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Bad McAfee Update affects millions on Windows XP

A bad McAfee update on Wednesday created some problems for users running computers with Windows XP.

If you’re a McAfee user and get prompted to update to the latest version do not update, reports around the internet are saying that an Update to Dat 5958 is killing SVCHOST.exe.

The incorrect malware alert, issued today at 9am Eastern, resulted in computers with Windows XP Service Pack 3 to shut down and start on a continuous reboot cycle.

“McAfee is aware that a number of corporate customers may have incurred a false positive error due to incorrect malware alerts,” McAfee said in a statement. “McAfee is working to address the problem with continuous customer communication and a new signature update. McAfee apologizes for any inconvenience to our customers.”

The update has since been removed from McAfee download servers for corporate users, and issued a fix found here

McAfee did not provide specific information on how many people were affected, though a reader from the University of New Hampshire said that the update has affected the campus’ whole IT infrastructure.

It does ONLY affect Windows XP SP3 users, people with Vista RTM and above and Windows 7 should have no problems.