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McAfee Offers to Pay for PC Repairs After Bad Update

Antivirus software maker McAfee says it will reimburse "reasonable expenses" associated with a bad update last Wednesday that crashed computers worldwide.

The reimbursement will be offered to "impacted home or home office customers who have incurred costs to repair PCs as a result of the security update issue," McAfee said in a statement on its website, and will cover visits to tech support specialists and other repair measures.

Steps for recouping costs associated with computer repairs will be posted on the company's website within a few days, the statement continued.

The reimbursement is just one of several steps the company has taken to minimize the public fallout from last week's mistake.

In addition, the company is also offering to send affected customers a recovery CD via express delivery and to extend their current McAfee subscriptions by two years for free.

The buggy update affected PC users running Windows XP Service Pack 3 and running McAfee VirusScan Enterprise software.

According to McAfee, the update mistakenly identified a crucial system file called "svchost.exe" as a malware virus.

Most of the affected PCs were business machines, but a "small percentage" of home and home office computers were also affected, McAfee said.

A fix went out early the next morning that McAfee said restored most zapped computers.

The fix was quickly followed by a public apology by McAfee official Barry McPherson on the company blog.

"I want to apologize on behalf of McAfee and say that we’re extremely sorry for any impact the faulty signature update file may have caused you and your organizations," he wrote.

Live Science Staff
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