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Did you test the updated HIPS signatures (not really a patch) prior to rolling it out to a "large number of machines"?
Is it really HIPS that caused this? We did a number of troubleshooting when reports of IE opening and quickly crashing started pouring in. One of the common factors was people had just installed the latest Windows Updates that came out Tuesday evening. When we uninstalled the three patches, the issue went away. On another test, we reset the IE settings and the issue went away. On another test, we disabled Windows Live Assistant Add-on and the issue went away.
Then, when Microsoft support person couldn't pin point the issue I contacted McAfee and they said it was a known issue and to disable the HIP engine API which also resolved the issue.
Now I've heard reports from outside the company who also had this IE crash issue but they don't have HIPS installed. A co-worker with Microsoft contacts says that MS messed this up. Is it just me that is experiencing this? How is it all related? What really happened?