bit-tech.net

Kaspersky blocks Google's Adsense

Kaspersky blocks Google's Adsense

Kaspersky's anti-virus software had a hiccup yesterday after it mistakenly started detecting Google's Adsense scripts as malicious code.

Anti-virus vendor Kaspersky has been left with egg on its face after it issued an update to its users falsely identifying Google's Adsense scripts as malicious.

As reported over on The Register, the false positive left many users receiving unwarranted warnings while browsing perfectly innocuous sites - and with the number of sites relying on Google's Adsense network for their income, it was a pretty major upset.

Worse still, the Adsense false positive comes just hours after the company made a similar mistake with the bit.ly shortening service, adding it to a blacklist of known-bad domains due to its common usage in phishing e-mails - sadly ignoring its common usage elsewhere.

The issue of false positives is one that plagues anti-virus software: if you're too slow to add detection for a piece of malicious code, you leave your users at risk; add the detection in without thorough testing and there could be unintended consequences, as Kaspersky has found to its cost.

It's not a problem unique to Kaspersky, of course: back in 2008 Grisoft's popular AVG anti-virus - available in both free and paid-for editions - added code which detected a rather important Windows system file as malware, deleting the file and leaving many systems completely unbootable. The same software was responsible for another false positive in 2009, which resulted in iTunes being listed as a Trojan horse application. In the same year, Computer Associates found its Threat Manager software detecting Windows XP SP3 as a virus, along with the Cygwin Linux-style compatibility layer.

Unfortunately, it's a problem which is unlikely to go away - at least until we no longer need anti-virus applications.

Any Kaspersky users bit by this bug, or was the update not available for long enough to cause widespread problems? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Pappy_Lazaru 26th January 2010, 10:18 Quote
Somebody is gonna get their butt kicked for this!!!
proxess 26th January 2010, 10:25 Quote
Get a *nix.
BLC 26th January 2010, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
Get a *nix.

While I agree with the sentiment, it's not always a practical solution.

Bit of a fail on Kaspersky's part there...
MitchBomcanhao 26th January 2010, 11:13 Quote
pfff anti-viruses... never got a virus on any of my computers. my sisters though, even with paid anti-virus keep getting their pcs filled with viruses. its more a matter of knowing what you're doing. people who click on everything they see are the ones that need anti-virus to prevent their "foolishness".

example: i love people who get popups saying "your computer is infected, click here to install this protection software" - and they actually do it, installing the virus voluntarily xD I'm admired these schemes aren't being used in other OS', like mac os. if people voluntarily install the viruses, giving them admin rights, it doesn't really matter what kind of OS you are using...
alpaca 26th January 2010, 12:44 Quote
right now i do not have a virusscanner. for about three years i haven't got one. i'm quite sure i don't have a virus. not sure tbh.
l3v1ck 26th January 2010, 13:31 Quote
That explains the virus warning I got yesterday. Kaspersky said there was a virus on a website Google advert.
barndoor101 26th January 2010, 13:36 Quote
now watch kaspersky slide down the search rankings...
Azayles 26th January 2010, 17:07 Quote
iTunes marked as a trojan and PITA google ads disabled.

+Rep for Kaspersky!
TSR2 26th January 2010, 17:43 Quote
And not that long ago AVG issued a detection update that caused Spotify to be flagged as a virus (as it uses a Themida runtime packer) whenever it was executed.
TWeaK 26th January 2010, 19:15 Quote
I went without a virus scanner for years as I didn't like to give away extra resources, and also I tend to format and reinstall my OS every few months. For the last few months however I've had one, used to use AVG for a while but moved to Avast and I'm pretty happy with it. It's good if you've got other people on your computer, or just to ease your mind a little if you think a file you wanted to download might be a bit suspicious. These days computer have plenty of extra umph to handle a virus scanner without impacting on the overall performance significantly. That is, so long as you don't use something like Norton.
Azayles 26th January 2010, 19:18 Quote
It's weird the number of people who's had problems with Norton, yet I've never had any problems with it on any machine I've owned.
I'd tell you what my secret is, but I don't know myself! lol.
Farfalho 26th January 2010, 21:31 Quote
Oddly, I never got that alert! =\ strange
TWeaK 27th January 2010, 00:20 Quote
I spoke with a mate who has Kapersky, he thinks that since he uses FF with AdBlock he doesn't get Google Ads anyway, so Kapersky didn't pick it up.
TWeaK 27th January 2010, 00:20 Quote
Ack multi-post. Admin delete please?
TWeaK 27th January 2010, 00:22 Quote
Ack multi-post. Admin delete please?
BLC 27th January 2010, 06:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
I went without a virus scanner for years as I didn't like to give away extra resources, and also I tend to format and reinstall my OS every few months. For the last few months however I've had one, used to use AVG for a while but moved to Avast and I'm pretty happy with it. It's good if you've got other people on your computer, or just to ease your mind a little if you think a file you wanted to download might be a bit suspicious. These days computer have plenty of extra umph to handle a virus scanner without impacting on the overall performance significantly. That is, so long as you don't use something like Norton.

I actually just uninstalled AVG. I started playing Mass effect and my system was utterly crawling - it was like a slideshow. I can run this game flawlessly. I quit back to the desktop and found that an AVG-related executable was consuming a combined 50% of CPU resources - even though I have disabled automatic scans and the updates are scheduled for early morning (I switch the PC on before I go to work - check mail, f'book, these forums...etc...)

As soon as I quit the tray app, it dropped back to the normal 5-10%.
B1GBUD 27th January 2010, 18:57 Quote
Using Microsoft Security Essentials, I don't want to tempt fate but it's been preety good so for. By far the lightest AV I've used.
Azayles 27th January 2010, 19:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Using Microsoft Security Essentials, I don't want to tempt fate but it's been preety good so for. By far the lightest AV I've used.
Is that a free download or paid?
barndoor101 27th January 2010, 19:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azayles
Is that a free download or paid?

free

http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/
Azayles 28th January 2010, 16:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by barndoor101
free

http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

Nice! Thank you for that, I can install that on my XP box :)
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums