all the company computers down too! We have finally gotten outside (not McAfee) help to solve it and my first decision was to remove all your products from our computers and choose a competitor of yours. We may not be big bucks for you but we sure are not giving you any more of our bucks!

  • Bruce

    I am NOT a corporate user and my system was trashed! It is an XPsp3 system.

    I was especially daunted that the way that I found out about this was by reading yahoo news on my ancient (NON McAfee \\\\\\\’protected\\\\\\\’) desktop system. The McAfee site said nothing.

    This is worse than any virus that I know of.

    I have spent the last day and a half rebuilding my system.

    MORONS!!

  • Ricardo Silva

    Im the IT manager for a company that gives support to about 300 other companys, mostly very small businesses. Im in Portugal so i was in a Session of Microsofts Techdays 2010 when my phone started ringing as crazy. My office had a huge bottleneck of calls because all of my clientes XP Sp3 just died and so those clients couldnt do sales. Computers keeped coming in all day while my call center asked my clients to wait for a resolution. I found the first resolution with microsofts IT Support that were right there at Techdays. They found the site wich had the download. I called my company and told what resolution to take, the first *.exe didnt work so i called mcaffe support, they told another *.exe had come out minutes ago… so the resoluton only worked with the second superdat file. Microsoft is super Happy with this because they have their new Antivirus Solution, and its totally free!!! You guys can start planning your new Prices for your antivirus because im gonna need a huge of patience to listen to a lot of angry customers tomorrow. And its at my face they are gonna start calling bad names!!

  • Franco

    Why is there nothing about this issue on the McAfee home page? Why do we need to dig around to find answers. Your support is a complete joke. Obviously zero testing was done on Windows XP SP3. The entire QA group should be fired.

    This issue has been a complete disaster for McAfee and this guy tries to tell us about their great service. Your McVirus is the final nail in your coffin. All your corporate clients will be dumping your crappy products. Better start looking for a new job. McAfee sucks.

  • Reggie

    Why is there nothing about this issue on the McAfee home page? Why do we need to dig around to find answers. Your support is a complete joke. Obviously zero testing was done on Windows XP SP3. The entire QA group should be fired.

    This issue has been a complete disaster for McAfee and this guy tries to tell us about their great service. Your McVirus is the final nail in your coffin. All your corporate clients will be dumping your crappy products. Better start looking for a new job.

  • Pam

    all i want to know is, HOW DO I FIX MY LAPTOP???

  • qz7cbz

    Your company absolutely deserves to put into bankrupcy for non performance of duties. Get your lawsuits in and drive this virus producing company of business!

  • Mark Fekaris

    McAfee team: The experienced and compassionate side of me understands: mistakes do happen. It’s up to you to demonstrate a diligence that truly everything was in play to avoid such a mistake…except for some set of uncomprehensible circumstances. I wouldn’t say that has been communicated (so I can’t tell if this is a mistake or something worse).

    And honestly: It is NOT all about you Barry! The title of this says: A Long Day At McAfee. I would expect nothing less…in fact a long month is now more in order.

  • Doug in Toronto

    I realize how difficult it must be to develop, maintain and particularly to test software that is in wide release. I also assume that McAfee techies will be holding some kind of post-mortem review to determine exactly what went wrong and how to prevent it in the future. May I suggest that such a session be Web-cast or at least that some documentation of what is said / actioned be published (in your blog?) to demonstrate your commitment to ensuring that such events do not happen again.

  • D. Slinger

    For those who are computer techs and spent the WHOLE day trying to find a fix, find a new job. The fix takes 3 minutes per PC. Safe Mode, copy files via command prompt (svchost, extra.dat), reboot, walk away. Oh, ctrl-r to get to command prompt for PC missing svchost.

    Its that simple. Dont share how stupid you are all over the b-boards!

  • Reggie

    McAfee did zero testing on Windows XP. The entire QA group should be fired. This is a disaster for McAfee and probably the final nail in the coffin. Every corporate customer will be abandoning ship.

  • Gene

    I happened to be one of the few not affected. However, my co worker lost everything on her laptop which is business. Not only that but also a full day of not being able to work. McAfee I am leaving you!!!!

  • Jeff Rogerson

    I am so mad I could spit…. I need my computer for work. Spent four hours without a system, and then two more getting it fixed…. plus $150 bucks in tech time…. how do I get reimbursed for both my lost time at work and out of pocket expenses… Needless to say, the last thing the tech did when he left was remove McAfee from my system (oh and by the way… McAfee owns Norton, so if you decide to remove McAfee, find an alternative to Norton as well!!!)

  • JustanIt Guy

    That response is not helpful. I’m not really interested in how hard your day was. Lots of folks had a rough day yesterday. What we should be hearing is how an update that smashed any PC running XP service pack 3 made it out the door. This was not an issue where you had to stand on your head, hold your nose, say Candyman three times, while spinning to cause the error. If you had XP SP3 and 5958 you got smacked. I see nothing in your response to indicate how such a major screw-up occurred or what will be done to prevent that again.

    The public comments coming from Mcafee are NOT helping you save face here.

  • Conrad

    @Jeff: no, you cant seek any reimbursement, because McAfee, like all software vendors, makes you accept an end user license that states you have NO WARRANTY with the software and MAY NOT SEEK DAMAGES. The only thing you can do (under Section 9 of the McAfee EULA) is get your money back for the software itself.

    So, you already clicked I Accept when you installed the software, signing anyway any pursuit of reimbursement in the process.

  • CP

    @Jeff: no, you can\’t seek any reimbursement, because McAfee, like all software vendors, makes you accept an end user license that states you have NO WARRANTY with the software and MAY NOT SEEK DAMAGES. The only thing you can do (under Section 9 of the McAfee EULA) is get your money back for the software itself.

    So, you already clicked \’I Accept\’ when you installed the software, signing anyway any pursuit of reimbursement in the process.

  • The straw the broke the camels back… So to speak. Im taking my 1000 clients elsewhere. Thanks Mcafee for making me look like a fool for recommending your software for 10 years.

  • Clinton

    I have just had the latest update automatically installed on my personal computer. It appears to have crashed my Security. I can now no longer McAfee Security Centre. I can not log on to my McAfee account, widgets disabled, I can not access McAfee contact details on the Homepage. I am using this blog as a way to let your support team know that you may have a problem.

  • Bulletproof

    Why the heck did I not get a notification from McAfee – I’ve had machines DEAD IN THE WATER for a day and a half before one of my employees stumbled on to a Fx News story.

    Where’s your customer service???????

  • Angelo

    Unfortunately, you’re team and web site failed miserably at pulling the update and putting a new one up (you could of even put up the old one with a new number) in a timely manner. It took hours for you guys to pull the update and deal with this issue when it was very real at 11 am EST for many of us! Notifications came hours later -TOO late!

    You need to suck it up, implement better quality control, and offer some sort of incentive for current customers to remain customers after all the hours of manual work required to fix YOUR issue.

  • security geek

    If I had any choice over using your software, I would have stopped using it the last time you wrecked my computer with a false positive. This is not the first.

    However, I have no choice. You took my boss out for a junket so my employer pays you lots of money for awful software.

    Still, thanks for the “support”; fixes on your website (which were certainly not on the front page at the time, you don’t want to give the public any clues as to the quality of your software) did not actually work so I spent all day up to my neck in the registry.

    It’s deeply reassuring that “less than one half of one percent of our enterprise accounts” were affected. After all, barely any corporates use XP SP3! A majority of end-user machines on my current contract, and the contract before that, and the contract before that… maybe what you really mean is that 99.5% of enterprise customers have learned the quality of your software and consequently wait a day or two before distributing each DAT to end-users, just in case any third party source (like Google News) flags up problems first.

    I’m angry because you wasted a day’s work for me and my colleagues. I’m angry because your “support” achieved nothing. I’m angry because your apologies are meaningless because this will happen again as it has happened before. Most of all, I’m I’m angry because there’s nothing I can do because as a geek I must merely work around the flaws in products from whichever vendor spent most time sucking up to our purchasing manager.

    Maybe a decision-maker will read this. Maybe not.

  • Alice J.

    I am very frustrated to say the least, my lap top is unable to access the internet. I have called in twice and was advised to call back in another 3 hours. The computer I am responding on has Nortons so on it I could access the internet. If I could figure out how to remove the McAfee update I would. It\’s not just that McAfee has messed itself up … it\’s that I pay for subscriptions to research sites that I use on a daily basis. So now I can\’t use them. The computer I am using now I don\’t always have access to. Not everone has an alternate computer and for so many things the only means of access is the internet. I would have appreciated a heads up before hand … a pre-apology.

