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Symantec Virus-Signature Blunder Cripples Countless PCs in China

The government media on May 20, 2007, reported that a flawed virus signature issued in the third week of May 2007, had crippled innumerable Chinese computers using the Symantec Corp. anti-virus program, as reported by Computerworld's May 21, 2007 edition.

On May 18, 2007, a virus-signature patch that was sent automatically to clients around 1:00 a.m. Beijing time, to Symantec's anti-virus scan engine confused two vital system files of the Basic Chinese version of Windows XP SP2 for a Trojan.

Both the files -- lsasrv.dll and netapi32.dll -- were mistakenly segregated, which consecutively incapacitated Windows. Whenever an infected computer was restarted, Windows malfunctioned to display only a blue screen.

A representative from Symantec, maker of Norton AntiVirus program has affirmed that this event stemmed from improper upgradation of anti-virus program. He assured that the firm was currently endeavoring for a viable solution, according to May 20, 2007 issue of News.xinhuanet.

"The May 18, 2007 modification of Norton's virus database has resulted in countless computers to collapse, seriously impeding the users' work," stated Xinhau News Agency of China as reported by Computerworld's May 21, 2007 edition.

On May 19, 2007, Symantec Corp. declared that it has registered eight civil cases against fake Symantec software suppliers, asking for over $55 million in compensation from the lawsuits, as per reports in May 19, 2007 issue of Webwire.

All cases were registered at the US District Court in California, including the undermentioned companies in their own states: Acortech, (California); mPlus, (California); Rowcal Distribution, (California); eDirect Software, (Canada); SoftwareOutlets.com, (Florida); Global Impact, Inc., (Florida); Logical Plus, (New York); and Directron.com, (Texas).

"The risk presented by these hackers to end users and the security of their confidential and fiscal online data cannot be exaggerated," told Scott Minden, Symantec's Director, Legal Affairs, according to the May 19, 2007 reports in Webwire.

Symantec's Brand Protection Task Force carried out the probe of those firms, which had availed trial purchases of the alleged fake product and the assessment of the flawed disks given by users of the suspect firms in order to constitute the foundation of the grievances that were duly lodged.

Related article: Sentence for American Contractor for Sabotaging Government Navy Computers

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