Symantec boots users offline

A faulty update to Symantec's Norton security software began booting thousands of users off their AOL internet connections last week, Symantec has admitted.

The problem began with a March 15 intrusion detection signature file sent via LiveUpdate to customers using Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security, according to Symantec. The file caused Norton to mistakenly identify AOL traffic as malicious, effectively blocking Internet access for both dialup and broadband customers.

"A Symantec Intrusion Detection signature that was included in the March 15 LiveUpdate caused this problem," said Symantec in an advisory on its website.

Symantec said it released an updated signature file fixing the problem about seven hours after the first file was distributed. However, without a connection, those affected weren't necessarily able to access the fix.

AOL's U.K. call centers have received around 4,000 calls about the problem, according to a spokesperson.

The solution is relatively simple, according to Symantec -- users need to update their Norton software, which should enable them to go online and download the corrected signature file. Detailed instructions are available in the company's advisory, which, sadly, will not be accessible to those affected.

Symantec is in good company with regard to update gaffes. The previous week, McAfee's virus-scanning products wreaked havoc on corporate and consumer systems, after a buggy virus definition file triggered the quarantine or deletion of a long list of executable files, including Microsoft Excel.

While excel.exe was the most high-profile false positive, the list of wrongly identified files later released by McAfee was seven pages long. Administrators said they expected to spend hours restoring the quarantined files.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matthew Broersma

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?