  • Brian M.

    No way that affected only 0.5% of your customers. How did you come up with that figure?

  • John Smith

    Is it just me or does this new blog post just piss you off even more than the first one. Bragging about working 14 hours to fix your own mistake. We’re so proud of you, keep up the good work /sarcasm.

    Next time you guys screw up this big please don’t let the PR department rush out and try to calm down your customers by bragging about how good your company used to be. Something this big warrants a large apology on the home page and information about fixing the issue. We should not have to dig around this much to get help for something you broke.

  • Larry

    This unfathomable.

    I’m about to start a new job at fairly large organization that has over 5000 devices protected by McAfee’s products.

    I wonder what my first decision should be…

  • Brian M.

    No way this only affected 0.5% of all McAfee customers. It affected every one that I know of. Where did you get that figure?

  • Don S.

    How the hell am I supposed to sign up for Support Notification Service, if I can’t even access my internet? This is HORRIBLE, where do I sign up for the HUGE class action lawsuit? I was on the phone over 3 hours yesterday with this issue, the first time I called you wanted to charge me 89.50 to fix your problem! Also I had two diffrent techies say they would call me back, guess what? They never did!

  • Ed

    Do we get a public SORRY from your CEO? I think it’s about time.

  • Luke T

    By the way your “flawless” McAfee brought down HOSPITAL AND BANKING COMPUTERS throughout the country as well. Maybe they will learn a lesson and get rid of McAfee and get something reliable like AVG.

  • Ian

    Why isn’t the fix directly linked on the frontpage of the International homepages of your OWN company not that it matters anymore anybody who make such a colossal mistake does not deserve my custom

  • Luke T

    Technical support at McAfee is horrible which is why I no longer subscribe. You have to speak to somebody in INDIA and I can\’t understand a word they are saying. Though my computer has never been infected while using MCAFEE, the computer clitches of the program are horrible – when they do happen it\’s a major headache, and I\’m sick of it.

  • David M

    A working update procedure should be posted in bold print on McAfee’s homepage, not in a blog, as well as released to news outlets for distribution with the support phone number. The initial procedures posted by McAfee were ineffective as the emergency superDAT required nimble fingers when rebooting the machine, to get an update before the machine reboots in about 60 seconds. This event was a huge debacle, not a minor thing. I’m hearing horror stories all over our city of companies that have had their throughput halted.

  • Jerome C.

    Thanks to David Blankenship!
    It works!

  • logan

    My first thought would be to use a linux livecd to drop a new copy of svchost in system32. Am I missing something here?

  • Dave K

    Sorry you had such a long day. You’re not the only one who had a long day though. Imagine the fun I had after working a full day and then coming home and having McAfee essentially brick my machine. Not much sleep going on at my place either.

  • PPG

    This is horrible. I spent entire day with a computer having no internet, can not open/run and copy-paste files. What a diaster? How can we trust Mcafee here onwards? This update impact is more than a virus. Literally devastating. So does that mean you guys only create viruses (like this) and sell anti-virus softwares? Come on what is this? You must protect us.

  • Chuck Stradley

    Now I am Fried!!! You put out 2 ways to fix the svchost problem. Neither work, at the moment I have 4 out of 5 machines that are useless. The thumb drive downloaded to the desktop in safe mode doesn’t work nor does the “copy” directive for Task Manager. I’m no IT whiz but it seems evident to me that if 5958 deleted or quarantined the svchost file windows is not going to allow me to copy it.

    At this point I have to get my IT Professionals out to fix YOUR problem to the tune of $250.

    I want a response to this and quickly, as how to fix it and where you want my IT folks to send the invoice. I’m an easy going guy just trying to make a living but this is sort of stuff that has caused me to put an attorney on retainer and learn how to spell Toyota.

    Chuck

  • Mek

    Best thing to happen as far as i’m concerned.
    I’m an IT manager that took over a network full of this bloated mcafee av product that adds on average 3 minutes to windows boot time on XP machines. Best resolution i’ve had to date is uninstalling it! But because the company has had it for years, directors wouldn’t authorise a move away. As of this morning when the news was in the papers, my newly educated directors have seen the light, “MOVE to another product as soon as you can” was my first instruction.

    Now the only problem is, I had negotiated a great discount with another vendor at a recent computer fair in an attempt to sway my directors, i just hope he’ll honor our agreement after the flood gates have opened.

    And the story get’s better.. I couldnt get funding to buy a server to run epo so I’ve been using an XP box with protection pilot. All our network pc’s are on 8.5i and update later in the day while my machine is on 8.7i which i was testing and it got wrecked alerting me to the issue.

    So i was the only one affected!! I’m sympathetic to other managers out there but this has been good news for me as finally i’m able to get rid of this terrible product!

  • br

    If I had any choice over using your software, I would have stopped using it the last time you wrecked my computer with a false positive. This is not the first.

    However, I have no choice. You took my boss out for a junket so my employer pays you lots of money for awful software.

    Still, thanks for the “support”; fixes on your website (which were certainly not on the front page at the time, you don’t want to give the public any clues as to the quality of your software) did not actually work so I spent all day up to my neck in the registry.

    It’s deeply reassuring that “less than one half of one percent of our enterprise accounts” were affected. After all, barely any corporates use XP SP3! A majority of end-user machines on my current contract, and the contract before that, and the contract before that… maybe what you really mean is that 99.5% of enterprise customers have learned the quality of your software and consequently wait a day or two before distributing each DAT to end-users, just in case any third party source (like Google News) flags up problems first.

    I’m angry because you wasted a day’s work for me and my colleagues. I’m angry because your “support” achieved nothing. I’m angry because your apologies are meaningless because this will happen again as it has happened before. Most of all, I’m I’m angry because there’s nothing I can do because as a geek I must merely work around the flaws in products from whichever vendor spent most time sucking up to our purchasing manager.

    Maybe a decision-maker will read this. Maybe not.

    By the way, your captcha code is broken too. Even more broken than ePO.

  • Graham

    At least it gave me something to do at work today. Break the servers the next time, that would really cause chaos.

  • Very Very Grim – no wonder people are leaving this product in their droves. Shame that such a product that lead the way has made such a huge mistake – i’m not talking about the screw-up in the program, that could just about be forgiven – i am talking about the dumbed down, well it only happened to about 10 people in the world crazy brush it under the carpet post and email I received. Not good – spent 5 hours on remote support to a chap overseas trying to diagnose/control/fix/repair – thank goodness we had the foresight to install IP KVM’s on their units – others are undoubtedly less fortunate – my last question is, where do we send the bill for 5 hours lost productive time? come on NAI, your product margins aint that great to support this pile of poop!

  • Laura B

    My home computer is down and I was working from home yesterday, did not know what happened. I did not find out until this morning by dumb luck what had happened, now I have to try and “fix” my home computer. In the story I found they did not think any home users were affected, guess what, home users were affected too.

  • Laurie

    There truly are no excuses for this and step up and take the blame.

    Unbelievable – we spent most of yesterday trying to get computers up and running at an University during exam time. This is inexcusable – we figured very quickly what McAfee had done by deleting the vital svchost.exe file. If your team had even done one iota of testing they should have caught this and your pathetic attempt at saying it did not affect that many people and mistakes happen is just not acceptable. Fortunately I do not use McAfee on my home computer so it was fine!

  • KC Sunshine

    Barry, you’re an imbecile. I don’t give a crap how many hours you’ve been on the phone. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s about the pain and suffering you’ve inflicted upon hundreds of thousands of users.
    As for your pathetic comment ‘Mistakes happen. No excuses.’ you offer an excuse, then say you didn’t? Pull your head out of your rectal cavity.
    Clearly, the Peter Principle is alive and well at McAfee. You’ve reached your level of incompetence and will probably remain there forever. And that’s a shame. You should be put in the stocks in the town square. You should wear a scarlet letter – I for idiot.

  • Mikael Andreasson

    Just a question

    How can it be possible that support closes at office houers 18:00 in sweden when there is a big problem? The link i got do not work for me (http://us.mcafee.com/en-us/landingpages/npdatupdate.asp?cid=77151) and following the guide on the page (If you are unable to update, click here for further troubleshooting.) and then i end up in a dead end http://service.mcafee.com/Error.aspx

    Fantastic!

    Thanks for the support!

