Executives at McAfee (Profile, Products, Articles) were adding new testing procedures Monday after thousands of customers downloaded faulty software on Friday.

Instead of identifying only malicious worms and viruses, the software flagged many popular programs as threats. That prompted users to delete utility files from software such as Adobe Update Manager, Google (Profile, Products, Articles) Toolbar Installer, Macromedia (Profile, Products, Articles) Flash Player and Microsoft (Profile, Products, Articles) Excel.

The faulty software is no longer posted, so users can now safely download the latest antivirus definitions for McAfee's VirusScan product, said Joe Telafici, director of operations for McAfee AVERT Labs.

The mistake affected customers who downloaded the consumer version of the latest McAfee software during a four-hour window on Friday and then used it. The faulty enterprise version was posted for five hours.

By Friday night, the company had fixed the problem, Telafici said.

So even if customers downloaded the faulty software on Friday, they will not be affected if they have not yet run a virus scan, Telafici said. They can simply download an updated patch today and it will overwrite the problem, he said.

Still, private users who mistakenly deleted beneficial software will have to fix their own computers. There is no software patch that will automatically restore the deleted programs; users will need to manually replace them from backup files.

New testing follows faulty McAfee update | InfoWorld | News | 2006-03-13 | By Ben Ames, IDG News Service