McAfee says "sorry" for crashing thousands of XP machines

Posted by Starr Keshet

McAfee has issued an official apology for inadvertently crashing thousands of corporate Windows XP machines with a defective virus definition file (5958) that
deleted the critical svchost.exe.

"In our ongoing efforts to protect our customers from a seemingly endlessly multiplying variety and volume of attacks, we released a update file that clearly did more harm than good...We created negative and unintended consequences for some very important people," acknowledged an appropriately red-faced executive VP Barry McPherson.

McAfee says "sorry" for crashing thousands of XP machines"[Yes], 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."

Meanwhile, Byron Acohido of USA Today noted that each of the affected computers will have to be manually cleaned, with at least 30 minutes of manual labor allocated per PC.  

"There's no way to automate the process," Amrit Williams, CTO of security management system company Big Fix, told USA Today. 

"It will take however long it takes to touch each single machine. The companies affected by this could be dealing with this for days or weeks."