September 30, 2011

Unacceptable Incompetency: Microsoft Accidentally Deletes Google's Chrome Browser from Users' PCs

Microsoft now claims that about 3000 users were impacted when their Security Essentials antivirus package went berserk and incorrectly flagged as a virus -- and in many cases deleted -- Google's Chrome Web browser from users' systems today.

Jokes aside about Microsoft deploying a new weapon to boost its own Internet Explorer in the "browser wars," this event could have been much worse, should never have been this bad, and is a clear warning not just to Microsoft, but to the entire computing industry.

Security Essentials is a free package that Microsoft very heavily promotes and encourages users to install -- including within the normal Windows Update automated environment. It's straightforward to imagine how far more users could have been easily impacted by this event. Even worse, picture the consequences if other critical elements of PC's had been targeted in error this way, perhaps even making booting difficult or impossible.

There is no imaginable, reasonable excuse for how Microsoft could have screwed up so badly today. Even if a faulty virus signature was in their database, it would not have required more than a few obvious, rudimentary additional checks to indicate that a major software package was involved that should not be subjected to recommended or automated deletion in what can only be described as a cavalier manner.

Where were the sanity checks? Why weren't Microsoft personnel alerted to a nonsensical virus hit before Security Essentials was permitted to run wild deleting Chrome from trusting Microsoft customers?

This wasn't a rocket science situation, and it calls into question the totality of Microsoft's antivirus technology and associated management.

Is Microsoft the only antivirus vendor who could make this kind of major mistake? We'd be foolish in the extreme to make such an assumption.

This was a shot across the bow that could have been a disaster.

We had better take notice. Right now.


Posted by Lauren at September 30, 2011 02:41 PM | Permalink
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