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Bug Software Windows IT

Kaspersky Update Breaks Internet Access For Windows XP Users 92

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday afternoon, Kaspersky Labs released a definition update that blocked all Internet and Intranet access on Windows XP workstations. While there has been no official communication from Kaspersky, their forum is lit up with angry customers relying on each other to find a fix." Update: 02/05 16:42 GMT by T : Thanks to an anonymous reader, who says that Kaspersky has issued a statement, and a fix (though the fix takes some manual labor to implement).
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Kaspersky Update Breaks Internet Access For Windows XP Users

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:16PM (#42797493)
    they already have a fix you can download!
    • Right now, the "temporary" fix is to disable their Web AV.

      • At least you can do that. I had a mate that installed McAffee (because it came bundled with BT's broadband package). His machine refused to connect to the internet, though ICMP packets were allowed. My first thought was "Disable everything that even resembles McAffee", but to no avail. In the end I did what I should have done initially - wipe every mention of McAffee from the machine - job done. I still don't know what was blocking the traffic.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          In the end I did what I should have done initially - wipe every mention of McAffee from the machine - job done.

          Same strategy that the nation of Belize used. Worked pretty well for them too.

        • but this is not McAfee....this is Kaspersky I'm confused or I think you're confused.
          • What I was trying to say was that at least in this case you can disable the Kaspersky components so you can connect to the internet to download the update without resorting to sneakernet.

    • Link to fix (Score:5, Informative)

      by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:29PM (#42797695) Homepage Journal []

      Text of fix, credit the forum poster known as "omaudio":

      from Kaspersky-

      "We apologize for the inconvenience. It does appear that there was a hiccup with an Update pushed out causing Windows XP machines to lose internet connectivity. An update was just released that should address the issue, what I will need you to do is:

      To get XP users internet connectivity (temporarily), please disable the Web AV component of your protection policy for your managed computers. After doing so;

      In Security Center (or Admin Kit):

      1.) Go to the Repositories section >> (Right click) Updates >> All Tasks >> Clear updates repository.
      2.) Go to the Repositories section >> (Right click) Updates >> Download Updates

      After taking this step, please run your group Update task for Managed Computers. After the update has been pushed to your workstations, please re-enable your Web AV component in your protection policy. This should resolve the issue. "

      • So, they broke internet access, but it's ok, because you can download the fix from the internet.

        That reminds me of the failure of the Russian Phobos-1 mission, which occurred when they sent an (incorrect) command stating, roughly, "point the receiving antenna away from the Earth, and wait for further instructions."

        * (greatly simplified)

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:23PM (#42797587) Homepage

    Epic FAIL! All you AV providers need to be testing your damn defs before deployment to the public. Geez, how fucking hard is this?

    • I'll bet they don't even have an XP machine to do the testing on. Besides, if they did, would they be having problems with it...?

      • With Windows XP, not having access to the internet might be the most secure option. The only way I usually run XP is on a virtual machine with the networking turned off, so Windows doesn't even know the internet exists (just like early Windows 95).

        • Yes I'm sure all of the businesses running XP on old machines because it still works, not to mention the millions of home users with crappy old computers, are just dying to start messing around with virtual machines.
      • Er, I don't think anyone would be irresponsible enough to release official builds even for a minor open source project without having a set of VMs, one with each major supported version of Windows. There's usually something wrong. Like, in Dungeon Crawl [] (not so minor a project, but not big either), Windows builds for 0.11.0 worked fine, 0.11.1 would crash on startup on Win7 (but not XP, 2k or 8) if I didn't catch it, 0.11.2 built fine again. Quite puzzling -- why would a strictly bugfix point release sud

    • When you have millions of customers and no two have identical machines, it's damned hard to test for every case. It doesn't say if all XP machines are affected (which should have been tested for) or if just a large number of them have been (which may or may not have shown up in testing).

      • My clients that have this issue are all XP w/IE8. Various manufacturers and patch levels. When I say my client, I do their switch/route stuff not servers/workstations.
      • But seriously, how hard is it to put together a couple of PCs and have most of the bases covered? This is WinXP we're talking about, a legacy OS whose heyday has a pretty typical build to go with it.

