McAfee Promises Compensation for Poisoned Antivirus Update

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week, a buggy McAfee anti-virus update released to the public sent computers running Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) crashing to a halt. The widespread issue led to intense anger thrown in the direction of the security firm, which recently announced it would offer to reimburse some users affected by the problem.

The issue was the result of a poisoned virus update which identified vital processes in the Windows XP operating system as being virus infected. When the antivirus program attempted to quarantine these critical files, it caused machines to crash without warning, leaving many users with unusable PCs.

McAfee Automated Fix Not Available

McAfee has offered a way around the issue; however, the fix is somewhat lengthy and technical.

As such, McAfee is now saying it will reimburse affected users for "reasonable expenses" that appear to include repair jobs for most systems and perhaps more compensation for the "small percentage" of PCs with permanent damage as a result of the buggy code.

If you have already incurred costs to repair your PC as a result of this issue, we're committed to reimbursing reasonable expenses," McAfee has posted on its home page. "Steps to process your reimbursement request will be posted in the next few days." (Source:

Compensation Plan Unclear

McAfee has already noted that it will offer a two year extension of its antivirus services for systems affected by the problem. Unfortunately, that hasn't satisfied many users who now want nothing to do with the company. (Source:

Right now, McAfee is encouraging customers call its support hotline to see if the problem can be fixed by a company technician. If that's impossible, McAfee says it is ready to provide the software to fix the problem, either by download or delivery.

It's not yet clear which people will be granted compensation, but it's worth asking the support technician if you're one of those affected by the problem.

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