CUPERTINO, Calif. -- March 4, 1996 -- Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq:SYMC) has adopted Monday, March 4, 1996 as "Scan Day" to encourage computer users to scan regularly for viruses and is making a Norton AntiVirus scanner for DOS/Windows, Windows 95 and Windows NT available FREE online for computer users. Norton AntiVirus protects against more than 7100 virus threats. These viruses include the first Windows 95 virus, Boza (alias Bizatch) and Word Macro viruses, as well as Michelangelo, the infamous virus which activates on March 6 every year. The free scanner will be available starting on Scan Day March 4 through March 8 on Symantec's BBS and FTP & Web Sites, CompuServe, America Online, and Microsoft Network.
Protection on the Internet
"Many new computer users are connected to cyberspace, and may not know that they are vulnerable to computer viruses when they download files from the Internet or share files attached to electronic mail," said Mary Engstrom, general manager of Symantec's AntiVirus Business Unit. "As more computer users share information online and download files from the Internet, viruses can spread more quickly and easily."
Newest Virus Threats
Early this year, Boza, the first virus specifically targeting Windows 95, was discovered. Symantec AntiVirus Research Center experts do not consider it to be a widespread danger to computer users. According to the Symantec experts, the Microsoft Word Macro viruses are the greatest threat. They can infect Word 6 document files on DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT and Macintosh operating systems. In the first six months in circulation, one Word Macro virus, Concept, was among the top ten most reported viruses.
"Viruses in Windows 95 are just as much of a threat as in DOS and Windows 3.x. With no built-in virus protection in Windows 95, new users should make sure that they safeguard their computer against virus infections," added Engstrom. "Anti-virus software provides a safety net against infection and protects users' information, and Norton AntiVirus and Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh provide the most complete virus protection available."
The Michelangelo virus activates every year only on March 6. If a computer is infected with the Michelangelo virus and is started on March 6, the virus will activate, overwriting the hard disk drive contents of PCs running DOS, Windows, Windows 95 and Windows NT (Michelangelo does not infect Macintoshes), and may result in a significant loss of data. There is no indication that Michelangelo has activated; all that is seen is a flashing cursor in the upper left corner of the screen. The Michelangelo virus is a boot sector virus, it can be spread only by floppy disks. Michelangelo cannot be transmitted over networks or by connecting to electronic online services and newsgroups.
Anti-Virus Scanner Availability
Norton AntiVirus Scanner for Windows 95/NT is available free online March 4-8. This scanner provides complete detection and repair of more than 7100 viruses, including Word Macro viruses and the Boza virus. Symantec also has a scan-only version of Norton AntiVirus for DOS/Windows 3.x online that will detect and repair boot sector viruses, including Michelangelo.
Norton AntiVirus Scanners are available for download at the following online sites:
Symantec BBS (541) 484-6669 (300-28,800 baud) Symantec's Anti-Virus Web site www.sarc.com CompuServe GO SYMANTEC America Online SYMANTEC Microsoft Network SYM-NAV95To download a free Norton AntiVirus Scanner:
On Symantec Online sites listed above:
Additional virus information and update services include: The Virus Hotline (541) 9-VIRUS-9; downloadable virus definitions from the Symantec BBS, the Symantec FTP and Web sites on the Internet, CompuServe, America Online and the Microsoft Network; and a monthly Virus Definition Disk Service (800) 441-7234. In addition, a quarterly virus definition subscription service, the Norton AntiVirus Subscription Service, is available for an annual fee of $39.95 plus tax.
About Symantec Corporation
Symantec Corporation develops, markets, and supports a complete line of application and system software products designed to enhance individual and workgroup productivity as well as manage networked computing environments. Platforms supported include IBM personal computers and compatibles, Apple Macintosh computers as well as all major network operating systems. Founded in 1982, the company’s global operations span North America, Europe and several fast growing markets throughout Asia Pacific and Latin America. Information on the company and its products can be obtained by calling (800) 441-7234 toll free or (541) 334-6054.