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Microsoft Security Products Flag Google Chrome As a Virus 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-it-quacks-like-a-horse dept.
New submitter maeltor writes "Reports poured in this morning that Microsoft's security products, namely Microsoft Security Essentials and Forefront Client Security, were flagging Google Chrome as a virus (PWS:Win32/Zbot) and removing the browser if users chose to clean and reboot their machines. Users reported that the only way to mitigate the problem was to set MSE and Forefront to 'always allow' Zbot, which is generally considered to be a bad idea." A Google employee in the above support thread notes that Microsoft has now pushed another update to resolve the issue. "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."
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Microsoft Security Products Flag Google Chrome As a Virus

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  • A joke... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Friday September 30, 2011 @01:55PM (#37569852)

    Microsoft Security Products Flag Google Chrome As a Virus

    For once, Microsoft get's it right!

    • Re:A joke... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Friday September 30, 2011 @02:45PM (#37570484)

      I realise you were going for humour, but Google does a lot of very shady things involving auto-updates and integrating with unnecessary parts of a system. Why does my Firefox installation need a Google Update plug-in I never asked for, and why does it keep getting reactivated even though I've explicitly turned it off?

      The reaction might not have been deliberate on this occasion, but I am utterly lacking in sympathy if Google's shady code starts getting treated like malware. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's still a duck, even though sometimes it can taste good.

    • by Carewolf (581105)

      Chrome is no virus, but it is technically speaking spyware, forcing Google to introduce the term badware to replace malware, because malware includes spyware but badware only includes spyware used for id-theft, not spyware used for targeted advertisement.

      • Ok... compromise.

        Stern-lookware?
        Loud-sighware?
        Adrenaline-releaseware?
        Stomp-footware?
        Annoyware?
        But-I-trusted-youware?
        I-need-to-walk-away-for-a-minuteware?
        Please-stopware?
        Wish-you-would-uninstall-instead-of-lyingware?

        Well, a couple were a little long but hell... Runnin' out of acronyms; may as well run out of 'WareNames'. :>

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Whether you dislike Google's policies or not (I personally give my clients Comodo Dragon, it is Chromium based and has the speed along with some extra security features and NO Google phone home crap) I still don't see what made this deserve a front page slot on Slashdot. Is it a slow news day?

        Its a false positive folks, it happens. It isn't even a truly nasty fp that trashes the system like the McAfee bug we had awhile back, and they fixed it in just a couple of hours from fp found to fp eliminated. That re

        • by Talderas (1212466)

          It made Slashdot because...

          1. Microsoft dun screwed up (no matter how innocuous it may have been).
          2. Google is a shining child of goodness and can do no evil.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Get's? Why is there an apostrophe in there?

  • by killmenow (184444) on Friday September 30, 2011 @01:57PM (#37569892)
    "Oh, Woops! How did that happen?! So sorry about that Google. Totally a mistake. Totally. Our bad, really."

    Meanwhile some clueless user just switched back to IE.
    • by Chemicles (771024) on Friday September 30, 2011 @02:32PM (#37570340)

      Right. If some bug had been discovered in some open source software and was corrected in 2 hours, the comments on the story would be a circlejerk praising the open source community.

      Microsoft realizes there's a bug, corrects it within 2 hours, and it's anti-competetive. Sheesh. They did a good job with a quick fix, can't we just acknowledge success when it happens?

      • The righteous indignation is strong with this one. The way I figure it, upon confronting humor, you have three options: (a) laughing because you think it's funny; (b) not laughing because it's not funny to you; and, (42) taking it seriously, getting offended, lecturing the jokester and proving yourself humorless.

        I applaud your choice, good sir! 42 is always the right answer.
        • I applaud your choice, good sir! 42 is always the right answer.

          Careful.... 62% of geeks cannot recognize or do not know what dry humor is. :>

        • There is absolutely nothing in the OP to suggest any sort of humor. It received four insightful mods, and not a single funny mod, so it's pretty clear that most people who read it agree with me.

          Trying to claim that you were "only joking!" after someone disagrees with you is one of the most tiresome debate tactics imaginable.

      • by Nyder (754090)

        Right. If some bug had been discovered in some open source software and was corrected in 2 hours, the comments on the story would be a circlejerk praising the open source community.

        Microsoft realizes there's a bug, corrects it within 2 hours, and it's anti-competetive. Sheesh. They did a good job with a quick fix, can't we just acknowledge success when it happens?

        You must be new here.

      • by dimeglio (456244)

        Well knowing Google and Microsoft are fierce competitors, and flagging a legit application as a virus to be a very rare occurrence, I can see why people might think Microsoft was maybe less diligent with their Chrome testing. How long it took to fix it is irrelevant as Microsoft probably had the fix ready. They were just waiting for people/Google to complain about this problem.

    • "Oh, Woops! How did that happen?! So sorry about that Google. Totally a mistake. Totally. Our bad, really."

      Meanwhile some clueless user just switched back to IE.

      I'm sorry but I have to...

      "In business news today, Google has filed a lawsuit asking for $150,000,000 in damages from Microsoft for taking one Google Chrome Internet browser user from them. This is related to the 'false positive' report by a Microsoft product that the Google browser was a virus or piece of 'malware'. Google is seeking damages for the one lost user, plus total long-term net loss based on loss of referrals and recommendations, combined with the establishment of case law to help businesses b

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      "Oh, Woops! How did that happen?! So sorry about that Google. Totally a mistake. Totally. Our bad, really."

      Meanwhile some clueless user just switched back to IE.

