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Industry Research Indicates That Even The Most Savvy Computer Users Are Not Properly Protected Against Computer Virus Threats

Poll of PC Expo Attendees Indicates Overwhelming Number of Computer Users Do Not Keep Anti-Virus Software Current

NEW YORK --June 19, 1997-- More than 50 percent of computer users polled at this week's PC Expo responded that they do not update their anti-virus software on a monthly basis, therefore rendering their computers vulnerable to the hundreds of new viruses that surface each month. This Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) sponsored study, the most current research of its kind, should serve as a reminder that lack of, or improper use of, anti-virus protection could result in serious losses.

According to the National Computer Security Association (NCSA), the average virus disaster causes 44 hours of computer down time, 21.7 lost days of work and an average of $8,366 in self-proclaimed costs. This translates to billions of dollars in losses that could have been avoided by the use of anti-virus software and monthly updates.

"We believe that the commitment to our customers does not end once they have purchased our anti-virus software - in fact this is when the real partnership begins," said Enrique Salem, vice president, Symantec Security and Assistance Business Unit. "This is why we invest so much in anti-virus research at the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) and provide the only free Live Update feature in the industry. This new study verifies that we need to focus more aggressively on public awareness of virus threats and currency of virus protection."

Applied Research West, Inc., the firm that conducted the research poll, also queried show participants as to their experience with viruses. Forty-seven percent of those polled stated their computers had been infected during the past twelve months. Additionally, 52 percent of the respondents were unaware that Symantec offers updates free to its customers.

Live Update, a key component of Symantec's Norton AntiVirus product, provides one-button access to the latest virus definition updates free of charge (other than normal phone and Internet fees) to customers. This feature provides protection that is easy to install and always current because of SARC's monthly updates.

Today, with more virus threats resulting from increased communications via the Internet, it is critically important that computer users be protected. The current computer epidemic includes Internet viruses that are fueling a rapid spread of macro viruses transmitted via e-mail attachments and file downloads. According to Alex Haddox, director of the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC), six to nine new computer viruses are discovered every day and, of those, there are an alarming number of macro viruses, a new breed of viruses that infect word processing and spreadsheet documents. As of late May, researchers have documented over 1,000 macro viruses, a 2,000 percent increase since August 1996, when there were only 42 documented macro viruses.

As the worldwide leader in virus detection and repair technology, Symantec is also the largest supplier of anti-virus technology products that are the protection of choice for more than 15 million users worldwide. The company helps keep computer users safe from computer viruses with award-winning products that provide technological support and quick responsiveness.

About Symantec
Symantec Corporation helps make users productive and keep their computers safe and reliable anywhere and anytime. Symantec offers a broad range of solutions and is acclaimed as a leader in both customer satisfaction and product brand recognition. The company is focused on addressing customer needs in three main application areas: the Norton product line of anti-virus and PC-assistance products; the pcAnywhere, WinFax and ACT! product lines that cater to remote user productivity; and the Café product lines in Internet development tools.

Founded in 1982, the company's global operations span North America, Europe, Japan and several fast growing markets throughout Asia Pacific and Latin America. Traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC, Symantec Corporation is based in Cupertino, California and employs more than 2,000 people. Information on the World Wide Web at

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