Friday, 23 April 2010

Security update failure....

It's a well known fact in the department, that stuff happens when I'm away. This week's trip to Oxford was no exception, as we were hit by the McAfee update debacle. Basically, McAfee (our virus scanning software), issued an update on Wednesday afternoon which gave "false positives". I love how innocuous that sounds! What it means, is that it thought a perfectly valid file was in fact a virus and deleted it. Unfortunately this had the effect of turning the machine off, and it then wouldn't boot properly, or connect to the network. All very bad. Especially from something that's supposed to protect you from threats.

Luckily, it only affected PCs running XP, and we were alerted very quckly that there was a problem, as our PCs are set to update at 5pm, and calls immediately started to come in to the helpdesk. So, our incident procedure swung into action, and we kept an eye on what McAfee and other places were doing - lots of good information swapped between those Universities which were affected. Unfortunately, not a lot from McAfee at first because their web site went down! Pleased to report that the team did a great job, and everything was handled well. But, something we could have done without!

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