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Symantec Announces First Native Java Virus Scanner and Leading Edge Virus Analysis Technology

Protection from new types of viruses and an intelligent automated virus analysis and repair system

Editors Summary

  • Virus scan protection for Java applications sent over the Internet
  • First native-Java virus scanner technology
  • Java scan technology developed by the AntiVirus Research Center
  • SARA - automated tool for writing virus definitions and repairs
  • SARA can process up to 150 virus samples in 24 hours
  • SARA - Symantec AntiVirus Research Automation developed by the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC)

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- March 27, 1996 -- Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq:SYMC), a leading supplier of utilities software products, today announced the development of new technology that lays the foundation for delivery of leading edge antivirus solutions. The Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) has developed the first native-Java virus scanner for Java applets sent over the Internet. In addition, SARC has also designed an in-house automation technology that can be used to analyze, replicate, detect and define a large subset of the most common computer viruses.

As the market leader providing technically superior products across all popular platforms -- Macintosh, DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT, NetWare -- Symantec is committed to taking care of its customers in the future as well as today. Every new development and advance in the software industry brings with it new issues and uncertainties, as well as the potential for new problems. As a visionary company, Symantec is ready with a solution for its customers if/when a threat becomes a reality. Developing solutions in advance prepares and protects users from problems before they happen.

"The creation of SARC has allowed us to be on the leading edge of virus research and to fulfill the promise to our customers to protect them against the threat of viruses," said Mary Engstrom, general manager of Symantec’s security business unit. "The latest developments from SARC represent exciting technical advances that translate into worry-free computing for our users."

Java Technology
One of the fastest growing development environments is Java. While no current Java virus threats exist, there is a possibility that a virus could be written. In addition, due to Java’s inherent portability, a virus of this type could spread over a wide variety of platforms. To address this possibility, SARC has produced a Java class file scanner extension for NAV. This will enable NAV to provide real-time protection and monitor for Java virus activity within Netscape or any other Java supported web browser.

The current AutoProtect capability in Norton AntiVirus (NAV) is configured to scan Java applets sent over the Internet in .CLASS files, and can detect a potential type of Java (Java Type I) virus that can be propagated by modifying HTML pages.

The new Java scanner technology can detect another more complex, type of Java virus (Java Type II) that parasitically infects .CLASS files. The Java .CLASS file scanner provides a much faster and more efficient scan than that achieved with conventional brute-force scanning technology and represents the best scanning technology available today for the Java environment. At the first sign of a Java virus threat, Symantec will make this technology available to customers via an immediate virus definition update.

SARA Technology
SARA -- Symantec AntiVirus Research Automation -- is an automated tool designed with artificial intelligence to analyze a virus sample, replicate it, write a memory detection and definition for that virus. At the completion of that process, SARA performs an unbiased check of its own work and will either pass or fail the results based on a rigorous set of standards. SARA eliminates a number of mundane tasks, allowing our engineers to concentrate on more difficult virus threats, and can process up to 150 virus samples in 24 hours. This technology is used to routinely pre-process the thousands of virus samples received by Symantec researchers. With this tool, Symantec has the upper hand in the fight against computer viruses and our customers benefit from the increased level of responsiveness.

Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems for developing cross-platform applications across the public Internet and corporate intranets.

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.

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Symantec Corporation, 10201 Torre Avenue, Cupertino, CA 95014 USA
(800) 441-7234 or (541) 334-6054

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