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McAfee Apologizes for Crippling America, Offers Refunds

After a hiccup in its virus software paralyzed thousands of computers last week, McAfee has announced on its website that it will reimburse “reasonable expenses” to customers that were forced to pay for software repairs. Affected customers are also eligible for a two year extension at no cost. Requests made will be processed within a few days.

In what may be one of the more extreme examples of irony in recent days, the computer security provider accidentally crippled thousands of professional and home computers last week when it released an update that misidentified a harmless file in Windows as a virus, causing a cycle of unending reboots. Some users also experienced the dreaded blue screens, non-functioning USB ports, and the lucky ones simply lost internet and network connectivity.

McAfee initially claimed that the mistake only affected a very small portion of McAfee Enterprise users, but it soon became apparent that the problem was much bigger than initially thought, and thousands of personal and professional services were affected.

At first the problems seemed more of a frustration, but it quickly became a serious issue when hospitals, police, and emergency services were reporting system-wide crashes. Suddenl,y a mildly frustrating, yet borderline funny mistake, became a national problem with severe consequences. A patch was soon released, and McAfee support was able to walk many people through the process of fixing the issue.

The anti-virus maker issued an apology the next day, and claimed that a recent change in its QA environment allowed a faulty DAT file through testing.

McAfee is also offering customer service and tech help to anyone still affected, and the company will express deliver a CD if downloading is not an option.