Popular antivirus software mistakenly flags Windows as a virus, resulting in chaos for users

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A mistake by a popular antivirus software provider has crippled Windows computers for scores of users around the world.

Antivirus software Webroot issued a new update on Monday which incorrectly identified hundreds of important Windows files and other legitimate apps as malware.

In doing so, the software then started trying to remove the files and shut down the apps, crippling the computers as unfortunate users watched on in horror.

Users were also unable to access Facebook, which the Webroot update had incorrectly identified as a phishing site.

The issue affected both consumers and businesses running a variety of different versions of Windows.

Users then took to social media, mainly Twitter as they update had blocked them from accessing Facebook, to complain to Webroot.

The problem was caused after the update incorrectly labelled the files as a W32.Trojan.Gen, a malicious trojan file.

In a statement issued to PC World, Webroot said: “A folder that is a known target for malware was incorrectly classified as bad, and Facebook was classified as a phishing site.”

“The Facebook issue was corrected, and the Webroot team is in the process of creating a comprehensive fix for the false positive issue,” the company added.

“The files that were mistakenly marked bad have been re-marked good.”

The company then released information on steps affected users can take, but warned the process could take up to 24 hours to work.

In an update issued on Wednesday morning Bangkok time, the company said it was still working on a fix but said it expected it to be completed soon, at which point it will make it available to users incrementally.

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