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BEWARE vulnerability scanner

Has anyone found the huge danger with the vulnerability scanner? I sent my son off to Oxford University with McAfee Livesafe I thought protecting his computer. All the automatic updates were on - including the vulnerability scanner.

Sure enough it found some software that an updated it - trouble was that it updated Bit Torrent, which many teenagers use, but which he had turned off.

The new update was automatically turned on by default.

Two films were uploaded from his machine and he incurred a fine from the University of £150!!!

I thought that McAfee was there to increase my security - not to open one that a coach and horses could drive through. I would go so far as to say that any piece of software that automatically acts as a gateway to open up your machine to other users without your knowledge is a VIRUS.

The vulnerability scanner doesn't even keep a log of what it's done (according to McAfee "Tech support"), so there is no way of checking apart from the update time stamps on the software it has updated.

My advice is to SWITCH OFF ALL MCAFEE AUTOMATIC UPDATES - only a fool gives software that is this irresponsible free reign to their computer. Make it ask if it is okay to update everything before it does so, then at least you have some idea what it is doing - McAfee doesn't.

41 Replies

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner

Moved to PC Optimization > Vulnerablity Scanner>Discussions By Moderator

McAfee Volunteer

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner


                  Please know that if you wish, can open your McAfee UI, click on Navigation > Vulnerability Scanner> Scheduled scan Settings. Then select "Don,t set a Scan Schedule"

All the very best,


McAfee Volunteer

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner

All the Vulnerability Scanner does is update software.  It doesn't tell it to download anything other than updates to itself, those that you mention must have been preset in the Torrent software itself.  I have uTorrent on mine and occasionally it will update that but never, ever would it cause a Torrent download of material.    If you don't want something updated then it should be uninstalled until such time that you need it. Torrent clients will always default to on when updated for some reason, that's beyond McAfee's control.  But what puzzles me is Vulnerability Scanner always asks you first if you want to update whatever it has found so I don't see how the above could happen.

Simple answer is know your software and turn off automatic scanning in Vulnerability Scanner.

Mind you, it may be a good idea to make such settings optional, in which case a Product Idea can be posted here: 

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner

I know you must be really angry at your son for both downloading and sharing movies illegally via peer-to-peer software, but I don't understand what your concern with MVS is?

MVS does not download movies, activate software etc - I don't even believe it updates torrent software (it's too obscure).

And of course, I am sure you already know that BitTorrent clients don't download things themselves, you have to tell them what to download... And lastly, I am sure you know that Bittorrent is not part of Windows - you have to choose to download it.

If you can explain what the product flaw is, we'll be right on it.

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner

Simon, it does update uTorrent (for one example) and the software always turns itself on when updated, or rather defaults to "Start with Windows".   That's the fault of  uTorrent, not McAfee.

My point was that MVS always asks you first if you want to update anything before going ahead and doing it, giving the user the choice of going ahead or not.

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner

Best to just as suggested disable the Vulnerability scanner scheduled scan.or

1. Do not have automatically install my updates after a scan selected in the settings

2. You can also unselect the program updates and only scan for windows updates

Uni not willing to acknowledge this was a mistake due to settings on the programs?

Yes Simon utorrent is updated by VS and auto then starts something I always disable after scans and updates to it.

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner

I stand corrected then - uTorrent is updated by MVS. The fact it sets itself back into "Start with Windows" mode is interesting for sure.

I still don't see any failure by Livesafe/MVS though? What am I missing?

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner

Coincidence perhaps but about 3 minutes ago MVS offered me an update to uTorrent.  This time it didn't alter any settings, simply started the software.

All I had to do was exit.

Re: BEWARE vulnerability scanner

BTW I see no issue with MVS as told here at least.

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