Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves Wednesday after [a McAfee] antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus,” Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press.
“About a third of the hospitals in Rhode Island were forced to stop treating patients without traumas in emergency rooms,” Svensson reports.
I wonder if this had anything to do with Verizon’s email servers being down nationwide yesterday. A third of the Windows computers at the University of Michigan’s medical school were down. Same with hospitals in Rhode Island. Police computers were off line.
All because the anti-virus software saw parts of Windows as malware. So it bricked the computer. Or at least that is what some people are saying.
And the fix is something that really only a tech-savvy person could easily do.
Wouldn’t it be awe-inspiring if Verizon has some Windows machines sitting in mission critical locations in the email server network. The McAfee software identifies Windows as malware and reboots. Thus starting a chain reaction as the Windows machines continually reboot, resulting in the servers themselves going down.
Not only could it take some time to identify the problem but also a lot of time applying the fix. Thus why it took 4-5 hours to resolve the problems.
I know this is unlikely.
But then I read that Intel was hit also and I started to wonder if my improbable might be possible. It would certainly explain why the Verizon email network seems to keep having such problems with outages. The ultimate irony would be that our Internet could possibly be brought down not through cyber terrorism but a stupid software glitch.
I can think “If only they had Macs.”
[UPDATE] Someone pointed out that Verizon has a deal with Mcafee to provide virus security for its users. So there actually is a connection there. And this Engadget article indicates that McAfee put the boner update on their commercial servers at 6 am PST. My last email before the outage was at 7:13 am PST. Coincidence?
The great thing about good conspiracy theories is that even random things can be made to sound ominous. I wonder if ATT uses Mcafee and Windows?