Security Experts:

Buggy Panda Update Causes Problems for Home, Enterprise Users

A problematic signature file pushed out by Panda Security on Wednesday caused some legitimate files to be detected as malicious and moved to quarantine.

According to the antivirus firm, the issue affected both home and enterprise customers using products such as Panda Cloud Office Protection, Panda Cloud Office Protection Advanced, Panda Antivirus Pro 2015, Panda Internet Security 2015, Panda Global Protection 2015, and Panda Gold Protection.

After users applied the buggy update, the security solutions started detecting various files, including Windows system, application and even Panda files, as malware. The files were quarantined, making some applications unusable.

“An automated update published yesterday unexpectedly resulted in Panda protection detecting and neutralising several files on some systems,” Panda Security told SecurityWeek via email. “The issue was quickly detected and a corrected signature file released. PandaLabs and the development teams immediately began working on a process and tools that will help rectify any system issues. However, in certain environments it is possible for the incident to persist.”

After learning of the botched update, Panda advised users not to restart their computers while the issue was being addressed. However, many enterprise customers rebooted their devices before seeing the warning. One Panda Cloud Office Protection customer reported that the problem affected more than 3,000 PCs. Others complained about the financial impact of this incident.

In an advisory published on its website, the company advises users to enter the Windows command prompt; stop the psinprot, psinaflt and nanoservicemain services using the “sc stop” command; and run the Panda Security recovery tool (ps-recovery.exe) as administrator. If the buggy update affected the operating system and the computer cannot log in to Windows, the steps must be carried out from Safe Mode.

Buggy updates are not uncommon. A botched IPS definition package released by Symantec in February for various Norton products caused the Internet Explorer browser to crash.

view counter
Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.