Computers in schools, companies, and hospitals around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves April 21 after an antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus, reports the Associated Press. McAfee Inc. confirmed that a software update it posted at 9 a.m. Eastern time caused its antivirus program for enterprise customers to misidentify a harmless file. It has posted a replacement update for downloading. McAfee could not say how many computers were affected, but judging by online postings, the number was at least in the thousands and possibly in the hundreds of thousands. McAfee said it is investigating how the error happened “and will take measures” to prevent it from recurring, the company said in a statement. Peter Juvinall, systems administrator at Illinois State University in Normal, said that when the first computer started rebooting it quickly became evident that it was a major problem, affecting dozens of computers at the College of Business alone. “I originally thought it was a virus,” he said. When the tech support people concluded McAfee’s update was to blame, they stopped further downloads of the faulty software update and started shuttling from computer to computer to get the machines working again…

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About the Author:

Denny Carter

Dennis has covered higher education technology since April 2008, having interviewed some of the most recognized IT pros in U.S. colleges and universities. He is always updating eCampus News with the latest in pressing ed-tech issues, such as the growing i


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