Recently, McAfee, one of the flagship Internet security companies, spread some “malware” themselves. They recently sent out a software update to keep their customers’ computers safer. However, there were errors in the update that caused some customers to be unprotected and others to be blocked from accessing the Internet.
I usually refrain from describing my computing environment, but one of the layers of my Internet security is McAfee’s anti-virus platform. Well, when I found that I could no longer access the Internet I immediately checked my wireless router and the rest of my network. I found nothing wrong. My next thought was my wireless card in my laptop…that wasn’t it either. I then found myself wondering how in the love of Pete I could have become infected with malware…me, with several layers of security, me, knowing all the right security practices and having implemented them, me, who’s always writing articles telling others how to avoid being infected. Yes, I’d resigned myself that I’d been the victim of a drive-by infection…somehow.
You don’t have any idea how happy I was to find out that the problem wasn’t a malware infection, and that it had come from my McAfee update…PHEW!!
Then I gathered myself and began to wonder how and why McAfee would be so stupid and irresponsible as to send out an update that was able to disable my computer. I still don’t know that answer for sure, but it was my guess that they didn’t do a good quality check on the update before they sent it out; probably a new programmer who’d just made a mistake. But upon some research on the subject, I found that such occurrences as this faulty update are not unusual for any of the security vendors.
It seems that these companies, whose software protects us from the crooks, don’t always take the time to test their updates once they have a solution to identifying and eradicating a malware ready to be sent out to their customers. What?? How could this be? Not testing…NOT TESTING!! Okay, I should calm down, gather myself again. The reason they don’t test is because when there’s a malware coursing throughout the Internet, time is of the essence and the sooner the update hits your computer the sooner you’re protected. And they know there’s a tradeoff involved, but are willing to take the risk to protect their customers.
Well…I guess that makes a lot of sense. Perhaps I shouldn’t have called them all those bad names…oh well.
Reference: NETWORKWORLD.com article
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