Press Release

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter RSS

Don't Let the Virus Scrooge Spoil your New Year--Dramatic Increases in Computer Macro Viruses Reinforce the Need for Protection

Three To Six Computer Viruses Are Discovered Every Day December Research Shows 158 Documented Macro Viruses, a Significant Increase From 42 in August

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- December 18, 1996 -- Millions of consumers will either buy or receive computers this holiday season. According to researchers at the Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) three to six new computer viruses are discovered every day and, of those, there are an alarming number of new macro viruses. Researchers have documented 158 macro viruses in early December 1996, a 300% increase since August 1996, when there were only 42. Other common viruses at this time of year include Jerusalem.1808 which triggers every Friday the 13th during a calendar year and Joshi.A, triggered on January 5th. The threat of computer viruses is reason enough for consumers to protect their new and existing computer investments with anti-virus software during the new year.

Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC)
SARC is comprised of a dedicated team of virus experts 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 a virus definition update for Symantec’s complete family of anti-virus products, keeping users continuously protected against the latest virus threats. Virus definition updates are available free of charge (other than normal phone and Internet access charges) to users of Norton AntiVirus, and are easily obtained by using LiveUpdate or Intelligent Updater.

The Products
Norton AntiVirus (NAV) 2.0 for Microsoft Windows 95 gives users the security of knowing that they have the most complete virus protection possible, whether they are downloading files from the Internet, opening attached Word documents or accessing floppy disk. This latest version of Norton AntiVirus integrates a wide variety of enhancements, focused on expanded Internet functionality, ease-of-use, consistently and current protection and security. Key features include: LiveUpdate, which provides one button access to the latest virus definition updates; Striker, a next generation scanning engine that scans for the latest and most elusive polymorphic viruses; and Repair Wizard which guides users through the potentially intimidating process of virus elimination.

Over 100 new viruses are discovered every month and users need an easy way to keep their anti-virus protection current; LiveUpdate revolutionizes the update process and provides end-users with an easy way to protect against both today’s virus threats and those that will appear in the future – a critical requirement when, on average, 3-6 new are discovered every day. LiveUpdate provides one-button access to the latest virus definition updates. Live Update detects an Internet connection or modem, automatically connects it to a Symantec server, then downloads and installs the latest virus definitions. In addition to receiving Symantec’s free monthly virus definition updates, LiveUpdate may also be used to install software patches and obtain product information. LiveUpdate is a patent-pending technology that will appear in many Symantec products over the coming months and provides a unique way for users to ensure their software solutions are updated. By combining the benefits of LiveUpdate and the wealth of virus expertise and response available from SARC , Norton AntiVirus can promise a user constant virus protection that is always up-to-date. Further, Symantec is proud to be the only major anti-virus company that provides its users virus definitions that are free of charge, easy to obtain and install, and updated monthly.

Striker--Next Generation Polymorphic Virus Detection
A complex polymorphic virus is often very difficult to detect using conventional anti-virus programs, because of the complexity of the encryption. When a user runs an infected program, the virus usurps control of the computer and un-encrypts the main body of the virus. The virus can then take over the computer and potentially damage or destroy important files. Each time it infects a new program, the virus encrypts itself using a different scheme so that it never looks the same to most anti-virus products. Norton AntiVirus overcomes this challenge by creating a “virtual computer” where polymorphic viruses are tricked into view and are then eliminated before they can cause damage.

Repair Wizard
Viruses are often frightening to users who have not encountered them before. Panic measures--like reformatting the hard drive--can cause more problems than the virus itself and may not solve the problem. In response, Norton AntiVirus introduces the Repair Wizard to guide users through the virus clean-up process. The Repair Wizard will provide users with a friendly, comfortable assistant to help them deal with the problem rationally and confidently.

Product Pricing, Availability and System Requirements
Norton AntiVirus for Windows 95 2.0, Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh (SAM) 4.5 are available at an estimated retail price (ERP) of U.S. $69.95, and also online for U.S. $79.95 (US). Norton AntiVirus 3.0 for DOS/Windows 3.x is available at an estimated retail price of U.S. $49.95 and online for U.S. $49.95. A $29.95 version upgrade is available to users of Norton AntiVirus for Windows 95. Norton AntiVirus 2.0 for Windows NT requires an Intel-based system; Windows NT workstation or Windows NT Server, versions 3.51 or 4.0; 16 MB RAM, and 10 MB free hard-disk storage space. Products are available at major software and computer retailers, corporate resellers, or directly from Symantec.

AntiVirus Support Services
Symantec’s family of anti-virus products are backed by unsurpassed information, technology, and customer service. In addition to the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC), virus information and updates can be obtained through the Virus Hotline (541) 9-VIRUS-9.

Downloadable virus definition updates are available from the Symantec BBS, the Symantec FTP and Web sites, CompuServe, America Online and the Microsoft Network. For customers who do no have online access, a quarterly disk-based update subscription service is available for an annual fee of $39.95 plus tax.

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning product development efforts by Symantec. There are certain important factors that could cause Symantec’s future development efforts to differ materially from those anticipated by some of the statements made above. Additional information concerning these and other risk factors is obtained in the “Risk Factors” section of the Proxy statement dated July 29, 1996, the company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 29, 1996 and the Company’s Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ending September 27, 1996.

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.

Note to Editors: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, please view the Symantec Press Center at on Symantec's website.

Brands and products referenced herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Microsoft, Windows NT, MS-DOS and windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.