Technology.am (Dec. 05, 2009) — An Avast virus definition file update late Wednesday unintentionally marked hundreds of genuine files as threats. The Czech Republic-based publisher Alwil responded swiftly, issuing a fix less than six hours afterward, but some users are still dealing with the repercussion.
Going through Avast’s forums, the Avast-written guide for rescuing files incorrectly marked as threats should be fairly straightforward. Force an Avast update, and then from the main interface go to Menu, then Virus Chest. Right-click on the file in the chest you desire to resuscitate, choose Scan to double-check that it’s not a threat, then right-click on it again and select Restore. Avast cautions that if that fails, you can decide Extract to put the file back where it came from.
For some instances of the Avast 5 beta and Avast 4.8, this doesn’t work. The best explanation recommended is the most irritating: run the installation file again. This surely takes longer, but right now it hasn’t been capable to come across any other solution that can be useful across the board. The one saving grace about reinstalling is that, at least for the files on my home computer that was affected, didn’t require reconfiguring any of the settings. The KMPlayer, IOBit Smart Defrag, and Find and Run Robot all retained their earlier DLLs and additional settings.
Remember that this isn’t the first over-eager definition file update. Two of the additional fresh ones include an occurrence from July that saw an update from Computer Associates flag a Windows XP system file as a virus, and last year AVG falsely recognized a file from security provider ZoneAlarm as a virus. But the problem has been identified and can be resolved by visiting the Avast forums.