        From my years at the shop if someone asked me to hand them a "typical XP box" it would be a 2.2GHz-3.2GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB-1GB of RAM, a 160GB HDD and an Intel 8xx or 9xx IGP. If you wanted to get as perfect to "middle of the road XP" as possible a 2.6GHz with 512Mb of RAM along with a 160GB HDD and an Int

        • That covers the hardware, which is mostly irrelevant to anti-virus other than how long it takes to scan. What service pack is installed? What patches? Hotfixes? Third party programs? What malware is on there? What files are corrupt? What settings has the user changed? Is it Home or Pro? Once an XP machine has a year or two since the last OS reinstall, there's thousands of variables. Once an XP machine has four or five years with an average user, it's almost unrecognizable.

          • What other AV software is installed. It's not uncommon for people to install 2 or 3 of them and have no idea that they don't play nicely together.
          • Well considering that even MSFT ended support for SP2 over 2 years ago [] I think a minimum of SP3 would be sensible, and since we are talking AV here and we all know how script kiddies use the patches to reverse engineer new hacks I think expecting the OS to be kept up to date really wouldn't be out of line.

            Of course this is all ignoring the elephant in the room when it comes to XP, which is the rampant piracy of that OS. Damned near every out of date XP system that comes into my shop is running "XP Pro Cor

    • by cusco ( 717999 )
      A few years ago a McAfee update identified a .dll file necessary for the world's largest access control software as a virus. Our company was very busy for a few days fixing customer installations all over the region. Amusingly enough, McAfee itself used that access control package. Since McAfee's own security system didn't crash that would seem to indicate that they don't distribute their own updates internally before releasing them out into the wild.
  • Sometimes the only way to win the game is not to play. It seems like Kaspersky has learned that the only way to secure Windows XP is to disable the internet connection. Now if they disable the USB ports next, I think we will have a good security model going. Unfortunately that update will be harder to push.
    • That was my thoughts as well. Considering XP could be 0wned in an average of four minutes, it suggests that old XP is just not safe on the Internet. (XP with service packs and built-in firewall is apparently fine.)

  • by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:26PM (#42797637) Homepage Journal

    To be the perfect AV
    No internet means
    No virus
    No Botnet
    No Adware
    No Spyware ......

    Or maybe the program became self aware and realized that the internet is a disease, a virus, needing to be squashed

  • Cutting off internet access is one of the very best methods for Windows XP security. What's the problem?

    • Cutting off internet access is one of the very best methods for Windows XP security. What's the problem?

      Reality. That is always the problem, and I know a lot of people here have difficulties with it.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:30PM (#42797721)

    The next update will fix the issue, you'll just have to download it...oh, wait.

  • by Apotekaren ( 904220 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:36PM (#42797797)

    Protecting users of more up to date Windows versions from those malware infested botnet-targets.

  • by hduff ( 570443 )

    Thus making Windows XP completely secure!

    • by slew ( 2918 )

      Thus making Windows XP completely secure!

      Sadly, it merely disabled user web surfing (HTTP traffic) to allow the malware on your PC full access to your internet bandwidth...
      No need for that pesky user web surfing tying up your pipe when you have a botnet to manage... ;^)

  • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:42PM (#42797883) Journal

    I have to wonder at which point workstation AV software becomes a bigger risk than the actual malware.

    So far in our organization, we've had two AV incidents. One several years ago when a user brought in an infected laptop with one of the Microsoft RPC exploiting worms. We got the worm before the AV vendor (Symantec at the time) had a signature for it, so the AV software was totally useless. The other event was when Symantec erroneously flagged a Windows Server 2003 resource kit program as malware and quarantined it (fortunately, a program we didn't rely on). So so far, for us - AV has failed to catch our only malware infection and has broken a non-infected program. Strict filtering (both inbound AND outbound) has done a lot more to stop malware in our organization than AV software ever has.

