caused Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) systems to crash and reboot repeatedly.
Apparently Mc Afee blamed the update problem on a bad DAT file that inadvertently quarantined a critical Windows process called
Hence, we never pre-tested the DAT files; frankly, we never had a reason to suspect our vendor's quality assurance process would be lacking, as we had never had a problem in our multi-year history with this vendor.
It was late on a Friday afternoon, however, when I got a frantic call from our service delivery manager saying that the company "was under attack" and that I needed to be at the incident response area ASAP.
The symptoms were that many of our workstations and some servers had gone to 100% CPU usage and did not respond to any commands, troubleshooting measures, etc.
Virus Blocking updates the antivirus definition files for its Mc Afee Antivirus engine and Authentium Antivirus engine every minute. You do not need to take any action to receive the benefits of the service’s definition-file updates. Virus Blocking uses DAT files provided by Mc Afee that contain virus patterns for all known viruses.
Mc Afee provides Hourly DAT files that are updated at least every hour.
Most Mc Afee customers have access to only the Weekly DAT files, which are the numbered files listed on the Mc Afee Virus Information Library web site (
Virus Blocking checks for new DAT files once per minute, thereby ensuring that the most recent virus patterns are always used when processing your mail traffic.
Virus Blocking attempts to download Authentium virus definition files once per minute.
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In fact, that very scenario played out in many IT departments just recently.
During the week of April 19th, a bad DAT file update from Mc Afee Inc.