      Ah, reminds me of the MSN - Opera debacle years ago. Bork Bork Bork.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      > Meanwhile some clueless user just switched back to IE.

      If your browser stops working (for whatever reason) and you switch to a browser that *does* work, I wouldn't call that "clueless". I'd call that "getting your work done".

      I might call it "lacking in administration skills" but (this is something admins really need to learn) users have their own work to do. It's not their job, nor should it be, to know the inner workings of the OS.

      Pragmatically, if this was easy to do, most of us would be out of a jo

    • by egamma (572162)

      "Oh, Woops! How did that happen?! So sorry about that Google. Totally a mistake. Totally. Our bad, really." Meanwhile some clueless user just switched back to IE.

      So a couple of years ago when they accidentally flagged IE as a virus, you think the user switched to Chrome? And that was Microsoft's plan too?

    • "Oh, Woops! How did that happen?! So sorry about that Google. Totally a mistake. Totally. Our bad, really."

      Isn't that about the same thing google said about collecting people's Wi-Fi passwords?

  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Friday September 30, 2011 @01:57PM (#37569894)

    This has never happened in all of computing history.

    • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday September 30, 2011 @02:01PM (#37569974) Journal

      Right. Let's face it, Microsoft would have done this on purpose if they had thought of it and thought they could get away with it, but chances are, this was an honest mistake. Test by: the regular (but hopefully infrequent) false positives you get from any antivirus product. Also test by: the speed at which M$ corrected it. Probably nothing to see here.

      • Microsoft puts most updates out once a week. Most users that actually update their software and run A/V tests do it at least once a week, so it only needs to be "wrong" for that one week.
        • by PCM2 (4486)

          MSE updates itself automatically. You see MSE definition updates in Windows Update, but they're marked "Optional" and you don't actually have to download them... you'll get them anyway.

  • Whoops! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30, 2011 @01:57PM (#37569900)

    It looks like they responded within 2 hours - not bad!
    Google support ticket with issue and resolution at the top: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Chrome/thread?tid=42d6ba02d7eed070&hl=en
    I wonder what Chrome did that smelled like Win32/Zbot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Good point. Makes you wonder what Chrome might be doing or tracking behind the scenes. Something must have triggered the virus scanner and normal program behaviour just does not do that. Just sayin'.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They've got V8 generating code at runtime, Nacl sandbox using segment registers, installer doing address relocation after decompressing (probably using custom x86-specific compression algo like Snappy), an always-running update checker, etc. It's no wonder they'd get randomly marked as a virus.

      • Re:Whoops! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 30, 2011 @02:51PM (#37570554) Homepage

        Well Zbot has a lot of really broad things that you're looking for in terms of detection. So to have something legitimate being nailed wouldn't surprise me, it actually surprises me that other browsers haven't been nailed yet because they do the same things that, that includes IE, Opera and a variety of webkit based ones.

    • Re:Whoops! (Score:5, Funny)

      by killmenow (184444) on Friday September 30, 2011 @02:04PM (#37570004)
      I wonder what Chrome did that smelled like Win32/Zbot.

      Made IE look stupid and fat.
    • by robmv (855035)

      Installing in %APPDATA% by default is one of them

  • It is a virus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30, 2011 @01:57PM (#37569906)

    Chrome is a virus. You see, it has caused the marketing people at Mozilla to go crazy with the numbering scheme of FF and as a result, borked up my once good to use user interface into a complete mess of new design, misplaced buttons, screwy single menus and a whole host of unusable extensions. Chrome is a virus... that has killed Firefox.

  • Even if the problem wasn't so completely lacking in newsworthiness, it was already fixed before the article got posted, so why even bother posting it?

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Hey, usually Slashdot is about 2-3 days behind the news curve, this is lightning speed for this site.

      It also allows an opportunity for stupid people to bash Microsoft.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      Why it is time for everyone's favorite reality show.

      It's

      Five Minutes of Hate!!

      Where you can hurl hate for fun and prizes!

      Remember, it's not just fun, it makes you a better citizen.

  • by gstrickler (920733) on Friday September 30, 2011 @02:01PM (#37569962)

    ...known as Adobe Flash.

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Friday September 30, 2011 @02:04PM (#37570002) Homepage Journal

    After all the times AV products have flagged Windows system files!

  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Friday September 30, 2011 @02:13PM (#37570130)
    It's not as bad as McAfee's "Oh hey, that important system file, you're not using it right? *delete*"
    One of my friends was at work for nearly 2 weeks straight after that fiasco.
  • The real reason Microsoft is flagging Chrome as a virus. Since Chrome appears to be a legitimate threat to IE (unlike FF), if enough users believe that Chrome *IS* a virus, perhaps IE will reign undisputed King Of The Browsers.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      Or, Chrome often times gets on a user's system the way that malware does, via an opt out in some shady software. If Google doesn't want their products treated like malware, then they really need to stop with that kind of shady distribution tactic.

      In this case it's almost certainly a mistake.

  • Patches to IE9 break g-mail's formatting.

  • ...that my primary OS at home and work is Linux. I guess I'd better check when I go into the office on Monday whether Chrome has been removed from my Windows VM; but given that the Windows VM is primarily used to access the corporate Intranet (most of which absolutely requires IE anyhow, don't get me started...), losing Chrome from there isn't the end of the world. I do 99% of my web access from the Linux host system!
  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Friday September 30, 2011 @03:42PM (#37571094) Journal

    Disguise it as an FBI key logger [slashdot.org]

  • to eliminate competition in the browser space.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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