Microsoft Security Essentials (Mistakenly) Labels Google Chrome a Virus

Imagine your web browser suddenly stops working and gets quarantined by your antivirus software.

Do you:
  1. Panic?
  2. Cry?
  3. Scream?
  4. Some combination of the above?
In this particular case, Microsoft's antivirus software, Microsoft Security Essentials, incorrectly nabbed Google's Chrome web browser in its dragnet, labeling it none other than the infamous PWS:Win32/Zbot virus / trojan.

There have been multiple reports of this in large online news outlets including CNet and ZDNet about the false positive, those people affected by it, and MS's reply.

Microsoft's response to the ZDNet inquiry was pretty quick (even though about 3,000 people were affected), with the MS spokesperson saying via email,
On September 30th, 2011, an incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified and as a result, Google Chrome was inadvertently blocked and in some cases removed from customers PCs.

"We have already fixed the issue — we released an updated signature (1.113.672.0) at 9:57 am PDT — but approximately 3,000 customers were impacted.
While no one is cheering for Microsoft for the goof, it's pretty clear this really was just a goof. It happens.

Sure, given the relationship between Microsoft and Google, it could easily be called intentional or perhaps even a Freudian slip, but let's remember: antivirus software is complex stuff. No question.

And, at least in this case it was remedied relatively quickly. If needed, here's where you can manually update the definitions to your Microsoft Security Essentials.

Lastly, regardless of what antivirus software you're running, if you haven't done it in a while, now's a good time to take a minute and make sure you're running the latest version with the most recent definitions.