Vincent Steckler

4 December 2009

Apologies for Bad Definition Update

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You may have heard that we released a virus database update early Thursday morning (or Wednesday night depending on the time zone). We are deeply sorry for releasing this update and the trouble it caused you. Of the users that received the update, most encountered no problems, some encountered minor issues, and some had significant problems.

I apologize to each and every one of you—I realize that security is fundamentally about trust and you have to trust your security provider. We made a mistake here and it won't happen again.

We have highly automated systems and processes for testing and releasing virus updates. Updates are thoroughly tested before being released. But the process failed due to a "human failure". This was an example of the old proverb "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Some engineers thought they were doing the right thing by sending out an out-of-cycle update to fix a problem. Unfortunately, they circumvented the automated systems and ended up sending out the wrong update—one that had not yet been tested.

There are detailed explanations of this issue and how to fix it on our support forum (http://support.avast.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=377). And our CTO has authored a detailed explanation of how this happened (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=51783). In the next few days I will write another blog entry about how we are changing our processes to ensure this problem does not ever occur again.

In the meanwhile, please accept mine (and the company's) apologies for the troubles we have caused you. We won't let it ever happen again.

CEO's corner