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Symantec expands detection to include spyware

Symantec Protects Wireless Users With New 2004 Antivirus For Pcs And Handhelds

Symantec expands threat detection to include spyware, adware and hacking tools

Symantec, the world leader in Internet security, today announced Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds, offering protection against viruses for Palm OS-compatible and Microsoft Pocket PC handheld devices, enabling a secure wireless environment for users. Releasing at the same time is Norton AntiVirus 2004, featuring expanded threat detection capabilities to help protect users from emerging non-virus security hazards such as spyware and hacking tools.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds
According to Gartner Dataquest, more than 20 million handheld computers have been sold during the past five years globally. Industry experts estimate that only about one percent of the more than 20 million handheld computers sold during the past five years currently has any virus protection, so users are exposed to great potential risk.

“As handheld devices gain popularity, they become an increasingly attractive target for viruses and malicious code,” said Richard Batchelar, Country Manager Symantec New Zealand. “So it is essential to secure these devices, protect the PCs to which they connect, and safeguard data. By providing Palm and Pocket PC users protection against viruses, Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds secures this critical point of entry thereby strengthening overall security. Many individuals also take personal handheld devices and connect them to their office network, creating an information security risk for their business as well as their personal computing environment.”

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds resides on the mobile device and protects Pocket PCs and Palm OS-based handhelds against viruses, worms and other malicious threats. Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds is first installed on a desktop PC; application files for the Palm or Pocket PC are then installed on the handheld during the next synchronisation. The antivirus micro-engine installed on the handheld is based on Symantec’s award-winning antivirus engine. This micro-engine runs virus scans on the handheld, quickly detecting viruses that attempt to execute on the device and ensuring effective endpoint protection for home offices and enterprise environments. For increased security and flexibility, Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds supports both real-time and on-demand scans. Real-time scans are provided through AutoProtect, which runs continuously in the background to constantly protect the handheld against new virus attacks. AutoProtect prevents infected files from being saved to the device; if a malicious application is already present on the device, AutoProtect alerts the user before the application is launched. On-demand scans enable the user to manually scan all applications on the handheld. Expansion cards can also be scanned on demand or in real time. Comprehensive logs provide users with important information about the status of their protection against viruses as well as their product configuration. Users can quickly access a log of partial and full scans, found viruses, deleted and undeleted infected files, and virus definition update history.

Norton AntiVirus 2004
Norton AntiVirus 2004 expands on the traditional virus scanning capabilities found in previous versions to now offer users protection against more than just viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. New features include: Scans for spyware, adware, key loggers, and other hacking tools that can be used to compromise the security of a system, spy on the user’s private data, or track users’ online behaviour Users of Windows 2000 and Windows XP are protected from viruses lurking in compressed files – the type of files commonly exchanged via peer-to-peer networks or instant messaging A product activation component to protect users from pirated or counterfeit software.

“The reality of the Internet today is that non-virus security threats, such as spyware and adware, are emerging at alarming rates. The average online user now commonly accumulates an abundance of these new threats as part of everyday Web surfing activity,” said Richard Batchelar.

“These non-virus threats which are undetectable by conventional antivirus solutions, install themselves and work in the background of the system without the user’s knowledge. The expanded threat detection capabilities of Norton AntiVirus 2004 proactively seek and destroy virus and non-virus threats to keep online users’ information safe and secure.”

Like its predecessors, Norton AntiVirus 2004 automatically protects against both inbound and outbound online threats at all points of entry. Unlike other antivirus products, Norton AntiVirus 2004 helps ensure maximum protection with minimum user effort by installing with all key protection settings and technologies active by default, including real-time scanning, automatic updating, and sophisticated heuristics.

Additionally, while other products typically scan only specified types of files, Norton AntiVirus 2004 automatically scans all files for malicious code, and automatically removes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses without requiring user intervention. Norton AntiVirus 2004 also now includes the ability to detect viruses in compressed file archives, offering users of popular file-exchange services, such as instant messaging and peer-to-peer networks, protection from sending or receiving infected data or folders.

Norton AntiVirus 2004 is also offered in a professional edition, which includes the capabilities of the standard version, as well as a data recovery component that helps users restore files that were damaged or accidentally deleted as well as a data-cleaning component that digitally shreds deliberately deleted files to permanently remove them.

In addition, to help protect households and home offices with more than one PC, Norton AntiVirus 2004 Professional includes a two-computer licence. Norton AntiVirus and Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds both make use of Symantec’s Automatic LiveUpdate which checks for new antivirus updates whenever the user is online.

Automatic LiveUpdate unobtrusively downloads these updates in the background to minimise disruptions. In conjunction with Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds, LiveUpdate automatically downloads virus definition updates for the device to the desktop when available, then transfers the updates to the handheld the next time the device is synchronised. Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds also introduces Wireless LiveUpdate, which enables users with a wireless Internet connection – regardless of protocol – to download device-specific virus definitions and Symantec product updates directly to the handheld over the Web.

Pricing and Availability
Norton AntiVirus 2004 and Norton AntiVirus 2004 Professional will be available in September for an estimated retail price of $119.95 and $149.95, respectively. Prices include a one-year subscription to Symantec’s protection updates. Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will be available for purchase at retail stores in September 2003. Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will be offered as an annual renewable subscription service to home users at an estimated retail price of $89.95. This service provides regular product updates as well as virus definition updates.

As a result, subscribers are assured of having the most up-to-date software, the most current protection against viruses, and uninterrupted compatibility with the latest Palm and Pocket PC operating systems. When the subscription period ends and virus protection terminates, users simply renew their subscription.

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