BitDefender update breaks 64-bit Windows; some unable to boot

As reported by Ars Technica, a prematurely uploaded update for antivirus program BitDefender is breaking 64-bit versions of Windows. The affected operating systems include Windows XP, Vista, and 7. The updated signatures were rolled out to users this past Saturday and began causing false positives (marked as Trojan.FakeAlert.5) on Windows system files, as well as native BitDefender files. The problem pertains to BitDefender Home, Business Client, and Security for File Servers 2008, 2009, and 2010.

BitDefender has since issued a signature update, but unfortunately, those already infected may not even be able to boot up and install the fix. Since BitDefender quarantines infected files, crucial system files have become unavailable, leaving users with rather large paperweights in the shape of computers. For the 2008 version of BitDefender, no fix has been made available. For 2009 and 2010, a user can boot to the BitDefender rescue CD and move the files from the quarantine. In order to avoid a repeat, a user must then ensure that he or she has the latest, working, signature update installed.

Solution guides are provided on the BitDefender website. For those who are unable to solve the problem from the advice given, BitDefender suggests you contact their support team directly.

Poll

Which antivirus software do you prefer?

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ROFL!!

Thank the Invisible Pink Unicorn I wasn't supporting anyone who was using "Buttdefender" when this debacle happened.

I remember their software wrongly installing a desktop version update on a server install a few years ago, BSOD'ing the server. Bitdefender support offered no solution, and I had to manually repair the filesystem.

Certainly never going to recommend BitDefender to anyone now.

<nelson> HA! HA! </nelson>

I love Avira AV and Malwarebytes, with that combination the protection is the best for most computers, never had a problem with those 2, other antivirus consumes a lot of resources and time to download the definitions, avira, updates pretty frequently, with minimum user interaction, and little file size updates, and the best of all it's Free!.
Some users report what Kaspersky av it's pretty good too.

Kaspersky IS is awesome =)... I've used bit defender before. Their false positives during scans are outta sight. Besides, the AV detects known viruses much later than other AV's. MSE is good enough for Home Users... and free!!

Wow...so that's what happened to me on Saturday!!

I have BitDefender Internet Security 2010. What a mess it created for me. I left my computer on for a few hours on Saturday...went over to the computer and it said it had a "fakealert.trojan" banner pop up. I completely lost any access to my task manager, my system restore, no browser..so I tried to run a virus check on bitdefender...it said I had over 12,000 viruses. I stopped the virus check...tried to reboot...nothing but a black screen. But I was able to recover using the Windows 7 repair disk I made...and I did a system restore from the disk. It wouldn't let me re-image my computer though...and still to this day...the icons I had on my start menu are the "unknown" icons..where its like that white box with things in the middle of the box. I have as of yet been able to change those icons...but everything works now.

I honestly thought I got popped with a big time virus on Saturday...glad to know I didnt.

Hi everyone! On behalf of BitDefender, I want to let you know that the issue with Windows 64 bit OS experienced on Saturday was isolated and the update withdrawn shortly afterward. Very few users have been affected and we are very sorry for any problems caused.
However, we invite our customers still experiencing issues to access the solution that can be found here:

http://www.bitdefender.com/site/KnowledgeBase/consumer/#638

Our teams are working around the clock to minimize the impact, including one-on-one support to fix the issue. If there are any unexpected situations, please contact our support team directly via email, chat, phone or forum:
http://www.bitdefender.com/site/Main/contactEmail/
We have had great responses from users for the support we are providing, on both a global and an individual user level. Thank you.

well i think it's always a good idea to run some form of AV software because even the careful people are still subject to a potential infection once in a while.

although i noticed in general... if you tend to stay away from shady programs that you don't fully trust your odds of infection drastically decrease.

This is the problem with `auto-quarantine` or even god forbid `auto-delete` set as defaults. Most major AV companies have had an issue like this in the past and there will be more in the future. IMO you should allways be advised on what to do so you can look further into it, especially where heuristics is involved...