  • Jeff

    Barry,
    Our home computer was rendered inoperable by your flawed update. We have had to take computer to a service center to be fixed. How will McAfee reimburse us for the damage the company has caused? Please advise how I should proceed to get reimbursed. Thanks.

  • Martin

    Here’s an update from Sweden:
    Telia, the largest phone- and broadband distributor: 15000 computers affected
    Systembolaget, warehouse for alcohol: 28 stores closed due to computer failure.

    I have, luckily I may say, Vista on my home PC and were not affected but never the less, in my eyes McAfee has lost a great lot of trustworthyness. This mainly based on the worthless comments coming from McAfee management. As many before me has stated it seems to be more important to keep up a good face rather than listening to the many affected and angry customers who has lost money due to the current event.
    I think the best way to keep up a good face, if that’s your main priority, you come up with a good compensation for all affected by your mess-up and get some credit that way.

  • David

    Not to kick you while youre down, but the root cause is youre not spending the resources needed to ensure quality control of your DATs. Among your many false positives in the last 2 years, youve had them not once, but even twice, on the same files even after having been notified. Now we see a false detection of a 2 year old threat, in no less than a critical system file on the predominant OS in the world. Customers who are patched and have good security practices actually have more to fear from McAfee false positives than from any virus.

  • cglrcng

    An independent computer tech & consultant in NW Arizona here…WANTED…(1) McAfee protected computer that has yet to be worked on by the owner that is affected by this issue to get (1) free resolution repair. If you are in NW AZ we can get together for pick up or drop off (repair will be free and return quick 24~48 hrs). If not in NW Arizona you pay shipping both ways. I will protect your data before attempting repair guaranteed.

    Even though I have repaired 1 already (hibernation / SVCHOST.exe missing file restored / McAfee removed and replaced by another free AV)….I did not at the time know that a McAfee false positive was the actual causing issue. Once it booted into safe mode I was ok, though booting was not very easily done at first (hiberfil. file issue that is common on HP laptops w/ Windows OS). Multiple tries & hardware removal was necessary before it would even boot into any mode including safe mode.

    Just want to find the easy fast fix/resolution as none of my customers use McAfee (I normally rec against them using an AV you must log on w/ username and PW to just update AV signature downloads…sry McAfee!)

    My phone (cglrcng) is going (@) to start (yahoo) ringing soon (dot com) w/ new customers affected by this issue and I\’d like to be prepared w/ an easy and fast fix…..Though I think that is already listed above in this blog thread by a couple of writers in 2 different posts & 2 differing ways of accomplishing the same task. My email craftily located above….contact me.

  • Gary Lucier

    An independent computer tech & consultant in NW Arizona here…WANTED…(1) McAfee protected computer that has yet to be worked on by the owner that is affected by this issue to get (1) free resolution repair. If you are in NW AZ we can get together for pick up or drop off (repair will be free and return quick 24~48 hrs). If not in NW Arizona you pay shipping both ways. I will protect your data before attempting repair guaranteed.

    Even though I have repaired 1 already (hibernation / SVCHOST.exe missing file restored / McAfee removed and replaced by another free AV)….I did not at the time know that a McAfee false positive was the actual causing issue. Once it booted into safe mode I was ok, though booting was not very easily done at first (hiberfil. file issue that is common on HP laptops w/ Windows OS). Multiple tries & hardware removal was necessary before it would even boot into any mode including safe mode.

    Just want to find the easy fast fix/resolution as none of my customers use McAfee (I normally rec against them using an AV you must log on w/ username and PW to just update AV signature downloads…sry McAfee!)

    My phone (cglrcng) is going (@) to start (yahoo) ringing soon (dot com) w/ new customers affected by this issue and I’d like to be prepared w/ an easy and fast fix…..Though I think that is already listed above in this blog thread by a couple of writers in 2 different posts & 2 differing ways of accomplishing the same task. My email craftily located above….contact me.

  • Eric

    It’s unbelievable to me that the company is so clueless that it’s response is buried in this blog. There should be an apology from the CEO, and a fix, on the company’s home page. Google News shows 757 news articles on the bug at the moment, and all the company can do is put up a complaint that the VP has been on the phone for 14 hours?

  • Dear Barry,

    despite following all guidelines, there is no way my XP machine or those of my colleagues is running again. I have been sitting here trying to fix it for the past 10 hours…am so grateful have another machine which runs Norton and which. Suggestion #1 get a full scale, 1 for all automated fix in place. Suggestion #2 get some good lawyers. Suggestion #3 hire a new PR/ communication officer #4 make sure you post whatever you do big time on your website and make it as simple as possible for anyone to get full insight in anything which is going on #5 make sure you post progress every hour or so (had not heard from you for 14 hours)6# try to graduate for your primary school, as a 10 year old would probably do better in these circumstances

    waiting for your follow-up

    Best regards,

  • Charlotte Battles

    None of the three fixes work, and the help lines are worthless.

  • F P B

    Thankfully my main PC (with Norton 360) is running so I can send this. However, my netbook stopped shortly after the message – power on, but nothing happening. And it\\\\\\\’s the machine I use for everyday. When the fix is developed, can there be some information about what to do with machines that are unbootable – leave them on? turn them off? what about those which are (like mine) password protected to get started in the first place?

  • Laura L.

    Wow. Thanks alot. Much like David M. I was only able to get my computer back up and running because my husband uses AVAST and we had a second laptop at home yesterday. Your “mistake” totally shut down my computer. I lost 4 hours of work time and my husband the same (since he was the one working to fix my computer). In the end the only way that we could get back to a working computer was to uninstall McAfee. That’s the way it’s going to stay. Uninstalled. I’ve switched to AVAST.

  • John H

    McAfee, Can you release a self-booting ISO that will fix the problem? It would be easy to do. It would fix the problem. Overnight mail a repair CD to anyone who was affected who can no-longer boot their PC, and has no access to burn an ISO. This will save you a lot of headaches, Im sure… The only people this wouldnt help are those who cannot boot off CD (i.e encrypted boot hard drive).

    Basically detect the system path, check for the presence of a missing svchost.exe file, and restore the file if it is missing. Of course, MS might have a problem with distributing the svchost.exe — so check /w them first (or maybe copy it out of the quarantine). Also update the DAT file in the process (if it is older than the one included on the CD).

  • Bob

    “First, help our customers who have been affected by this issue get back to business as usual.”

    You are not making it easy on yourselves. POST TO YOUR FRONTPAGE OF YOUR WEBSITE ALREADY!!!!

    For every customer on the Support forum, or on the blog, there are 10 who are still struggling on their own to find a solution.

  • Peter Bonny

    A long day at McAfee? Like I really care. What about MY day? What about all the colleagues complaining to me? Screaming for attention because they can’t get their work done? Ever thought of that? Frankly I dont give a flying toot about your day. You suck.

  • John

    McAfee, Why dont yall release a self-booting ISO that will fix the problem? It would be easy to do. It would fix the problem. Overnight mail a repair CD to anyone who was affected who can no-longer boot their PC, and has no access to burn an ISO. This will save you a lot of headaches, Im sure… The only people this wouldnt help are those who cannot boot off CD (i.e encrypted boot hard drive).

    Basically detect the system path, check for the presence of a missing svchost.exe file, and restore the file if it is missing. Of course, MS might have a problem with distributing the svchost.exe — so check /w them first (or maybe copy it out of the quarantine). Also update the DAT file in the process (if it is older than the one included on the CD).

  • John Palmer

    I really hope McAfee go out of business. You dont deserve to make a single penny. Incompetence is the only word that comes to my mind.

  • I believe McAfee is not sharing the inside story. Sounds like hackers won and they busted McAfee finally. Barry this is not a mistake if you think we people are fool and don’t understand what went wrong with this update and I don’t need your corporate crap explanation.You need to come up with something good and let the world know the truth.

  • Chuck H

    “And second, once that is done, make sure we put the processes in place so this never happens again.”

    Don’t you think that these “processes” should already have been in place. This is serious breakdown in QC/QA practices. Obviously this update was pushed out without having been adequately tested.

    For Shame….

  • Willem M

    “As I approach my 14th straight hour…” boo-hoo-hoo. Are we supposed to feel sorry for you? What about all the IT people all over the world that are working overtime to fix the mess YOU have created?

    Your blogs don’t make me feel any better either. There’s a particular tone / attitude to it that makes me want to puke. I very much agree with Mike O.’s comments about your “PR fuzzies” and how you sound less concerned with the f’up and more with your image. Its a disgrace. I am so angry you won’t believe it. This is not the first time this happens with McAfee. Have you learned nothing from the past?

