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Antivirus. Free anti virus software. » Norton antivirus software exposes computers

Monday May 29, 2006 JST

Norton antivirus software exposes computers


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Symantec’s (Free Norton Antivirus) leading antivirus software, which protects some of the world’s largest corporations and US government agencies, suffers from a flaw that lets hackers seize control of computers to steal sensitive data, delete files or implant malicious programs, researchers said.

Norton Antivirus office said it was investigating the issue but could not immediately corroborate the vulnerability.

If confirmed, the threat to computer users would be severe because the security software is so widely used, and because no action is required by victims using the latest versions of Norton Antivirus to suffer a crippling attack over the Internet.

Norton Antivirus software has boasted its antivirus products are installed on more than 200 million computers.

A spokesman, Mike Bradshaw, said the Norton company was examining the reported flaw but described it as “so new that we don’t have any details.”

Researchers from eEye Digital Security of Aliso Viejo, California, discovered the vulnerability and provided evidence to Symantec engineers this week, said eEye’s chief hacking officer, Marc Maiffret.

Maiffret’s company, which has discovered hundreds of similar flaws in other software products, also produces intrusion-protection software, called “Blink,” that he said already blocks such attacks and can operate alongside Symantec’s antivirus products.

Maiffret published a note about the company’s discovery on its Web site but pledged not to reveal details publicly that would help hackers attack Internet users until after Symantec repairs its antivirus software. eEye said it intends to describe the problem in detail privately for some of its largest customers.

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