Me too...on MSE, Never had a problem...though....Infection mostly depends on one's browsing habits....Just my opinion.

sgrajan said,
Me too...on MSE, Never had a problem...though....Infection mostly depends on one's browsing habits....Just my opinion.
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Got infected once by a website that looked 100% legit.

In fact the web site was listed in the first page by a google seach for an homework about copyright (web site doesn't exist anymore i just checked). Got infected as soon as i entered the web site without clicking anything (used IE 6 sadly). Norton did not get the virus and the virus used 100% of computer ressource. Was a pain in the ass to manually remove it. Spent an entire night finding a way to remove it with my laptop.

chAos972 said,
Who really needs paid AVs these days anyway... (aside from corporations, maybe)

Judging by the amount of home PCs I see a month with free AV that are heavily infected, I'd say many do. Sorry, but they skimp on a few things on purpose, check their own free vs paid pages.

free avira w/malwarebtyes is better than any paid version of anything... even mse is equal to all paid that i have tested/seen, you should be testing a bit more

AnalogRival said,

Judging by the amount of home PCs I see a month with free AV that are heavily infected, I'd say many do. Sorry, but they skimp on a few things on purpose, check their own free vs paid pages.

AnalogRival said,

Judging by the amount of home PCs I see a month with free AV that are heavily infected, I'd say many do. Sorry, but they skimp on a few things on purpose, check their own free vs paid pages.

I was referring specifically to MSE; I would trust any other free AV, either.

rippleman said,
free avira w/malwarebtyes is better than any paid version of anything... even mse is equal to all paid that i have tested/seen, you should be testing a bit more

I'd have to agree on the MSE. I've done lab tests with MSE coming out on top everytime. I've never personally or professionally had an AV pick up more.

rippleman said,
free avira w/malwarebtyes is better than any paid version of anything... even mse is equal to all paid that i have tested/seen, you should be testing a bit more

opinion. now if you were talking about norton/mcafee i'd agree.

AnalogRival said,

Judging by the amount of home PCs I see a month with free AV that are heavily infected, I'd say many do. Sorry, but they skimp on a few things on purpose, check their own free vs paid pages.

Might need to update their signatures once in a while. I've seen both paid and free with tons of crap on it. The you check the signature files and see that they haven't been updated since June 2009.

chAos972 said,
Who really needs paid AVs these days anyway... (aside from corporations, maybe)

True, right now. I'm sure someone will find a way to disrupt the temp comfort we find with MSE.

Right now, I'm having success with MSE and I just switched back to IE8 (still sometiems use FF).

For IE, I use the reg hack to keep InPrivate mode on. Installed Simple Adblock (which is similar to FFs version). And it runs in protected mode. I do, obviously, get a performance hit for the browser, but it's not like the page load times are so great that I can go eat a sandwich or something. lol Less performance but greater security (and fuctions/featuers built in). I dumped the last version of FF because it kept pegging my resources. I haven't tried the latest, but I'll wait until IE get's updated and it too pegs my resources. lol Then I'll do the browser shuffle again.

AnalogRival said,

Judging by the amount of home PCs I see a month with free AV that are heavily infected, I'd say many do. Sorry, but they skimp on a few things on purpose, check their own free vs paid pages.

They rather need a brain.

AnalogRival said,

Judging by the amount of home PCs I see a month with free AV that are heavily infected, I'd say many do. Sorry, but they skimp on a few things on purpose, check their own free vs paid pages.

Totally agrees...

I am not sure why SAV/SCS is not in the poll list. But it's way much better than NAV in all factors.

Free AV? I have seen my shares of infected systems (users' home PCs/Laptops) that have free AV running.

Yakuzing said,

They rather need a brain.

While I agree with that statement 110% you can't promise that a legit site can't get hijacked or an otherwise legit email that you get isn't infected. I ran w/o AV many years ago and never got an infection. Today I wouldn't even think of it.

Raa said,
I lol'd at the poll. No NOD32? I voted for MSE in it's absence.

same. except no Avira which is pretty much the best FREE AV. so without that i also voted for the MSE.

Well that's fairly amateur thing for a corporate AV company to do... would feel sorry if an enterprise group got hit by it and poor admin have to go round individually restoring each pc.