Antivirus Service Causes PC Havoc: Removes Windows Files, Shuts Down Computers

By | April 25, 2017
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Antivirus Service Causes PC Havoc: Removes Windows Files, Shuts Down Computers

According to an NBC News report on Monday, Webroot Antivirus mistakenly labeled important Microsoft Windows system files as malware threats and removed them thus causing an untold number of PCs to shut down.

Webroot acknowledged that it had released an update which caused the Windows system files to be removed from PCs. The virus definition file that caused the problem was live for 13 minutes, but apparently, that was long enough for a substantial amount of damage to be done.

According to NBC news, as of early Tuesday (4/25/17), Webroot was still working to resolve the problem, according to information on the company’s website.

Here’s some additional information from Liliputing:

Unfortunately on April 24th, a Webroot update mistakenly flagged hundreds of Windows system files as malware… causing many computers to stop working. The company says the bad virus definitions were only live for a brief time, but that was long enough to do a lot of damage. And while Webroot has posted instructions to help some home users and business customers undo the damage, many users in the Webroot community forum say the instructions don’t work for them.

NBC says that Webroot didn’t respond to its request for comment. NBC reports that Webroot posted on its website that company “has not been breached and customers are not at risk.” When we checked Webroot’s website a few minutes ago,  we didn’t find any acknowledgement of any problems, in fact, all looked to be business as usual.

If  some Webroot customers had their computers bricked by a trusted Webroot update, then neither the PC owners nor the hackers can access them. Well, I guess that’s one way of protecting PCs… brick them so no one can use them!

The screenshot above was taken from Webroot’s web site. Fearlessly, indeed!

All kidding aside, if you’re using Webroot and you were affected by this, we’re sorry you had to endure this – it should have never been allowed to happen.

10 thoughts on “Antivirus Service Causes PC Havoc: Removes Windows Files, Shuts Down Computers

  1. Barb

    Are there still people out there that are not using Emsisoft for protection against virus? Somebody ought to tell them! I began using Emsisoft 4 years ago and haven’t had a virus ever since, neither has it messed up any windows updates. I ‘ve never heard of webroot before, and I bet a lot of people are wishing they hadn’t either. Go Emsisoft, excellent product, backed up by prompt email attention if needed.

    1. infoave Post author

      What Windows version were you using back in 1968? Just curious 🙂

  2. David Norcott

    Have been using Emsisoft since you first recommended it and find it an excellent product just as you told us ! — no problems, plus the bonus of informative and educational letters from Emsisoft from time to time to keep us forewarned ! No careless bad updates here !!!!

    1. infoave Post author

      The post upon which you commented was concerning WebRoot’s antivirus software and not about any Webroot products that were available in 1998 – of which there was one – and it was not an antivirus. Webroot didn’t introduce any antivirus products until 2006. Our article was specifically in reference to Webroot’s antivirus software and not about any other Webroot product that you were using in 1998.

      This is Webroot’s product timeline:

      Webroot was founded in 1997 when entrepreneur Steven Thomas launched Webroot’s first commercial product – Webroot Window Washer a junk files remover & disk cleaner.

      In 2002, Webroot launched a spyware blocking and removal product called Webroot Spy Sweeper.

      The company introduced its antivirus protection with the launch of Webroot Antivirus with Spy Sweeper|Spy Sweeper with AntiVirus in 2006.

      In October 2007, Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware and Desktop Firewall was released with added firewall protection feature.

      In October 2008, Webroot launched its first consumer security suite, Webroot Internet Security Essentials, in the United States. The international release of the security suite followed in early 2009.

  3. Joyce

    As soon as my Norton Security runs out which I have 156 days left I will be getting Emsisoft too. I have not had any trouble with Norton but have read the reviews on Emissoft and liked them.

    1. patrick

      Well then I haven’t had any problems during Webroot’s progression from 2009 to the present.

      1. infoave Post author

        Well at least we moved the clock ahead from 1968 > 1998 > 2009. Time flies!


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