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Symantec Delivers First Detection and Repair for Excel Macro Virus, XM.Laroux, Across All Platforms

CUPERTINO, Calif. – August 9, 1996 -- Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world's leading supplier of anti-virus software, today announced that it has published a complete detection and repair solution for the first Microsoft Excel Macro Virus, XM.Laroux (alias ExcelMacro/Laroux). Available free through Symantec’s online resources, the new definition file can be used with all desktop versions of Norton AntiVirus (Windows 95, Windows NT, and Windows/DOS).

The detection scheme was first posted on Symantec’s web site on Friday, July 26th with the repair added to the online download as of today. The URL is: http://www.symantec.com/avcenter

"Detection is good, but when you’re dealing with data files like Excel spreadsheets and Word documents repair is imperative -- lost data results in lost productivity," said Mary Engstrom, General Manager for the Securities Business Unit of Symantec. "When the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) provides a solution, it is a complete one - detection and repair in the Norton AntiVirus background and on-demand scanners on all vulnerable platforms. With Auto-protect running, all suspect files, including Excel and Word documents, are scanned before they are allowed to load. If anything is infected, users can repair the file immediately, and continue to work."

"Once the update is installed, the need to focus on the virus threat is eliminated and users can concentrate on what they should - their work. Zero loss of productivity," Engstrom continued. "Once again, the quick, decisive actions of SARC have helped our customers to protect their data from a new virus threat." This latest addition to the NAV detection and repair database is posted within Symantec’s Intelligent Updater, and is a simple and easy to use distribution file (named 08NAV96B.EXE). Users need only download this single file, run it, and the program will update the definitions for all versions of Norton AntiVirus automatically -- a complete, instant solution.

Brief Information on the XM.Laroux Virus
First discovered in general distribution in July of 1996 in Africa and Alaska, XM.Laroux is the first working Excel Macro Virus to be found in general circulation. XM.Laroux contains no deliberately destructive payloads - it exists only to replicate. Please also note that it only "works" under Microsoft Windows operating systems using Excel version 5 and 7. It does NOT work under the Macintosh environment. Like the majority of computer viruses, it can be transmitted via the Internet and floppy disks as well as across networks in shared files and email attachments.

The virus appears to have had a limited initial distribution. It is hoped that with the quick response of anti-virus companies, like Symantec, that the spread of the virus will be contained and eventually eliminated.

About Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC)
Symantec’s family of anti-virus products are backed by unsurpassed information, technology, and customer service. The Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) has a dedicated team of 26 men and women whose sole mission is to provide swift, global responses to computer virus threats, proactively research and develop technologies that eliminate such threats and educate the public on safe computing practices. As new computer viruses appear, SARC develops identification and detection for these viruses, and provides either a repair or delete option, thus keeping users protected against the latest virus threats.

Customer Service
Symantec's anti-virus products are backed by an unsurpassed range of virus information and update services. Users can access the Symantec AntiVirus Reference Center on Symantec's web site to obtain up-to-date information on the XM.Laroux and other viruses and virus protection. This area also contains the latest virus definitions for all Symantec anti-virus products, which are updated every month.

Additional virus information and update services include: The Virus Hotline (541) 9-VIRUS-9; free 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) 343-4717 ext. 756. 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 has offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe. Information on the company and its products can be obtained by calling (800) 441-7234 toll free, or (541) 334-6054.

Note to Editors: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, please view the Symantec Press Center at http://www.symantec.com/PressCenter/ on Symantec's Website.

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

@Symantec