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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Mistakes happen

Mistakes happen, or so the perpetrators always claim. It's rarely the victim. Such was the case, last week, for, maybe, 100s of millions of avast antivirus users. I was one of them.

The following image is of a pop-up warning (and the associated alarm, scared years out of me). The problem was caused by a definitions update, which was scheduled for testing, being released before it was tested! It's been fixed, though.

Avast's CEO

"...We have learned a lot from this incident and are making sure it will never, ever happen again."

Without going deeply into the techie facts, of why this happened, suffice to say that the update in question caused the anti-virus to flag hundreds of innocent files as trojans - false positives, and the suggested recommendation was to move the file(s) to the chest (see image). This, naturally, didn't fix the problem, at the time. In fact, it virtually shut down my computer.

Luckily, and for a fee of A$110, I got a techie-person to come and get me back on the air - because I couldn't. I didn't know how (I'm not a 'real' techie). After running some programs and anti-virus checks etc, I decided to uninstall the a2-Anti-Dialer program, which had been the subject of the flag. A needless action, though, as I later found out by reading DSLReports. I didn't know it was an avast stuff-up, for two days, because I was 'off the air', so, naturally, I thought the anti-dialler was at fault.

Lots of users have jumped off the avast ship, I suppose, as a result of this and, although I didn't, and won't, I can understand.

Anyway, to cut a long sad story down to size, it pays to keep watch on the various forums - like DSLReports. Worthwhile joining - $10.

This week, reading the news, and the Reports, I see those users of Microsoft's Bing, are others who have been treated to a 'mistake'. I hope it isn't an infectious trend! (Sorry).

Even Microsoft makes mistakes! Sounds like the big-fella company is human?


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