About 3,000 users were greeted by a message from Microsoft’s free antivirus software this morning stating that malware had been detected on their system and Security Essentials needed permission to remove it.
Problem was it wasn’t actually the Zbot (aka Zeus) trojan that Security Essentials was claiming it to be, but instead just Google’s popular Chrome web browser.
Not knowing it was a false alarm, many users went ahead and gave the green light for Microsoft Security Essentials to remove the files allegedly associated with the Zbot trojan to be removed, which ultimately just resulted in Chrome being uninstalled.
Plenty of folks took to Google’s forums to question what was going on.
Microsoft acknowledged the slip-up shortly thereafter and posted following statement on their Facebook page:
“An incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified and as a result, Google Chrome was inadvertently blocked and in some cases removed from customers PCs. We have already fixed the issue -- we released an updated signature (1.113.672.0) at 9:57 am PDT -- but approximately 3,000 customers were impacted.”
The definition update for Microsoft Security Essentials rolled out around 10 am P.T. on Friday. Users were instructed to update Security Essentials with the new definition file first before attempting to re-install Google Chrome on their PC.
Aside from the inconvenience of having to update Microsoft Security Essentials & re-install their favorite browser, some users reported that all of their bookmarks had been lost due to Chrome being removed by Security Essentials and were not recovered upon re-installation.
While the affected users may have been confused and irritated by the entire situation, others have already taken to cracking jokes about the whole ordeal, Andrew Storms of nCircle Security pointing out, “Wow, that's certainly one way to win the browser war.”
The crack was made given the fact that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox & Google Chrome web browsers have been competing to hold title as the most popular web browser.
Chrome has been gaining popularity and it’s said that Chrome will leapfrog over Mozilla’s Firefox to become the second most-popular browser by the end of the year. At which time Chrome will go head-to-head with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for first place.
That is unless it’s “accidentally” flagged as malware again. ;)