Microsoft nukes Google Chrome "inadvertently"

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - October 3, 2011.

Google Chrome logo
Sadly, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) various anti-virus engines have recently been flagging Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chrome browser as a Trojan. The problem showed up in the Forefront and Security Essentials anti-malware tools. The bogus AV signature was available for a few hours. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers hope it wasn't a deliberate act.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: There is no spoon...

    Gregg Keizer reports:

Chrome users began reporting the specious detection of the browser early Friday...on their Windows PCs running Microsoft's Security well as Forefront, the antivirus product designed for enterprises.


Microsoft issued a corrected definition file...about three hours after users began reporting the false positive...and said approximately 3,000 users were affected. ... Google slapped a red warning banner at the top of its Google support pages.   

Dan Goodin adds:

[T]he false positive...left huge numbers of Chrome users without bookmarks and browser plugins they rely on. ... A Google spokesman declined to confirm or provide any details, and a Microsoft statement also omitted details...[but] the false positive is causing plenty of teeth-gnashing in IT departments.   

But Ed Bott is suspicious about semantics:

A Microsoft spokesperson [wrote]..."approximately 3,000 customers were impacted." ... If a Forefront installation covering hundreds or thousands of users is counted as a single customer, the actual number of affected PCs could be considerably higher.


This certainly isn’t the first time a defective antivirus signature has created some havoc. ... Remember the episode from April 2010 involving a McAfee definition that...bricked many thousands of enterprise systems worldwide?   

Google's Mark Larson advises thuswise:

Microsoft Security Essentials...began falsely identifying Google Chrome as a piece of malware ("PWS:Win32/Zbot") and removing it.


We are releasing an update that will automatically repair Chrome for affected users...if Chrome is working correctly for you, you don’t need to do anything.   

Meanwhile, Joe Wilcox conspires to theorize:

With Chrome market share going up, surely someone at Microsoft sees the Google browser as an infestation to be purged.


Hopefully, your Windows PC has IE9 installed. Say, you might want to try it on for awhile. ... But if you must download that piece of malware called Chrome (Microsoft says it is), do so and reinstall it.   

   And Finally...
There is no spoon
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon