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Symantec goes after rogue apps

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August 29, 2003

Symantec Corp. on Monday announced that the next version of its Norton AntiVirus product will include technology to protect against rogue applications such as keystroke loggers and spyware.

Even as viruses like SoBig and others continue to rampage across the Internet and infect machines almost at will, emerging threats, including spyware, Trojans and others, are becoming more and more prevalent and harder to detect and remove. NAV 2004 will be capable of blocking these applications if they're embedded in e-mail or instant messages, and will also have the ability to find them during regular system scans.

Spyware and Trojans often are found in freeware or shareware programs downloaded from the Internet and are also common in the peer-to-peer clients distributed for free by file-sharing networks. Malicious software also tends to show up in the files traded on such networks. To help prevent these threats from getting onto users' machines, NAV 2004 can scan compressed files in real time, as they're downloaded. This feature is only available to Windows 2000 and XP users.

All of these features will be included in both the consumer and professional editions of NAV. But the professional edition will also include a data recovery feature and something that Symantec is calling "digital shredding." This feature is designed to render deleted files completely irretrievable. NAV 2004 will ship in early September, and the professional version will start at $69.95.

Also on Monday, Symantec, of Cupertino, Calif., unveiled its new AntiVirus for Handhelds product line. Designed for PDAs running either the Palm OS or Pocket PC software, the product can perform scheduled or on-demand scanning and also includes the LiveUpdate service. This feature enables users to download virus definitions and upgrades directly from the Symantec site. AntiVirus for Handhelds will be available by the end of August.


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