    Why can’t you just say “We royally f’ed up. We have no quality testing. SORRY!”

    No more McAfee for us. Ever! Your product is CR4P. Period.

  • David M

    I find it incredibly ironic that the way I got information to fix the problem, was through an XP machine I have that was running AVAST, and therefore serviceable. My other XP machines all ate the McVirus.

  • David M

    Barry, there are differences between “a mistake” and a negligent act. Failure to do adequate regression testing on machines in your lab before release was not a “mistake,” it was a negligent act. Then, the workarounds published by McAfee were materially incorrect, leading to many of us spending a couple hours, then sharing what fixes did work on other channels than McAfee’s site. Collateral damages have also occurred to users’ registries and files. Customers have incurred high expenses, either personal or financial. McAfee needs to stand up and make these customers whole. Unfortunately, that may mean tens to hundreds of thousands.

  • Mark U.

    Well, this incident has only solidified my belief that switching to Microsoft Security Essentials was the best move to make.. and that McAfee will never get my organization’s business.

    At least Microsoft isn’t going to issue an update that thinks a Windows file is a piece of malware…

  • Mark

    It’s a shame, as at one time, I recommended McAfee highly…

    “Mistakes happen. No excuses. The nearly 7,000 employees of McAfee are focused right now on two things, in this order. First, help our customers who have been affected by this issue get back to business as usual.”

    As if you have a choice? McAfee was PAID by the affected to PROTECT their systems. Had they known they needed protection from their Vendor, they’d have gone elsewhere.

    “And second, once that is done, make sure we put the processes in place so this never happens again.”

    THIS is why you must gird your loins for the lawsuits coming. You are admitting in writing that McAfee did NOT EVER have processes in place to prevent this. What you’re stating here; it was only a matter of time.

    You will be forced to reimburse your customers for the damage done. And some of these are HOSPITALS? How many lives did this “mistake” potentially affect? You won’t know until after the shutters go up on the door. If ONE life was affected… I need not finish.

    YFKMR?

    M.

  • Tim C

    Considering how much money you’re losing by working on a solution, why don’t you just buy new computers for those affected by this? I’m a grad studend who takes classes online. I simply cannot wait for a “fix.” I have to go and buy a new computer (and with it some new anti-virus software). After all, it’s only 0.5% of your customers. I would hop on the “do what’s right train” before someone brings a class action lawsuit against McAfee.

  • Mark

    It’s a shame, as at one time, I recommended McAfee highly…

    “First, help our customers who have been affected by this issue get back to business as usual.”

    Well, I guess you don’t have a choice BUT to help your customers. They’ve PAID you to provide the protection! Unfortunately, the didn’t know they’d need to be protected from their Vendor!

    I’m going to assume you will cover the costs for lost productivity and income, which will probably bankrupt McAfee.

    Let’s be realistic, no matter how you get your customers back to working, you’re going to be sued for this breach, and a “mistake” is not an excuse.

    “And second, once that is done, make sure we put the processes in place so this never happens again.”

    THIS statement is why you will be sued: You are admitting in writing, there were NOT EVER any processes within the company that could have prevented this from happening!

    Or tell me I’m mistaken?

    M.

  • Tim C

    Considering how much money you’re losing by having your people work on the problem around the clock, why don’t you just buy us all new computers? I’m a grad student, who takes classes online. I simply cannot wait for a “fix.” I have to go purchase another computer…and I will be purchasing anti-virus software from someone else. It’s only 0.5%, so my business won’t matter.

  • Mudhen

    Our own virus protection used against us…BRILLIANT!

  • Olivier Desmet

    As long time McAfee customer I would like to share the customer service experience with your tech support department that I received today. Now, I realize that mistakes happen. (Although how issuing an update that deletes the svchost.exe file made it past your quality control dept is BEYOND my understanding, but that’s another story). Anyway, I realize that mistakes happen. What is absolutely unforgivable is the absolutely horrible customer service McAfee is providing to their customers who are trying to deal with this. First, McAfee is obviously playing down the number of customers affected. It’s affecting a lot of consumers, not just corporate accounts. I am one of them. The patch you issued (SDAT5958_EM.exe) does NOT work. I rebooted in safe mode, ran the patch, rebooted in normal mode, and McAfee automatically launched and deleted svchost.exe gain. I called tech support, waited on hold for 30 minutes, and was told by the support tech that he would email me “new” instructions. He wanted me to hang up with him, take 2 minutes to try these “new instructions”, and call back if necessary. Proper support etiquette would dictate that he stay on the phone and run me through these instructions, but he really didn’t want to do that. He obviously wanted to get rid of the call ASAP. Way to take ownership of the problem there McAfee support. Well obviously I was not able to check my emails at the time so I made him stay on the phone with me. He was very incompetent and his English was poor (way to go farming tech support jobs out to India McAfee) so he told me he would have a 2nd level tech call me back. Here’s the kicker. The 2nd level guy would call me back “within 24 hours”. What a JOKE. First you break people’s operating systems; then you expect them to wait for another full day to get a call back? My pc is my office. Without it I cannot work. You broke my pc, I expect you to fix it now. Not tomorrow. I asked to be transferred to the technician’s supervisor, and told the supervisor that I could not be without my pc for 24 hours. He assured me (PROMISED me even) that a 2nd level tech would absolutely; definitely call me back within 1 hour. This was 3 hours ago. Did I get a call yet? Of course not. I ended up fixing the problem myself. (booted in safe mode, manually deleted all MacAfee files and folders in program files, copied svchost.exe from removable drive to windows\system32 using command prompt) Needless to say, I will never EVER again purchase or use any McAfee product. And I will make sure to tell everyone I know about my experience with your company. If you’re going to make a hugely stupid mistake like you did, you need to be prepared to deal with it in a professional manner. Never once did the support engineer or supervisor even apologize to me for the massive inconvenience the issue caused me. Your company is providing an unreliable product, backed with even worse support. You have lost a customer “for life”. In any case, I don’t expect McAfee will be around much longer anyway, so it’s all a bit moot I guess.

  • Richard Rosenbloom

    I have met the virus and it is McAfee. In all my years of computing I have never lost a minute of productive time due to a virus or worm. Maybe that is a credit to McAfee of the past. But McAfee Automatic Update has proven itself an open door that allows it to enter my PC and destroy it. It is no different than what it alleges to protect us against. The fact that it was a mistake rather than intentional matters little to me. My PC is still dead. I presume you have a plan to compensate all your customers who suffered damages over your unacceptable screw-up. How can any of us trust a McAfee Update ever again?. Why should anyone renew their McAfee subscription?

  • Rob

    Looks like I will be checking out Norton this weekend.

  • Barry,

    this is too little, too late. you have successfully alienated too many consumers. I for one will vote with my wallet and your firm will NEVER see another dollar from me. Not because of the error, but because of your response and McAfee\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s intentional attempt to minimize the impact of this issue.

  • jb

    “As I approach my 14th straight hour on the phone with my worldwide support team…”

    Seriously? I’m going to give you the BEST piece of advice you’ll get through this entire crisis. FIRE your PR team! As a PR professional with a lot of crisis communications experience, I can tell you that you are basically doing EVERYTHING WRONG from a communications standpoint.

    NOBODY care that you’ve spent 14 hours on the phone, nobody cares that you are stressed out. It’s expected. Your product has just caused countless millions of dollars in productivity and repair costs to companies around the globe… people EXPECT that you be working long hours!

    Everything you have done: downplaying the problem, blaming the consumer (e.g… which is the default setting), talking about what a great job McAfee usually does, etc… is just dead wrong! Did you not learn ANYTHING from Toyota?

    Here is what you need to do:
    Admit your mistake
    Apologize profusely, empathize
    Communicate regularly with ALL stakeholders
    Do NOT use your communication as an attempt to promote your company
    Prevent this from EVER happening again
    Make things right with your customers

    More than 50% of companies fail after a major crisis issue due to poor crisis communications. Food for thought.

  • Rob

    Looks like I’ll be checking out Norton this weekend.

  • Dale

    You updated our virus protection software so it behaved like a very ugly virus. That’s not a good thing. Now your competitors have a valid reason to make their software flag your program as a potentially malicious virus upon installation. I understand that mistakes happen, but among all mistakes, you have to agree this is a big one. Perhaps you should focus on quality assurance, especially testing.

