An update of McAfee's VirusScan product was issued yesterday and was available to business customers for several hours. The update falsely identified a core file present in Windows XP Service Pack 3 as a threat. This caused affected PCs to repeatedly reboot, wreaking havoc with the IT systems of numerous emergency services, education and corporate customers.
McAfee's executive vice president of worldwide technical support and customer service Barry McPherson claimed in a blog that about 0.5 per cent of business customers had been affected by the troubles.
"Mistakes happen. No excuses," he wrote. "The nearly 7,000 employees of McAfee are focused right now on two things, in this order. First, help our customers who have been affected by this issue get back to business as usual. And second, once that is done, make sure we put the processes in place so this never happens again."
Sunbelt, which last year claimed it wanted to be "the next McAfee in Europe", has been quick to make hay with its rival's woes. McAfee enterprise customers switching to Sunbelt before the end of June will be given six months of free maintenance. A migration tool, which automatically uninstalls McAfee and replaces it with Sunbelt's VIPRE Windows endpoint offering, will also be made available.
Sunbelt's senior vice president of sales and marketing Jim Moise said: “Based on recent events, we are seeing record numbers of McAfee enterprise customers looking for an alternative solution for endpoint security. In order to make the transition to VIPRE easier, we are offering them a simple financial incentive to move to our endpoint security solution.”
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