Today I received a major McAfee SecurityCenter patch which changed my splash screen. I also noticed that the Windows Location Activity icon is now present in my system tray with the message "Your location has recently been accessed."
I checked under my Windows Privacy app > Location and Location tracking is currently disabled. I then checked my event viewer and saw several new log entries.
Below is logged by "Location Activity" under "Information"
"A program accessed information from a location sensor or default location
FriendlyName=McAfee CSP Service Host;
ImagePath=C:\Program Files\Common Files\McAfee\CSP\1.6.1008.0\McCSPServiceHost.exe;
Interestingly, there's also error messages with the exact times coinciding with the above log entry as shown below.
Below is logged by "Kernel-PnP" under "Warning".
"The driver \Driver\WudfRd failed to load for the device SWD\SensorsAndLocationEnum\LPSensorSWDevice."
These log entries appeared right after McAfee's patch today. They will appear every time I reboot the computer.
My system specs:
Alienware x51 R2
Windows 8.1 Pro all latest updates applied
Core i7-4770 @3.40GHz
8 GB memory
1 TB hard disk space
McAfee Antivirus & Antispyware
Engine version: 2361.0
McAfee Personal Firewall
McAfee Parental Controls
McAfee QuickClean & Shredder
McAfee Vulnerability Scanner
All McAfee products updated on September 1, 2015.
The Windows Location Activity icon will now always appear after McAfee loads on every bootup, which leads me to suspect McAfee now is trying access my location now every time it boots. McAfee now behaves like a spyware? Not to mention the annoying appearance and prompting of Location Activity in my system tray.
Also, another unrelated problem I noticed much earlier than the current issue is that since about a month ago, McAfee Scan is now hogging much much more resources to run a full system scan than normal. When I run a full scan, my McAfee UI will sometimes become sluggish to the point of prompting a "stopped working" error with 100% disk usage. When the UI hangs, the scanner is still running behind the scenes, just that I could not really keep track of the scan progress. Sometimes I get a pop up warning about McAfee is running a script that is slowing down my PC and asking me if I want to continue letting the script run or not. With a powerful system spec like mine, I really cannot fathom an antivirus taking up so much PC resources that it is mind-boggling.
Any McAfee techs, please help out. I've provided a lot of information I can come up with so you tech guys can try to fix these issues. I am sure I am not the only one with these problems.
Solved! Go to Solution.
Cloud Service Platform synchs subscription details across devices so location is part of that by default. Depending on your suite parts of the software are particularly directed at mobile devices and location for those is essential otherwise a stolen device (for instance) would not be locatable and the subscriber wouldn't be able to lock it or wipe it.
If you have Live Safe, All Access or even Total Protection, Antivirus Plus etc. location is part of the equation whether you like it or not as this is security software designed to protect all the devices it supports, some being mobile.
The servers access your general location, i.e. Country but there's nothing spying on you directly. If you ticked as OK that item which I think reads "Send location information to McAfee" or words to that effect that flashes up at the very end of installing the software then some general information about your setup is sent back. I know for sure that personal information is never transmitted.
I could be wrong though and as Techs are very rare here in these peer-to-peer forums, I suggest you ask Technical Support, see link below. It's free by phone.
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I've checked my installation and a friend at McAfee Beta checked too and no location activity on ours, this is very strange.
Hmm, thanks for trying to help. But I do not like to call Tech Support as I do not find them helpful enough. Maybe you can help me better by highlighting my grouses to McAfee techs at your roundtable meetings, pretty please?
Okay, here goes. I've done some research and apparently the recent McAfee update included a new component called McAfee Cloud Services Platform, which is the culprit trying to send my location to McAfee servers. I've tinkered a bit with it by disabling it in services.msc and so far it has not triggered any Location Activity. No other problems or errors logged in my event viewer as well and McAfee Security Center is working fine.
