Kaspersky anti-virus cuts web access of thousands of PCs

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Thousands of computers running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system were unable to connect to the internet after installing an anti-virus update.

Users said they were also unable to access their internal company networks.

Russian IT security company Kaspersky Labs told users to disable its anti-virus software or roll back the update.

Two hours later it issued a fix - but since their PCs were unable to auto-install new code from the net, users had to perform several tasks first.

Kaspersky told its customers: "Please disable the web AV component of your protection policy for your managed computers."

It then told them to go the repositories section, download an update and re-enable the protection.

Repair jobs

The company issued a statement, apologising "for any inconvenience caused by this database update error".

"Actions have been taken to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future," it said.

Dorset-based IT consultant Graham Lord wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter: "Bravo on breaking the internet on all your XP clients.

"Your update just set back one of my repair jobs by a day's work."

But Spain-based security blogger David Barroso tweeted: "So Kaspersky QA [quality assurance] team failed with this update but they quickly released a fix, which it is something good."

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