AMS Computers head technician Simon Jackson puts another completed computer on the shelf after a false positive down load.
AMS Computers head technician Simon Jackson puts another completed computer on the shelf after a false positive down load. Ron Burgin

Anti-viral update causes chaos

WHEN computer technician Simon Jackson walked back into his shop, turned on three computers and saw the same warning pop up on the screens he knew something had gone wrong.

Within half-an-hour frantic customers were rushing into the store and the phone was ringing off the hook as an AVAST anti-viral update began to delete other programs on their computers.

The panic began on Thursday when AVAST — an anti-viral program like Norton — released an update that had a “false positive” within it.

“It believed black was white and white was black,” Mr Jackson said.

“It thought everything in the computer was out to hurt the computer it was on.”

Mr Jackson said one of the first things it attacked was an anti-spyware program, before it deleted other programs like Skype and Etax.

Kepnock accountant Kerrie-Lee Evans, who works from home, did not realise there was a problem on her computer until she went to access a program where she creates tax returns for her clients.

“I’ve never lost a program before — it ate my TaxCat program,” she said.

AVAST released a second up-date which corrected the problem and Mr Jackson said most people were able to fix the issue on their own.

“This is the first time in nine years I’ve seen AVAST do something this dramatic,” he said.



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