  • Babs S

    I cannot boot up my computer and it won’t read a CD so cannot download the fix on an unaffected machine and then have the affected machine read the CD. What am I supposed to do, other than reformat the entire disk. Not happy!

  • Dale

    You updated our virus protection software so it behaved like a very ugly virus. That’s not a good thing. Now your competitors have a valid reason to make their software flag your program as a potentially malicious virus upon installation. I understand that mistakes happen, but among all mistakes, you have to agree this is a big one. Perhaps you should focus on quality assurance, especially testing.

  • Miguel V.

    Barry in my office we have mcafee virusscan enterprise and fortunately we did not update the product because we received the notification before the update tasks run, but I have a situation:
    I was checking a pc that was infected with a virus, the virusscan product with the latest engine/DAT was not detecting it, we are using artemis too. I submited the file to webinmune where they send me an extra.dat we applied to the machine, made a shutdown, rebooted but the process was running again not being detected by the product even running an on demand scan using artemis didn´t do it then i had to go removing the virus manually.

  • Bill Zimmerman

    I understand the pain most organizations are feeling with this problem, and it is a very unfortunate situation. We run TVD, and e-Policy Orchestrator in our enterprise, pull available updates on an hourly basis, then push the updates to the desktop. This product is not inexpensive, requires internal resources to manage, and you certainly do not expect to be crippled by the very organization protecting you. However, we were notified by McAfee of the problem in reasonable time, our system administrators reacted, and saved our organization from the impact of this update.

    We have been a McAfee shop for over 10-year, good product, good solution, good support, bad situation.

  • Miguel V.

    Barry in my office we have mcafee virusscan enterprise and fortunately we didn’t update the product because we received the notification before the update tasks run, but I have a situation:
    I was checking a pc that was infected with a virus, the virusscan product with the latest engine/DAT was not detecting it, we are using artemis too. I submited the file to webinmune where they send me an extra.dat we applied to the machine, made a shutdown, rebooted but the process was running again not being detected by the product even running an on demand scan using artemis didn´t do it then i had to go removing the virus manually.
    I don’t understand why the DAT passed the QA check, in the extra.dat mails says that you do a

  • Frank

    I’m really concerned about how McAfee is testing its updates if such a common component on such a common OS is killed so obviously. Due to the local time (early night) the update was rolled out half of my machines and half of the business were affected.

  • Olivier Desmet

    As long time McAfee customer I would like to share the customer service experience with your tech support department that I received today. Now, I realize that mistakes happen. (Although how issuing an update that deletes the svchost.exe file made it past your quality control dept is BEYOND my understanding, but that\’s another story). Anyway, I realize that mistakes happen. What is absolutely unforgivable is the absolutely horrible customer service McAfee is providing to their customers who are trying to deal with this. First, McAfee is obviously playing down the number of customers affected. It\’s affecting a lot of consumers, not just corporate accounts. I am one of them. The patch you issued (SDAT5958_EM.exe) does NOT work. I rebooted in safe mode, ran the patch, rebooted in normal mode, and McAfee automatically launched and deleted svchost.exe gain. I called tech support, waited on hold for 30 minutes, and was told by the support tech that he would email me “new” instructions. He wanted me to hang up with him, take 2 minutes to try these “new instructions”, and call back if necessary. Proper support etiquette would dictate that he stay on the phone and run me through these instructions, but he really didn’t want to do that. He obviously wanted to get rid of the call ASAP. Way to take ownership of the problem there McAfee support. Well obviously I was not able to check my emails at the time so I made him stay on the phone with me. He was very incompetent and his English was poor (way to go farming tech support jobs out to India McAfee) so he told me he would have a 2nd level tech call me back. Here’s the kicker. The 2nd level guy would call me back “within 24 hours”. What a JOKE. First you break people’s operating systems; then you expect them to wait for another full day to get a call back? My pc is my office. Without it I cannot work. You broke my pc, I expect you to fix it now. Not tomorrow. I asked to be transferred to the technician’s supervisor, and told the supervisor that I could not be without my pc for 24 hours. He assured me (PROMISED me even) that a 2nd level tech would absolutely; definitely call me back within 1 hour. This was 2.5 hours ago. Did I get a call yet? Of course not. I ended up fixing the problem myself. (booted in safe mode, manually deleted all MacAfee files and folders in program files, copied svchost.exe from removable drive to windows system32 using command prompt) Needless to say, I will never EVER again use any McAfee product ever again. And I will make sure to tell everyone I know about my experience with your company. If you’re going to make a hugely stupid mistake like you did, you need to be prepared to deal with it in a professional manner. Never once did the support engineer or supervisor even apologize to me for the massive inconvenience the issue caused me. Your company is providing an unreliable product, backed with even worse support. You have lost a customer.

  • PM Ahern

    I’m just glad there was a bit of a delay set into our Mcafee server and we had time to stop the DAT from updating. But what kind of double checking could allow a vital Windows process like this to be removed as a threat? What will you go after next, the dreaded explorer.exe?

  • Paul C

    Where do I send the invoice for the guys I have just had to pay to work though the night to fix this C*** U*, so that the company could actually run this morning?

  • Tim

    This is all very well. Mistakes do happen but what I’m struggling with is why there is no free telephone support line for UK customers? If I want help (and I desperately do) then I have to pay £1 per minute. Given that this issue is your fault I would have thought that such help would be at hand. I obviously can’t use your (otherwise excellent) live chat help system because my PC has no internet connectivity (I’m currently at work).

  • Laurie

    Unbelievable – we spent most of yesterday trying to get computers up and running at an University during exam time. This is inexcusable – we figured very quickly what McAfee had done by deleting the vital svchost.exe file. If your team had even done one iota of testing they should have caught this and your pathetic attempt at saying it did not affect that many people and mistakes happen is just not acceptable. Fortunately I do not use McAfee on my home computer so it was fine!

    There truly are no excuses for this and step up and take the blame.

  • Adam

    CRY ME A RIVER!!! You worked 14hrs? At lease 30 members of our IT staff put in extra hours yesterday going machine to machine to rectify your screw up. Some employees worked as much as 20hrs as we lost so much in revenue yesterday and had to remediate between 500-600 local workstations/laptops.

    THEN, you have all of the people that left work yesterday afternoon with their corrupted laptops that had to have the solution applied this morning.

    OH. That doesn’t include those laptops that won’t function in Safe Mode, which required us to create a Linux boot disk to replace the missing svchost.exe file and replace the dats.

    WAIT. That also doesn’t count the 29 other worldwide locations that don’t have on-site IT staff that we are currently walking through the fix with, and attempting to implement a PXE solution.

    So, Barry, you can go on an on about your 14hrs and your hundreds of calls, and your thousands of emails. Just know that your whining wins you no points and makes you no friends. McAfee’s response to this has been atrocious. I would start by revising your impact assessment. One-half of one percent??? Hardly. Your stock is down some, but not nearly as much as it should be. This will change when people see all of us rats jumping ship to Symantec or Trend Micro. So long McAfee. See you in the class action lawsuit.

  • Steve

    This is negligence, in my opinion.

    Will we see a class-action lawsuit from this?

    McAfee failed to take reasonable action that would have prevented harm.

    The responsible party – McAfee – failed to exercise care, but to an extent, the end-users (corporations) also failed to exercise care. The end-users trust McAfee updates – and why shouldn’t they?

  • Warren

    This smells a lot like the old theory that the folks designing the anti-virus products are the same ones writing the viruses themselves. Coincidence that this only attacked Windows XP machine, after Windows 7 sales were disappointing? This entire issue brought our campus to its knees, and after speaking with a rep from our computer store, who stated many folks were calling in asking (a) I need to buy Windows 7, do you have it in stock or (b) do you sell Norton’s? – it’s now apparent this has gone beyond the conspiracy theory and into reality mode.

  • Steve

    This is negligence, in my opinion.

    Will we see a class-action lawsuit from this?

    McAfee failed to take reasonable action that would have prevented harm.

    The responsible party – McAfee – failed to exercise care, but to an extent, the end-users (corporations) also failed to exercise care. The end-users trust McAfee updates – and why shouldn’t they?

    I think the “injured party” – corporations – can easily prove they have suffered significant financial harm.

    All four important elements to a negligence suit pass:

    1. The defendant owed a duty, either to the plaintiff or to the general public
    2. The defendant violated that duty
    3. The defendant’s violation of the duty resulted in harm to the plaintiff
    4. The plaintiff’s injury was foreseeable by a reasonable person.

  • RS

    Can I have some compensation for the 3 hours I spent yesterday trying to resolve this?

