Microsoft updates antivirus after falsely labeling Chrome as malware

By Lee Kaelin on October 4, 2011, 9:00 AM

Microsoft has made changes to its Security Essentials, Forefront and Defender software after it falsely identified Google's Chrome browser as a well-known online banking Trojan called Zeus and blocked it from users' computers. In an advisory bulletin released on Friday, Microsoft said the blocking of the browser was a mistake.

"On September 30th, 2011, an incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified and as a result, Google Chrome was inadvertently blocked and in some cases removed," reads the advisory notice posted on their Malware Protection Center page. Microsoft said they had resolved the issue within a few hours and had released a manual update.

Initially Microsoft said it believed around 3,000 users were affected, but later said they expected to revise that figure. With just over 16 percent of the market share, it looks to increase drastically. That said, at the time of writing this, I have not had any issues with Google Chrome or MSE and both are functioning exactly as they should on my computer.

Users experiencing problems are advised to update the virus signature to the latest version, and then re-install Google Chrome. Google also updated its latest version of Chrome to 14.0.835.187 on saturday. In a blog post released by program manager Jason Kersey, the company noted that "these updates should help repair Chrome installs that were broken due to the issue with Microsoft Security Essentials."

On its official Google Chrome blog, the company has given detailed instructions on how to manually update the MSE signature files. A moderator on Chrome's help forum has also advised people to be cautious about allowing exceptions for Zeus in the antivirus software, as it is still active, and the Trojan presents a real risk in regards to stealing your data.




User Comments: 14

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1 person liked this | katoDRAGON said:

It's almost like MS did this on purpose

Guest said:

Why update it? MS Security Essentials is not very far at all from reality.....

Guest said:

Well, it is malware for them.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Well played Microsoft.

Well played.

aspleme said:

I guess browser competition is more serious than I realized...

Guest said:

MSE works great for me, (Bing User)...

Guest said:

hahah i got this false positive trying to go back to chrome couple days ago. installed it this time with MSE disabled. Glad it finally got fixed anyway.

treetops treetops said:

amstech said:

Well played Microsoft.

Well played.

Indeed.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I wonder what about Chrome tripped the Malware checker in Security Essentials. Google has been known to record a lot of user data after all.

tw0rld tw0rld said:

Chrome might not be Malware, but it is definitely Spyware.

UnknownSky said:

Accidents do happen .....

Or at least that's what they'll say ^_^

war59312 said:

LOL I bet they wish that 3,000 figure was 30,000,000.

The5Xfactor said:

<quote>Microsoft has made changes to its Security Essentials, Forefront and Defender software after it falsely identified Google's Chrome browser as a well-known online banking Trojan called Zeus and blocked it from users' computers</quote>

LOL, that's was good 10 minute laugh

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Haven't had any issues personally, but this is indeed funny.

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