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Kaspersky: Sorry If We Broke Your Internet

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Anti-virus update kills Internet access for users of many Kaspersky products

Kaspersky has apologised to customers, after one of its product updates cut off Internet access for many individuals and businesses.

The Russian anti-virus firm said problems started on Monday evening, when a database update resulted in the Web anti-virus component in some products blocking Internet access.

The problem affected x86 systems with the following products installed: Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows Workstations 6.04 MP4; Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Windows; Kaspersky Endpoint Security 10 for Windows; Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 and 2013; and Kaspersky Pure 2.0.

It has now fixed the issue, but if affected customers want to access the Internet again, they have to take a number of steps.

Eugene KasperskyKaspersky confession

“Customers need to perform a database update to resolve the issue. If an affected machine updates from Admin Kit/Security Center, then updates will be downloaded automatically,” a Kaspersky spokesperson said, in an emailed statement sent to TechWeekEurope.

“If a machine updates directly from our servers, then the initial workaround should be applied first (disabling the Web Anti-Virus component). Internet connectivity will then be restored and the customer will be able to download the most recent database update.

“Kaspersky Lab would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this database update error. Actions have been taken to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.”

Kaspersky customers took to a company forum to complain about loss of Internet access. One IT guy said he had around 12,000 machines running Kaspersky Endpoint Security. Many found they could restore Internet connections if they disabled the Kaspersky products’ monitoring of port 80, which is normally used for HTTP communications – i.e. accessing the Internet.

Users were concerned about Kaspersky support, when calls resulted in the Russian firm warning they were experiencing extremely high call volumes. One said they had been on hold to the company’s enterprise support for an hour.

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