CUPERTINO, Calif. - June 24, 1998 - Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing, today announced the integration of IBM's virus detection technology into the latest version of Norton AntiVirus for the desktop, as well as the GroupWare and server products. IBM's virus scanner will complement the numerous detection technologies already incorporated into Norton AntiVirus, improving the program's stellar detection rates. Norton AntiVirus customers will be able to update their system with this new technology for free by running the program's exclusive LiveUpdate feature or by downloading the latest package of virus definitions and program updates from Symantec's web site at www.symantec.com.
IBM's virus scanner searches files and boot records for specific patterns of bytes indicative of known viruses and provides viral signatures that are quite short: typically 16 to 30 bytes out of the several thousand that make up a complete virus. It is more efficient to recognize a small fragment than to verify the presence of an entire virus, and a single signature may be common to many different viruses. This award-winning technology offers robust virus detection and is statistically graded to prevent false positives.
"This is the first step toward integrating IBM's Immune System into all of our Norton AntiVirus products," said Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec's Security and Assistance Business Unit. "We are integrating the best technologies into Norton AntiVirus therefore providing our customers with the most comprehensive virus protection on the market. Because of the structure of Norton AntiVirus, we are able to offer this new technology to our customers immediately and for free using LiveUpdate."
When the Immune System is fully implemented, desktop machines running Norton AntiVirus will be able to detect the presence of a new virus and automatically send a sample over the Internet back to the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center. There, computers will dissect it, analyze it and identify the means for completely removing it from the infected computer. The system will then communicate the method for identifying and removing the virus to computers worldwide -- in effect, immunizing them within hours or minutes of the initial appearance of the virus. On May 19, Symantec and IBM announced a partnership to deliver a single family of anti-virus products that will be marketed under the Norton AntiVirus brand name. In addition, Symantec has licensed IBM's immune system technology and patents and will combine it with its own technology to produce a range of products, including new solutions to support IBM platforms. As part of the agreement, IBM has also assigned its existing anti-virus customer and OEM contracts to Symantec and has recommended Norton AntiVirus to its customers worldwide as the anti-virus solution of choice.
The Norton AntiVirus product line includes a multi-tier strategy that integrates products at the desktop, server, GroupWare server, Internet gateway and firewall levels to provide users with the most comprehensive virus detection and repair. The products provide users the security of knowing they have the most complete protection available whether downloading files from the Internet, opening attached word documents or accessing floppy disks. Norton AntiVirus provides users with 100 percent detection and repair of in-the-wild viruses, according to recent tests by Virus Bulletin. In addition, Norton AntiVirus users receive cutting-edge protection against unknown file, boot and macro viruses with Symantec's revolutionary Bloodhound heuristic technology, which analyzes programs, detects unknown or new viruses, and enables the user to repair the infected file immediately.
LiveUpdate Provides Constant, Current Protection
LiveUpdate provides customers an easy, automatic way to keep their anti-virus protection current. LiveUpdate automatically detects an Internet connection or modem and connects to a Symantec server, then downloads and installs the latest virus definitions. Norton AntiVirus users can schedule LiveUpdate to run at regular intervals or can trigger it manually by pressing the LiveUpdate button.
In addition to receiving Symantec's weekly virus definition updates, LiveUpdate also may be used to install software updates and obtain product information. Norton AntiVirus features a modular engine called NAVEX that allows Symantec to ship fundamental changes and updates to the engine technology. LiveUpdate delivers this engine, but NAVEX is what keeps these changes small enough to download over the Internet.
The addition of IBM's virus detection technology is only one of several significant program updates Norton AntiVirus users have received through LiveUpdate since the latest version was introduced in September. Other technologies transmitted to Norton AntiVirus users via LiveUpdate and NAVEX include: a detection and repair engine for the PAIX formula infector Excel virus, Bloodhound Boot technology and Bloodhound Macro technology as well as the Trojan Horse detection engine. Symantec has also used LiveUpdate and NAVEX to update previous versions of Norton AntiVirus with Word 95 and Word 97 support, Excel 95 and Excel 97 support, Windows 32-bit support and support for Polymorphic viruses. This architecture allows SARC to update all platforms of NAV in hours or days, as opposed to months. No other anti-virus product has this type of architecture and can provide customers with major enhancements such as these without having them purchase an entirely new version of their product.
Symantec AntiVirus Research Center
SARC is the industry's largest dedicated team of virus experts. With offices located in the United States, Japan, Australia, and the Netherlands, the sun never sets on SARC. The center's 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 operation, thus keeping users protected against the latest virus threats.
Symantec is the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing. Symantec products and solutions help 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. Symantec is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC. More information on the company and its products can be obtained at www.symantec.com.
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