  • Debbie

    I’m still waiting for a solution for those of us that don’t have another compatable computer to use to transfer the patch with and for my computer that will not even go into safe mode. Sorry for the long hours but please keep working to resolve this.

  • kevin

    Still having problems with infected PC’s that were restarted by user’s as they will not allow files to be transfered onto them via usb or cd and macafee is blocking network transfer too!
    Just looking for answers!

  • Brian

    I can’t believe this wasn’t detected in testing. We’re a 150 computer office and I’m the only IT person and it ended up affecting 25 of our computers. Once the fix was issued early this AM the process was easy. Yesterday afternoon it wasn’t as easy and took quite a few hours of downtime before a work around was available. All told we have 25 employees that were down all day yesterday and I spent the entire day on it as well. Not a good sign that McAfee software is reliable. I also find it hard to believe that it only affected 0.5% of your customers worldwide. How is that possible and where do you come up with that figure? Everyone I know that uses McAfee in the Washington DC area was affected in some form so it seems the number may be off. If you are only taking the amount of customer who were willing to wait the 3+ hours on the phone to log a case then maybe that’s a believable figure.

  • Ken Boyce

    Disgraceful, I wasted over half a day trying to fix one of our office pc’s today before i found out it was a McAfee problem that caused it. Who pays for our lost time? Needless to say i’ll be swapping our PC’s over to Norton Anti virus this year.

  • Ken

    OK that’s nice, yes we all make mistakes. BUT, this is a big mistake. Where’s the apology? If you cheated on your wife would you say, “Hey mistakes happen I couldn’t help it”? Sounds like an acknowledgment of the problem but but you don’t really care.

  • Scott

    McAfee initial efforts to downplay a inexplicable and disasterous error simply made things worse. In addiiton to the many businesses and government entities that were impacted, vital services such as hospitals, police departments and fire departments were impacted. I was glad to see your second Blog finally contained an acknowledgement that McAfee screwed up and that more than a handful of customers were impacted. The fact remains that this should not have happened and your customers deserve an honest explanation and what McAfee plans to do to prevent it from ever happening again(as opposed to one wirtten by your attornies in an effort to minimize corporate liability). One other suggestion, spend a few dollars on a crises manager who actually knows what he is doing.

  • Fat cat syndrom. Too much money without any eforts. I’m sure that no testing was done prior to the release.

  • Joseph

    How are you going to pay us all this hard work. I have also a big team working since yesterday on returning our business back to normality, we have paid a long amount for your support and licenses. And now I’m going pc by pc to solve all this mess, and still waiting for your call back from your front desk since yesterday. I think that your responsability with us, is more than just some apologizes and nice words.

  • Travis

    Well at least you are kinda owning up to the problem in this blog but still we can do without telling us how good you were in the past. I know our county is up for renewal for about 15,000 seats and there was already rumblings from techs to switch but now that this has happened you will need to practically give it to us for us to continue using it. I can only imagine the smirky faces right now over at Lightspeed,Kaspersky, CA, and the other big dogs.

  • This statement has been heavily spun and is misleading. It’s kind of like they are trying to blame the customers for changing default settings.
    We have had a number of machines go down and most of them were on default settings.
    Mcafee needs to grovel a bit more and be honest with the number of people affected. I have lost all confidence in them and I am an IT manager that’s been with them for 10 years.
    I have also been to there offices and seen their Quality Control lab. It’s a massive rack full of PC and server software that they test every ‘dat’ on before being released. What happened! BE HONEST!!!

  • Your statement has been heavily spun and is misleading. It’s kind of like they are trying to blame the customers for changing default settings.
    We have had a number of machines go down and most of them were on default settings.
    Mcafee needs to grovel a bit more and be honest with the number of people affected. I have lost all confidence in them and I am an IT manager that’s been with them for 10 years.
    I have also been to there offices and seen their Quality Control lab. It’s a massive rack full of PC and server software that they test every ‘dat’ on before being released. What happened! BE HONEST!!!
    You have also stopped comments on the previous statement hence I’m posting here.

  • Sorin R.

    Barry, this is just partially McAfee’s fault. Windows SysAdmins put their networks too easily in the unpredictable hands of proprietary software. Like yours. Imagine if your update was open source. With so many eyes looking at the source code, somebody would have found the bug earlier enough.

  • Sorin R.

    Barry, this is just partially McAfee\’s fault. Windows SysAdmins put their networks too easily in the unpredictable hands of proprietary software. Like yours. Imagine if your update was open source. With so many eyes looking at the source code, somebody would have found the bug earlier enough.

  • David Mitchell

    Your previous post indicating that less than one percent of your corporate customers were affected is laughable – were I in the mood to laugh at anything, that is. It is truly unacceptable for a company with your experience and reputation to put out an apparently untested update. While I am sure heads will roll and stock prices will plummet, there are several things that MUST take place here for your company to restore customer faith:

    1) Accept blame without downplaying the issue.
    2) Prove to customers and stockholders that corrective procedures have been implemented.
    3) Learn from your mistakes (history has repeated itself here – 2009 Conficker worm ring a bell?)

    And I might suggest an across the board price reduction as a way to compensate your customers. Or you could just wait for the class action…

  • Ionel Roiban

    Barry, this is just partially McAfee’s fault. Windows SysAdmins put their networks too easily in the unpredictable hands of proprietary software. Like yours. Imagine if your update was open source. With so many eyes looking at the source code, somebody would have found the bug earlier enough.

  • David Mitchell

    Your previous post indicating that less than one percent of your corporate customers were affected is laughable – were I in the mood to laugh at anything, that is. It is truly unacceptable for a company with your experience and reputation to put out an apparently untested update. While I\’m sure heads will roll and stock prices will plummet, there are several things that MUST take place here for your company to restore customer faith:

    1) Accept blame without downplaying the issue.
    2) Prove to customers and stockholders that corrective procedures have been implemented.
    3) Learn from your mistakes (history has repeated itself here – 2009 Conficker worm ring a bell?)

    And I might suggest an across the board price reduction as a way to compensate your customers. Or you could just wait for the class action…

  • You do have other choices when it comes to home use Antivirus software:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_antivirus_software

  • Barry – Statistically speaking you note less than 1/2 of 1% of our enterprise customers were effected. Unfortunately we lost the entire working day in our US based region of 1000 users, our other regions did not lose as much productivity, however the team is spent after the day/night of fun. As a direct result of this event, should we be instituting a waiting period on new releases?

  • David Mitchell

    Your previous post indicating that less than one percent of your corporate customers were affected is laughable – were I in the mood to laugh at anything, that is. It is truly unacceptable for a company with your experience and reputation to put out an apparently untested update. While I’m sure heads will roll and stock prices will plummet, there are several things that MUST take place here for your company to restore customer faith:

    1) Accept blame without downplaying the issue.
    2) Prove to customers and stockholders that corrective procedures have been implemented.
    3) Learn from your mistakes (history has repeated itself here – 2009 Conficker worm ring a bell?)

    And I might suggest an “across the board price reduction”…or you can just wait for the class action.

  • jt

    It is much worse than a mistake. I would suggest that everyone using Mcafee re-evaluate their continued use of their products from a business perspective. The cost of this “mistake” is substantial not only financially but in terms of user trust of IT departments. How can one trust a virus protection vendor whose software on occasion by “mistake” becomes a horrible virus itself?

  • I’ve been a loyal McAfee customer for many years and this is the second time an update has shut down my ability to do business. Burn me once, shame on you; burn me twice, shame on me. I’ll find another supplier.

    The update not only caused multiple shutdowns, but is now preventing me from internet access. It also won’t allow me to access the security center to shut it down or uninstall.

    I contacted McAfee tech support and they were useless. I’m paying for this service so I don’t have problems. I’m not paying for the service to be the cause of the problem

  • jt

    It is much worse than a mistake. I would suggest that everyone using Mcafee re-evaluate their continued use of their products from a business perspective. The cost of this “mistake” is substantial not only financially but in terms of user confidence in IT departments that choose to continue using Mcafee products. I for one am certainly re-evaluating use of Mcafee products. No apology or support can make up for what has already happened. How can anyone trust a virus protection company whose software becomes a virus itself?

  • Jason DeVoiD

    Abviously your company doesnt have any quality control. the file you quarantined is nto only a Windows file, it is an important file that is used for many things, including Windows Services.

