Now, this gets quirky. According to an official post on the Google Chrome Blog, several users of the popular browser complained of losing access to the browser altogether, following a pop-up by Microsoft Security Essentials tool. Elaborating further, it was learnt that few users received a security pop-up by Microsoft, on starting up their PCs, informing them of a certain 'Security Problem', which had to be removed. On clicking Remove, and restarting the PC, the Chrome.exe file reportedly vanished, or was, as per the word doing rounds - uninstalled.
The "virus" in question, that has been creating havoc with Chrome users, is - PWS:Win32/Zbot, which according to a post on Microsoft's Malware Protection Centre (Threat Research and Response) is "a password-stealing trojan that monitors for visits to certain websites. It allows limited backdoor access and control and may terminate certain security-related processes."
An irate user with the username - chasd.harris posted his grievance, the first one to do so on the Help Forum of the Chrome blog. He stated, "I have been using Chrome on my office PC for over a year. This morning, after I started up the PC, a Windows Security box popped up and said I had a Security Problem that needed to be removed. I clicked the Details button and saw that it was "PWS:Win32/Zbot". I clicked the Remove button and restarted my PC. Now I do not have Chrome. It has been removed or uninstalled. The Chrome.exe file is gone. Was there really a problem, or is this just a way for Microsoft to stick it to Google? If I reinstall Chome, will it have my bookmarks and other settings? Not sure what to do about this, but I much prefer Chrome to Explorer."
Google, on its part stated that those who had their Chrome browser working fine had no reason to worry, since they weren't among the ones affected. They added that for those who were affected by this quirky malware attack, Chrome would release an update, which would automatically repair the browser, for those affected. Chrome also listed a way of fixing the problem manually, which can be followed by clicking the link here.
Microsoft, has, according to latest reports, acknowledged the infection and has rolled out an update to fix the issue. An official post on Microsoft's Malware Protection Centre (Threat Research and Response) stated, "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. Within a few hours, Microsoft released an update that addresses the issue. Signature versions 1.113.672.0 and higher include this update. Affected customers should manually update Microsoft Security Essentials with the latest signatures. After updating the definitions, reinstall Google Chrome. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused our customers."
Were you affected, too? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
Published Date: Oct 03, 2011 03:25 pm | Updated Date: Oct 03, 2011 03:25 pm