CUPERTINO, Calif. --February 18, 1997-- Symantec Corporation Nasdaq:SYMC), the world's leading supplier of anti-virus software products today announced its revolutionary protection system to protect the corporate enterprise environment from macro viruses. The new Macro Virus Protection (MVP) system will be available to Symantec's corporate customers by May 1, 1997. Initial support will be for the Norton AntiVirus 2.0 for Windows 95 and Norton AntiVirus 2.0 for Windows NT, with other platform support in future releases.
"Our new Macro Virus Protection system is a combination of our forward thinking technology and re-implementation of our existing systems. We are providing a solution that will prevent macro viruses from loading with 100% confidence," said Enrique Salem, Vice President of Symantec's Securities and Assistance Business Unit. "We can stop the loading of any unapproved macros into the system. If macro viruses are unable to load, they are also unable to spread. Our thinking is why invite the monster in when you can stop it at the door?"
"Merck has been searching for some time for a way of reversing the macro virus protection paradigm," commented Dr. Charles Popper, Vice President of Corporate Computer Resources and CIO of Merck and Co., Inc. "Instead of attempting to recognize viruses, we prefer to verify that all macros in a document are on our approved list. Symantec has been very responsive to our enterprise needs. They listened to our suggestions, and this Macro Virus Protection system is the result. We are very excited about the prospect of rolling this technology out to our user base."
According to SARC, six to nine new computer viruses are discovered every day and, of those, there are an alarming number of new macro viruses. Researchers have documented 259 macro viruses as of February 1997, a significant increase since August 1996, when there were only 42. Of these, 252 viruses have been documented for Word, while 7 have been found in Excel documents. Norton AntiVirus products give users the security of knowing that they have the most complete virus protection possible, whether they are downloading files from the Internet, opening e-mail attached Word documents or accessing floppy disks.
Macro Virus Protection (MVP) Technology
Under the new Macro Virus Protection (MVP) system, any document loaded will be checked for macro viruses. If the document contains macros, they are checked against a MIS pre-approved list. If the macros do not appear on the list, access to the document is denied and is not allowed to load. The approved list is a datafile, created and maintained by the corporate MIS department and stored in the workstation's Norton AntiVirus directory.
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 or these viruses, and provides either a repair or delete operation, thus keeping users protected against the latest virus threats. These virus definitions updates are available to users of Norton AntiVirus, and are easily obtained by using LiveUpdate or Intelligent Updater. LiveUpdate provides one-button access to the latest virus definition updates, free of charge (other than normal phone and Internet access charges) to registered users. Symantec is the only anti-virus company that provides its users virus definitions that are free of charge, easy to obtain and install, and updated monthly by SARC.
Customers need an easy way to keep their anti-virus protection current. LiveUpdate revolutionizes the update process and provides end-users with a revolutionary way to protect against both today's virus threats and those that will appear in the future - a critical requirement when, on average, 6-9 new are discovered every day. With the click of a button, LiveUpdate 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.
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 December 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 managed 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 or visit our site on the world wide web at www.symantec.com.
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