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updated 5/16/2012 1:25:33 PM ET 2012-05-16T17:25:33

Anti-virus vendor Avira sent out a faulty update to its software that accidentally caused serious problems for the millions of customers who downloaded it.

As ZDNet reported, Avira shipped out the update to its paid anti-virus software products that mistakenly flagged several critical computer programs and processes as malware, and, in turn, deleted them from Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 computers.

The update, to version 8.2.10.64, also blocked Microsoft software including Office, Excel and Works, as well as third-party applications including Google Talk, Stickies, Garmin and Documents To Go, ZDNet said.

As an Avira user, AaronH, wrote on a company blog, "This update has been pretty catastrophic. The whole company ground to a standstill."

The defective update affects customers who purchased Avira Antivirus Premium, Avira Internet Security and the business edition, Avira Professional Security. The free software, Avira AntiVir Personal, does not include ProActiv, the component that wrongfully flagged, blocked and deleted  the programs.

Avira said the problem has been fixed, and yesterday (May 15), the company released a security update  to address issues customers may be facing.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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