    Also, what the heck is the point in publishing the “fix” on the Internet when most peoples computer is rebooting all the time…. you expect them to try and get to the “fix” page inbetween rebooting!?? wow… what an amazing suck.

    this is just another example of why I walked away this useless product (my opinion, which im sure is now shared with many more users) many years ago, and havent looked back.

    My last point:

    Where in this post is your apology to the customers who, thanks to the lack off quality control, are affected by this Macafee created problem? huh? well? im sure people are waiting for it…… and try to sound sincere

  • Hi,

    The biggest issue faced here is not the relatively straightforward steps to resolve. Its the fact that the lack of network connectivity once a machine is affected means that you have to have a human being in front of a PC to fix. Not such a big issue in environments with lots of PCs in one place.

    However, we have a LOT of clients with this issue across literally 100s of sites throughout the UK with no dedicated IT presence in most of these (small-ish) sites.

    While the workaround is OK for a tech person, a non-IT literate user is never really going to be able to resolve this problem without a lot of time spent on the phone to a tech person and access to local admin password (where safe mode is necessitated)

    WE developed a process whee we tell our clients end-users effectively to reboot and press F12 and their PC will be fixed automatically.

    It has taken us a while to get here, but the last of the 1000s of affected PCs across 100s of sites will be up and running in the next hour or two. And we didnt need to send engineers hundreds of mile to perform manual fixes!

    It should be re-stressed that getting either Extra.dat or Dat 5959 on to your PC does not fix your PC. It just prevents the issue re-occuring once you’ve fixed it in the first place!

    More at: www.mycentrality.com

    Regards
    Mike Davies
    Director
    Centrality Ltd

  • Jeff

    Hmmm – Might want to hire a english writer as well

    ” I can assure you that we are still working because I and the rest of the McAfee team are taking the issues raised in your comments to my previous blog, in our support forums, on the phone with us and elsewhere very seriously”

    This was unacceptable. The manager (and if thats you) who allowed this to happen should be dismissed.

  • Rob

    The actions of your company are totally un-professional and disgraceful. Even the slackest QA/QC procedures which Mcafee is already well known for should have picked this up. You think you had a bad day?! We had thousands and thousands of PCs go down. Much worse than any virus attack. I imagine its going to be an interesting couple of weeks as the compensation claims for lost time come through your incompetence.

  • nicofr

    Could you please begin with being honest with your customer?

  • nicofr

    Could you please begin with beeing honest with your customer ?
    “Less than 0,5% of our customer encountered the problem”
    I can tell you this is bullshit!!
    I work for an important french service company and a great part of our customer got the problem this morning and are still in high crisis runing everywhere to put their business back to work.
    The fact is that most of large companies (at least in france) are using Mcafee viruscan+EPO and did not migrate to Vista or Seven, but did deploy SP3 on XP (because SP2 will run out of support in jully 2010). Just in Toulouse (france), we speak about thousands of computers in all major companies of the region.
    MCAfee, the storm just begins…..

  • Absolutely terrible – apart from the errosion of the distribution channel by McAfee approaching customers directly, this is yet another reason why we have migrated *most* of our customers to sunbelt vipre – if we had not done so, circa 500+ customers with 5000+ seats would have been on the phone to us now – so very very poor McAfee and your email to us all was marketing coverup guff that any UK politician would be proud of.

  • KC

    good job on the quality assurance checks you and your crack (pot) team of engineers have done….our 1 day of down time is costing us millions of dollars…… and as a company in the auto industry this was something that we just could not afford….. your bafoonery will most likely put us (750 employees) out of work….. We did not purchase your product to kill our business…. and we do not accept your CYA statement of we only tried to protect BS….. You guys suck and NONE of you should be allowed to work in the computer industry or even touch an etch a sketch!

  • Dave

    Does your contact page list your lawyers information? We need a contact for your law team, we lost major $$$$ and need to be reimbursed.

  • Rob

    You might want to let your call centers in India know the full scope of the problem. My Dad called support and got one of them over there. They basically hung up on him telling him he had a network issue on his computer, and they were unable to help him.

    So, not only did you cause the problem for him, but the support people that represent your company refused to help him fix it. Nice.

  • M8R

    The update obviously had not been tested for compatibility on XP which is amateurish to say the least.

    The initial response to this was also a joke in itself, trying to make out that it was just a tiny glitch that didn’t really matter as it only affected a small proportion of people.

    I may only be one person, but your glitch has rendered several systems inoperable; i’m sure has lost you a lot of customers, this is why you come back with the damage limitation speech, too little too late i’m afraid as i will now take my custom elsewhere.

  • Well that makes the switch to Sophos decision easier – grass may not be greener, but with the downtime incurred by this update we cannot afford to take the risk and stay . . .

  • Ken M

    I agree with Mike O. This was a major problem for us and we will be 24 hours before everything is back on line.

  • Cosmicthoughts

    When an anti-virus solution becomes a bigger problem than what it is there to protect us from, then something is very wrong.

  • Bob

    I do not agree with the very low numbers of affected users published. Every PC running XPSP3 that had checked in with our ePO servers went down. Every single one. I talked to a number of my friends in IT and they said the same thing: as soon as this DAT touched XPSP3 the machine was down. That’s thousands of PCs in maybe a half dozen shops. Just because a technician doesn’t want to call your help lines and wait for hours doesn’t mean they were not affected. I went to the net to fix this issue rather than waste time with the support line.

    What a spectacular failure of QC. Normally I don’t wish for this kind of thing but I seriously hope jobs are lost over this seat of your pants operation.

  • The fun part is, all clients that have been updated and didn’t crash yet… they’ll crash when they start their scheduled scan! :D
    Oh boy… There we go again.

  • Terence

    We picked up this problem at 5pm because our vendor notified us of a problem but with no background info.

    Our AV experts were on their way home so we had to learn EPO from scratch.

    We decided to delete the bad file and replica our distribution sites by which time 1000 units had 5958.

    We then got an email from the vendor telling us how to do a rollback which we implemented at 9pm because the super /extra DAT just didn\\\’t seem to work for us.

    We walked out at 9:30pm knowing we had done everything we could.

    What I found appalling was that we were only formally notified by McAfee the severity of the problem and the work around at 9:35 – 4 hours too late – 4 HOURS is a hellishly long time in these circumastance.

    We lost no PCS not because of McAfee but because we took action ourselves.

  • Trevor

    “Having talked to literally hundreds of my colleagues around the world and emailed thousands to try and find the best way to correct these issues”

    I hope that’s just more nonsense, because if it’s true then you really need to organise your company in a more effective manner.

  • Jon

    It has impacted really hard in sweden, our national phone service provider cant provide telepone support due to this (they have 15.000 affected computers). Also several stores are closed today since their cash registers was affected. Including “Systembolaget” Who has swedish monoploy on alcohol, thereby a large number of swedish cities are unable to purchase alcohol (this is the biggest issue for most people) ;)

  • Lane

    It’s apparent to me McAfee has no fix. My particular issue is:
    On startup, an error message pops up “dll notification has not been registered. program will not work correctly”

    Ok, I downloade a clean scvhost.exe file from another unaffected machine.

    I downloaded the 5959xdat file, tried to install in and got an error message saying there is no Mcaffee product installed on my computer.

    I tried to completly uninstall McAfee, but it will not unintall from the “Add or Remove Programs” area of the control panel.

    I tried to go to program files and uninstall it there, but no it says the files are in use by another program so cant do that either.

    So…
    No internet access with the affected machne.
    Cannot copy and paste.

    Like so many others, as soon as this issue is resolved I am switching to another virus program, probably Symantic. If this release of Mcaffees passed thier quality control, its seems to me they have no quality control.

  • Charles

    Barry,

    Sorry to hear you had a bad day, but this isn’t about you, is it? I’ve read your note a number of times, and don’t see anything in there that resembles an apology.

    Maybe your lawyers are telling you not to apologize, but, for what it’s worth, your note strikes exactly the WRONG tone, in my opinion. Disappointing.

    Charles

  • Eric Knuif

    We use McAfee Total Protection Suite, also our systems where affected by thius issue. We solved it to replace teh scvhost.exe by this one of the folder C:\\WINDOWS\\$NtServicePackUninstall$ and then place it under c:\\windows\\system32. This solves teh problem at our pc\’s.

    We had a strike down of a half day.

    What is McAfee doing about that??

