Many systems running on Microsoft Windows operating systems have been experiencing false-positive alerts regarding a potential virus or malware, caused by a Sophos’ anti-virus update that erroneously quarantined or deleted crucial files of the software.
The Sophos Anti-Virus software has been falsely recognising a malware definition update as malware, thus deleting the relevant files and leaving many computer systems and networks worldwide vulnerable.
The problem has been occurring since Wednesday and was still rife on Friday, forcing the anti-virus company to release a statement that read:
“Sophos experienced a serious false positive issue on Wednesday, 19 September. An update published by SophosLabs at 18:48:35 (UTC) resulted in false positive reports of Shh/Updater-B on customers' Windows systems.
Although the underlying cause has been resolved, customers may still be experiencing issues, and our engineering and support teams are fully focused on assisting all customers.
These teams will continue to update the Sophos Knowledgebase, which provides further details and advice; it is available at http://www.sophos.com/en-us/support/knowledgebase/118311.aspx.
Additionally, customers can follow @SophosSupport on Twitter, or visit the Sophos online support forum http://bit.ly/sophossupportforum for updates, discussions and assistance.
Sophos is committed to providing the best protection and we sincerely apologize for the disruption caused to our customers and partners worldwide.”
The problem seems not only to have affected the updating of Sophos products but also of other products and possibly other anti-virus software as stated in another statement on Saturday morning.
Despite the company saying that for the majority of customers the false-positive alert is only temporary, its potential to damage business and personal computer systems and networks is immense as it leaves all affected systems and networks vulnerable to other malware and virus attacks.
HumanIPO will update this report with any further updates from Sophos on the matter.