12/4/2005

Norton Gets a Bit Less Secure

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 6:34 am

Hacker attacks on its premier Norton Antivirus software could hurt the company’s image. And rivals are eager to carve up its turf

What’s the newest security threat lurking on your PC? It’s not the spam sitting in your inbox luring you to fake Web sites. Or the keystroke-logging malware recording your passwords. It’s holes in the software designed to protect you from all that.

It’s true: Hackers, bored with attacking Microsoft , are going after Symantec whose Norton products are the first line of defense on 50 million PCs worldwide. Says Ralph Echemendia, an info-tech security instructor at Vigilar’s Intense School, a Fort Lauderdale security training institute: “They’ve become a new target.”

That’s bad news for a company trying to differentiate itself from rivals — including Microsoft, which rolled out two security products on Nov. 29 — by positioning itself as a premium brand that charges top dollar. “The danger is you turn off consumers,” says Andrew Jaquith of market researcher Yankee Group.

How big is the threat to Symantec and its customers? Already, hackers are bypassing or disabling Symantec software in their efforts to access personal information or spread viruses and worms. And there’s mounting evidence that hackers are trying to use Symantec software as an actual gateway into corporate servers and PCs. A Nov. 22 report by the SANS Institute, a computer-security watchdog, showed a tenfold increase in attempts to exploit a flaw in a Symantec data-protection program after it was disclosed in May.

Source: businessweek

 

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