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15 July 2010, 16:20

Kaspersky: BBC News steals credit card numbers

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Kaspesky Logo On Wednesday, its reported that a number of users attempting to visit the BBC News portal and other BBC sites were blocked by security software from Russian security firm Kaspersky. The company's Internet Security 2011 suite prevented access to the popular site and displayed a message that read: " is used to steal passwords, credit card numbers and other confidential data. Access denied".

After being blocked, a number of users contacted the security firm via messages on micro-blogging service Twitter. The company has since responded and confirmed that its software was indeed giving a false positive. Kaspersky has already issued a signature update that should correct the problem and prevent the BBC site from being blocked in future.

While in this case the false positive only lead to confusion and caused a web site to be blocked, false positives following signature updates in other applications, such as virus and malware scanners, can be much more annoying. In many cases, bad signatures can cause cause a program to believe that important system files are actually malicious. This is exactly what happened to virus scanner BitDefender in March when a flaw in a signature caused it to mistakenly identify system files as a virus and quarantine them, crippling users' systems.

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