    I also remember an incident a few years ago when a prominent AV vendor's software (I think it was Norton) erroneously quarantined a system file in the Chinese version of WinXP, and rendered the workstation unbootable, affecting a very large number of users.

    I also wonder if any of the AV companies have independently verified and verifiable procedures for making their updates; a malicious employee at one of the big AV vendors could cause a lot of damage by releasing an update that results in an important system file getting quarantined. What safeguards do each AV vendor have in place to prevent this happening? How is it verified that the companies are actually carrying out the policies if they have them to ensure updates are not malicious, and how is it verified that these policies are actually watertight?

    • To some extent, that kind of verification is market driven.
      If somebody blows it too many times, or if someone else discovers that an AV package has become malicious, that vendor's reputation will be impacted, and reputation is a very big part of who gets the big money in the AV game.

      Also, did you check the AV logs from all of your organization's workstations before claiming that the stuff has been useless?

    • Windows Update in Vista and newer sometimes does the same thing if there is an update for the wireless card (especially Atheros) in optional updates.

      How about that? "I can see an update for your wireless card. Let me disable all internet access for you!"

      Disabling WU may not help. Instead remove the Atheros card in device manager, reboot, go online and get the latest driver (your card should now show as a Qualcomm device in dev man).

      I've started doing this on all atheros wifi cards as a preventive measure.

  • by hobarrera ( 2008506 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:42PM (#42797885) Homepage

    there has been no official communication from Kaspersky

    It seems they were using Windows XP.

  • Not the first time a KAV update has broken something. KAV for Exchange has had several updates come out that stomped on Store.EXE and kept it from running at all without uninstalling KAV for Exchange.

    Client-side breakage seems less common, but unless you're running an SSD RAID-10 disk system with an 8 core CPU, you're always wise to dial back some of the Kaspersky defaults or you will find your machine unusable.

    It also helps to reduce the frequency of updates. The default is something ludicrous like ever

  • by andywest ( 1722392 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @12:59PM (#42798131) Homepage
    This is not Kaspersky's only problem with its anti-virus product. I have been asked to install a 'technical update'. When I did so, it crashed the anti-virus so badly that it no longer worked at all. I had to physically remove its folder from the Program Files area and reinstall the program from scratch. And this was with Windows 7. That was back in November. When I got the same message in January, I thought Kaspersky might have fixed the problem. Nope: Install -- crash -- scrape up mess -- reinstall from scratch. You kind of wonder what has Kaspersky been doing over the past six months.
    • by WhatAreYouDoingHere ( 2458602 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @03:14PM (#42800119)

      I had to physically remove its folder from the Program Files area...

      I just got this mental picture of someone opening up their hard drive and scraping a section off one of the platters.... :)

      • Okay, on reflection maybe I should not have used the adverb 'physically'. But I did have to remove the Kaspersky folder from the Program Files. Otherwise the install program would crash while reinstalling the software.
        • Okay, on reflection maybe I should not have used the adverb 'physically'. But I did have to remove the Kaspersky folder from the Program Files. Otherwise the install program would crash while reinstalling the software.

          You should have stuck with the ever-popular "literally" []

      • I had to physically remove its folder from the Program Files area...

        I just got this mental picture of someone opening up their hard drive and scraping a section off one of the platters.... :)

        Oh, you're not supposed to do that when you delete something? No wonder I get through so many hard drives.

  • WinXP users can uninstall the product since there is no longer a threat of getting their machines infected! Kaspersky has done the ultimate preventative measure for them. ;-)
  • I have seen this exact thing happen dozens of times on Norton, Mcafee, and Trend Micro. Usually the only fix was to uninstall the client. Then Kaspersky does it and it makes the news? DOES NOT COMPUTE.
  • Some guy bitching on the forum linked above....I guess they didn't bother testing a patch before sending it out....typical windows admin....
  • Kaspersky - I need this probably as much as I need another hole in the head.


    Your customer

  • It broke Intranet access for us, which caused a few applications not to run. We uninstalled the workstation 6 R2 product and installed Kaspersky Endpoint security instead and that took care of the issue.
  • Security has been achieved!
  • ...but I really don't see the problem.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.