    With kind regards,

    Eric

  • christian györgyfalvay

    7000 employes?
    you should intantly re-establish your testing-group (for testing software prior distribution) and go into talks with your business consulting-partner for never ever again slimming by closing departments in your company

  • Chris

    I think you have greatly underestimated the impact to users; if you based it soley on folk that your CS folks spoke to than you are off by a long shot. I will be considering other AV products. VP&CIO

  • John

    I appreciate your updates and really feel that those who have nothing better to do than insult the work you are trying to do, need to find something more productive to do, like get a job or if that is not possible, help the needy. Nonetheless, is has been a major mistake that has impacted many of us but I appreciate the fact that you at least recognize it and try to keep your customers informed, regardless of the diplomatic approach some criticize. Good luck.

  • Pascal

    A long day here too!
    It’s a nightmare.
    We have many many customer’s computers impacted and have to go on sites to repair it. The business loss is significant.
    We already think of consequences. Unfortunately we do not have class action law in France but the next step will be at least to change to another antivirus solution.

  • I’ve tried many antivirus programs, and I hated them all. I no longer use one. I often think antivirus programs function like viruses themselves.
    However, I must say that I like the transparency of McAfee in dealing with this disaster. Perhaps, it’s a PR decision to do so, but still, I admire the way all negative comments, even those that are quite strong, are allowed to be openly posted here.

  • steve lancaster

    For what it’s worth – my organisation had 500 machines with the bad dat, but only 20 were xp sp3.
    Of these 20, all have been fine. No BSODs or reboots. I have updated them to the new dat pretty sharpish though.

    So there must be some other factor at work here.
    It’s not simply affecting ALL XP sp3 machines.
    One blogger reckoned that the PC needed IE8 also, but I can’t confirm this.

  • steve lancaster

    For what it’s worth – my organisation had 500 machines with the bad dat, but only 20 were xp sp3.
    Of these 20, all have been fine. No BSODs or reboots. I have updated them to the new dat pretty sharpish though.

    So there must be some other factor at work here.
    It’s not simply affecting ALL XP sp3 machines.
    One blogger reckoned that the PC needed IE8 also, but I can’t confirm this.

  • Jason

    Thank you for this!

    I have been petitioning my employer to ditch your bloated software for the last two years.

    Today they listened and we have been empowered to select a new enterprise wide A/V solution.

    Thank you for the bottom of my heart for proving me right.

  • Craig

    I love the title of the blog post “A Long Day at McAfee”. It’s an even longer day for me, I was traveling and in the middle of a customer presentation when my laptop crashed. And since I am no where near an IT facility, I have cancelled my trip just to return home so I can get your miserable handywork repaired. You guys are the Toyota of the IT world. Congratulations on your fantastic response to the issue, next time observe the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I hope my company blows you off every one of our thousands of machines and goes with Norton. And my personal machines will never see a McAfee product on them. Ever.

  • Dan

    ‘As I approach my 14th straight hour on the phone with my worldwide support team, and a number of them logging a similar number of hours’

    I feel for you,…not.

    How about saying sorry next time, instead of talking how hard you are working. We all Work hard when if needed. It wasn’t the best day for us either!

    Do you have a XPSP3 box in your QA lab? or just testing on us as its cheaper (may not be cheaper in the long run)

    The biggest hit I have ever had, not from a virus but from a Virus company! What a joke

  • Mattias

    14 hours, I couldn’t care less. A really introvert excuse.

    My support team in Sweden have been working through-out the night, well more than 14 hours.

    Customer centricty rules, not introvert excuses.

  • Dan

    As I approach my 14th straight hour on the phone with my worldwide support team, and a number of them logging a similar number of hours’

    I feel for you, not

    How about saying sorry next time, instead of talking how hard you are working. We all Work hard when if needed. It wasn’t the best day for us either!

    The biggest hit I have ever had, not from a virus but from a Virus company!

  • Seb

    Here’s some unsolicited advice: Just stick to facts and contrition.

    Bingo. The PR empty talk that accompanies the “apology” really takes the cake. Talking about how great McAffee is in a post about a virus update that messed up thousands and thousands of PCs is amazingly tone deaf.

  • Wendy

    How fabulous that you can completely underestimate the scope of the issue AND misguide us that the “little problem” has an easy fix. My small firm was DEAD IN THE WATER for more than 5 hours when our 3 networked PCs went down and I was on the phone with our corporate IT department for 3 hours trying to get it installed after having to copy the file from another firm’s XP-based PC. SO, then I had to have an IT guy come to the office to insert the “easy” patch which couldn’t be installed permanently until we uninstalled your software. Once your software was removed the patch worked. So where do I send you the bill for all the expense and lost revenue? I suppose I’ll have to get in line after the “big guys” who had literally THOUSANDS of computers go down and had to shut stores WORLDWIDE…. Oh yeah — I want a refund of what I’ve paid for your product…. Hopefully there will be a class action suit filed, too! Talk about an electronic ash cloud. Have a lovely day

  • Graham Bleakley

    Unforgiveable. Unprofessional. My entire organisation affected. Critical machines are down. Key data lost. A whole morning of machines out – where do I send the bill? We are pulling McAfee from our servers and have purchased Kaspersky.
    Really not acceptable.

  • M Salsido

    My 84 yr. old mother got hit today. Has no one but me to help her with her computer. I’m 14 hrs. away. She now has no internet connection to go to your chat/email support for help or to update – when I called there just now, I’m told that her account says she is not eligible for services! I understand that in normal issues. This is McAffee’s doing. How is McAffee going to repair this for her and how soon??

  • Al

    A long day – poor you. Perhaps you should consider the 1000′s of your (ex) customers who you have caused to have a long day because of your incompetance.

    Your ‘apology’ is Weasel Words…

  • waldaemon

    Clearly no DTAP!!!

  • Mark

    Like you said, mistakes do happen. As a senior systems administrator, I see this all day long but view it from the other perspective. A vast part of my day is spent correcting issues brought on by the individual user. Here are just a few “mistakes” I’ve run into and you may even be able to relate to some of them! How about deleting a file & then wanting support in restoring it 5-mintues before the end of the day, or maybe loading unauthorized software on your work computer and corrupting the system! What about those who accidentally spill coffee on the equipment, clean it up and then explain that they have no clue why their workstation isn’t working. Or maybe like the one I had today in which I spent 3-hours of my own time after work recovering an email archive file that the person allowed to exceed the 2GB limit and was no longer accessible. What I’m saying is that McAfee has released thousands of updates in the past without issues. . . and yes, at times we all make mistakes!

  • MLL

    How can I update ? With svchost quarantined, no network or internet connection.

    PS – I don’t care how “small a percentage” of your users have this problem – you’ve made a massive error here.

  • After browsing serveral blog pages and other pages on this issue I still have questions.

    What are the exact criteria for determining whether a windows xp machine is affected ? The reboot problem and svchost.exe is zero bytes or does not exist ?

    And what to do with any xp machine that does not satisfy these criteria. Do nothing, ie wait for the next update ? Or manually update to definitions 5959 ? Or manually update to definitions 5959 and reboot ?

  • how on earth did such disastrous update even got past from McAfee in the first place?

  • Using PR fuzzies like “protect our customers from a seemingly endlessly multiplying variety and volume of attacks” and “we wanted to protect our customers, as we have done successfully thousands and thousands of times before.” you sound less concerned with your company’s screw up and more concerned about image. I pay your company to protect my computers… and I don’t care what you’ve done in the past. That is your JOB. When I am staring an a fleet of rebooting machines your past performance is meaningless.

    Here’s some unsolicited advice: Just stick to facts and contrition. As a customer my only concern is the answer to the question “What have you done for me lately?”

  • Rahul bose

    Can you shed some light on what level of compatibity testing a Mcafee update goes through before release? While I appreciate the problem of having to push out an update in light of zero day exploits, this “mistake” doesn’t pass the basic sniff test for most users.

  • Adam in Melbourne

    How the hell could this have not been picked up as an issue before the update was issued. Don’t you guys do any real-world testing ? Disgraceful.

  • Robert in Phx

    We appreciate the work but are currently fighting a 3rd undetectable version of the autorun.worm.g in 6days.

    We are waiting for your engineering…

    Today’s flawed DAT was issolated to less than 1% of our PC’s but the timing was terrible.

  • Toby DeDog

    You deserve to have red hot pokers plunged into your eye sockets. Failing that, your company deserves to fail. Your “protection” is far worse than any virus you’re supposed to protect us against.

  • I posted a step-by-step fix on my blog.

    http://mrbteachus.spaces.live.com/

    Hope this helps some of you..

    David

  • Good Luck, Barry. Mistakes do happen, best of luck resolving the customer issues and getting back to normal operations.

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