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Microsoft Defender's false positive resulted in false alarms Friday

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April 3, 2017

Hundreds of businesses and organizations all over the globe were faced with all sorts of annoyances on Friday after a Microsoft security tool incorrectly flagged up benign files as allegedly infected with a nasty worm.

To be sure, Microsoft Defender's false positive resulted in several false alarms that files were infected by Bluber-A, a previously obscure cyber-pathogen worm.

Microsoft's security gnomes reacted quickly by pulling the rogue definition file and pushing out a fresh update, as explained in a note attached to the Bluber write-up.

``Friday, an incorrect detection for our cloud-based protection for Worm:Win32/Bluber.A was identified and immediately fixed. To ensure that this issue is remediated, you can do a forced daily update to download your Microsoft antimalware and antispyware software. The fix has been deployed in signature build 1.239.530.0 on March 31, 2017, at 2:50 PM PDT,`` the memo read.

Since more than at least twenty years now, false positives have been a well known Achilles' heel of security scanner packages. All vendors experience the issue from time to time.

However, Microsoft ought to be better placed than anybody to avoid such pitfalls but the latest incident is far from unprecedented.

Microsoft responded quickly to this but still not promptly enough for one reader who got roped in to deal with the problem on March 31.

"Friday afternoon was totally wasted on this unnecessary crap," said the reader. "Thought we had a vicious worm spreading throughout the organization at high speed. Turns out that we did. Microsoft updates." (!)

The problem also generated an animated thread on other blogs. We asked Microsoft to comment on the screwup but we were told that this would have to come from its U.S. office. We'll keep you in the loop when we get more news about this blunder.

Source: Microsoft.

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