It’s not unusual that there are over 100 million users in this room, so as you can imagine, errors in algorithm updates are quite noticeable. Here are some of the most important antivirus bugs we’ve seen in the 30-year history of PC protection software
Our first major antivirus consultancy on the list was recently discovered; in December 2015, Dark Reading (a reputable news site in the computer security industry) reported that memory allocation problems in computers “led to AVG, McAfee and Kaspersky products being compromised. The threat is extremely dangerous because it essentially turns anti-virus software into a tool that a hacker can use to collect private information or cause systemic damage directly opposite to what the anti-virus software should do. What’s worse, all you have to do is send an email and get it on your computer: you don’t even have to open the email! Antivirus works by checking every file that receives and sends your computer, making sure that everything is safe for you and your computer. This mechanism allows you to use it. An attachment (especially an ASPack compression file) is attached to your email. When an anti-virus program scans it, the file is unpacked, infecting your computer. Without an anti-virus program, your computer would not be vulnerable to this exploit. The exploit may affect both Windows and Mac and Linux computers, but do not worry, a fix has been provided to solve this problem.
The next major failure of the PC security company to be mentioned is the fault of an anonymous brand, which has had far less negative impact than it could have had. In the middle of a medical procedure, when a long thin tube is inserted through a patient’s vein to the heart, allowing doctors to measure vital signs (also known as a “catheterization of the heart”), an anonymous antivirus performed one of its regular scans, which resulted in a computer failure. The accident caused a dangerous delay in the operation, as the patient had to take a sedative while restarting the application. Fortunately, the surgery was a success, but as the FDA said, the accident “can have adverse effects on the patient.
Our latest major antivirus bug is the fault of Avira, one of the largest in the industry. In 2012, Avira released an update that blocks almost all legitimate applications on a user’s computer. The update quarantined almost all Windows executable files (files of this type end in .exe), an error that one customer described as “catastrophic” for his company. As expected, the bug fix was released very quickly, but it does not mitigate the damage, making it impossible for more than 100 million customers to open applications on their computers.