A false-positive update for Microsoft’ Security Essentials software has removed Google’s Chrome browser from hundreds of Windows desktops.
Reports of problems originally started at Google’s support forums on Friday. A support thread with 200 comments includes a number of users reporting that Microsoft Security Essentials identified Google’s Chrome browser as a “severe” threat and removed the software. Some users reported that the threat was PWS:Win32/Zbot, a variant of the Zeus (Zbot) malware.
Microsoft acknowledged the mix up on Friday and addressed the problems by releasing a new definition file update for Microsoft Security Essentials. ZDNet reports that the software giant updated its Malware protection center listing for the Win32/Zbot listing with the following:
“On September 30th, 2011, an incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified. On September 30th, 2011, Microsoft released an update that addresses the issue. Signature versions 1.113.672.0 and higher include this update.
PWS:Win32/Zbot is a password-stealing trojan that monitors for visits to certain Web sites. It allows limited backdoor access and control and may terminate certain security-related processes.”
Microsoft’s Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky, introduced Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 Metro style earlier this month at the company’s BUILD conference. Sinofsky joked: “I don’t think anything is better than a Chrome-less browsing experience.” Perhaps he’s more of a visionary than we first thought.