The update Avira sent out on May 14 turned out to be problematic for many users and even companies because the antivirus kept detecting critical system processes as being malicious. The incident occurred due to the ProActiv module present in Antivirus Premium, Professional Security and Internet Security, customers of the free variant not being affected.
The update blocked processes such as dllhost.exe, exporer.exe, rundll.exe, iexplorer.exe, tasking.exe and many others.
The company’s forum became flooded with comments from unhappy customers, including a representative of a company which temporarily had to shut down its activity.
“Our enterprise uses Avira's Business Bundle extensively. We have 100 centrally managed users at this site alone, and a dozen users we support on the road. This update has been pretty catastrophic. The whole company ground to a standstill,” wrote AaronH.
According to ZDNet, applications such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Works, Opera, Google Talk, Garmin and even iPod and Palm services were blocked.
Until a permanent fix was issued, Avira advised customers to disable the ProActiv feature or try to manually “allow” each of the affected files.
Shortly after these workarounds were made available, the security firm released another update, but some of the computers were too affected to allow users to install it. Furthermore, some people complained that the second update didn’t completely address the problem.
A few hours later, Avira representatives claimed that the issue was completely fixed, but they couldn’t provide the exact number of affected individuals. They stated that only those who manually activated ProActiv experienced the difficulties, the problematic feature being disabled by default.
One of the moderators on the Avira forum revealed a few hours ago that Avira removed ProActiv.
“Avira removed Avira ProActiv for Avira Premium / Internet Security English and German users with one of updates released today. Then, Avira ProActiv will be analyzed and fixed to come back to both products as soon as possible,” marfabilis explained.