Antivirus vendor McAfee Inc. confirmed that a software update caused its antivirus program for corporate customers to misidentify a harmless file.
The Kentucky Department of Education says the issue has likely affected nearly every school district in the state. It says school districts are being advised to shut down workstations that are affected by this update. Late Wednesday afternoon, McAfee came up with a temporary fix for the problem.
The Education Department says it not aware of any privacy breaches related to the issue.
Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Lauren Roberts tells Fox 41 News that several JCPS computers have been affected. She said affected computers display a message that they have been infected and JCPS is warning users not to reboot.
The website for the Bullitt County Public School system displayed the following message as of 12:50 Wednesday afternoon:
"We are experiencing problems with a state-wide virus attack. Computers are shutting down on their own. We are investigating the problem...For updates, call 869-TECH."
Fox 41 contacted Bullitt County Public Schools, but a spokesperson declined to comment.
Kentucky State Police Lt. David Jude said Wednesday that state police personnel have been instructed to turn off computers while technicians try to resolve the problem. Jude says the problem has not interrupted the ability of state police to respond to complaints.
In Shepherdsville, city Police Capt. Kenneth Bernardi said his department was advised to turn off their car terminals.
McAfee has posted a replacement update for download.
KDE Spokeswoman Lisa Gross issued the following guidance by email late this afternoon:
I’ve just been alerted that a temporary fix has been designed for the issues that school districts (and other users) may be experiencing due to the faulty update received from McAfee for users of the company’s products.
Technology staff in all 174 school districts have been provided with the temporary fix. KDE staff is still actively working with McAfee to find a long-term solution to the problem.
...This issue has likely affected nearly every school district, but is not limited to school districts.
...We are not aware of any privacy breaches related to this issue.
Hat tip to KSBA.