I noticed that this was also posted recently in another thread:
So, I want to ask, and maybe Ex_Brit can kindly help me forward this to the techs for attention, is the Cloud Services Platform really a NECESSARY component of McAfee? We have been doing fine for years without this feature and I would like the status quo to remain. I am only using McAfee on a personal desktop so a cloud service will not benefit me much. If possible, I would like McAfee to give us a choice of choosing whether to enable this service as some of us might not be comfortable with McAfee tracking our location for whatever reason.
Also, I wish to report that the recent update also has a bug which caused the "Kernel-PnP" warning in event viewer.
"The driver \Driver\WudfRd failed to load for the device SWD\SensorsAndLocationEnum\LPSensorSWDevice."
Apparently it was caused by a windows service called WudfRd, which is actually Windows Driver Foundation - User-Mode Driver Framework. After some googling, I found that it could have been triggered due to hardware malfunction or driver issues. But in my case, it was clearly caused by McAfee's update, which may have turned the WudfRd status to "Manual" instead of "Automatic" which it should have been. I highly suspect it was caused by McAfee Cloud Services Platform installation as the timing of this log always coincides exactly with Location Activity being logged, which is when McAfee's Cloud service starts. The fix is simple for anyone having this issue after the recent McAfee update. Just change the "Status" of "Windows Driver Foundation - User-Mode Driver Frameworkback" back to "Automatic" under services.msc and it should stop logging warning errors. Ex_Brit, do please alert the techs about this bug as McAfee should not have been tinkering with customers' Windows file settings. I could be wrong though and it may have been caused by other things but the timing coincidences are just too strong to not link McAfee to this.
Anyhow, kudos to user "frozenreads" from sevenforums for posting the link to the fix above. The link to the forum I originally got the fix can be found here: The driver \Driver\WUDFRd failed to load for the device... error - Windows 7 Help Forums
Again, thanks to Ex_Brit for being always the first in line in trying to provide a response. I just hope you can get our message across to McAfee bigwigs that we sometimes do not appreciate too many unnecessary bells and whistles added to our security software, especially one that tracks our location. Also, Ex_Brit, I'd like your help to confirm if my temporary measure of disabling McCSPServiceHost.exe (McAfee Could Services Platform service) is truly safe and does not compromise anything; my security, software or hardware wise.
I'm not qualified to answer you but I can tell you most definitely not to interfere with any McAfee services as the software does use the Cloud extensively. It is not reporting your exact location to anyone, merely what country you are in..
You should be asking Technical Support and asking them to escalate the question if the first tier can't help.
I've rebooted the computer several times and so far nothing seems to be amiss. I know you want to sound responsible and provide a safer advice, which I do appreciate. My thoughts though, are that it may not be necessary after all, as so far McAfee has not forced a start of the service (in which it will do so if it's truly needed). Neither did McAfee log any errors in my Event Viewer, which indicates it may not be needed to run other components. Also, this is a recently installed component, which we have been doing fine previously without for so long.
But then again, I'd appreciate it more if you can also help us by bringing this issue up with the techs when you meet with them during your regular meetings. It is currently not a pressing issue and I'd like to save some trouble of contacting Tech Support. I can wait for you to notify them or maybe ask for professional opinion from the tech guys. Better still, invite them to post here directly so others can have a reference if they also have this issue.
Thanks for your understanding.
Oh and, I'd appreciate it too if someone from McAfee can officially enlighten us here if my temporary fix is 100% safe so everyone can make it a reference instead of one-on-one Tech Support chats which no one can refer to.
I have asked for help with this internally but can't guarantee any will be forthcoming.
I am inclined to agree with Colleague Ex_Brit in regards to the process 'McAfee Cloud Services Platform' I vociferously urge you to (NOT) continue to advise other users to disable this Process/Service. For your information I have had it running for almost a (Year) now.
As a matter of fact I was one of the first to receive this process amongst us Mods.(Almost a year ago) Not only does this process assure one that you are Current/Up to Date with your Engine Versions, it associates with other McAfee Processes in regards to your over-all 'Protection'
As Peter mentioned, I am not a McAfee Technician. However it has been confirmed during our weekly Conference Calls. That the McCSPService.exe is a Vital/Legitimate process that should not be tampered with,Period.
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