Monday, 12 Mar, 2007 Technology
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Microsoft's Antivirus Causes Damage

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The officials from Microsoft, after several complaints from users, confessed that the company's product, entitled Live OneCare security suite, accidentally has been erasing all messages of those that use either Outlook or Outlook Express. The company's forum concerning OneCare included postings that state the cause of the message deletion.

Users found out that their e-mails were deleted by an antivirus program. It supposed to delete messages that contained malware attachments but besides doing its main job the antivirus either quarantined or sometimes even erased all .pst or dbx files.

One user left a comment on Microsoft's OneCare forum saying that in case there is no way to recover the erased messages it would mean that Microsoft developed a program that caused damage more than any other virus in 30 years of user's activity in the field of computing.

However, the postings on the forum show that there is a way to recover some .pst or dbx files but only if those are available in the program's quarantine facility. This means that the erased files cannot be recovered; only those that were sent to quarantine might still be available.

Microsoft's forum administrator, Stephen Boots, left a comment on the forum saying that he was quite unhappy with the issue. He said that this problem was reported over a year ago and though the issue was fixed in the 1.0 release and it never appeared in the beta version but it did in the new 1.5 release.

In a Computerworld statement, the spokesperson of the software giant outlined that the company is fixing the problem of the antivirus that mistakenly deleted the .pst files of Outlook and the .dbx files of Outlook Express when it spotted an infected attachment in an e-mail. The spokesperson also mentioned that the updated version of OneCare will be released on March 13.

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