AVG temporarily blocked iTunes, labeling it malware

AVG says its antivirus software last week mistakenly detected iTunes as a Trojan, but the patch was released after five hours.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills


AVG's free antivirus product temporarily blocked users from getting to iTunes late last week, detecting it as a Trojan, the company said on Monday.

For about five hours on Friday starting around 4 p.m. PDT, AVG users couldn't access iTunes because of the false alarm.

"AVG discovered the false alarm in the virus signature engine relating to some localization components of iTunes (so not iTunes as a virus but rather some localization components of iTunes) and it was fixed within 5 hours," AVG spokesperson Siobhan MacDermott said in a statement. "AVG would like to apologize for any inconvenience to our users/customers."

AVG was alerted to the problem by customers, who were posting to the AVG and iTunes forums.

While irregular, false positives do happen. Last year, AVG flagged ZoneAlarm as malware and a Windows system file as a Trojan. And earlier this month, Computer Associates' antivirus software mistakenly identified a Windows XP systems file as a virus.