Press Release

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter RSS

Total Number of Mac Viruses Increases by 33 Percent

-- Symantec Posts Detection and Repair for 11 New Macintosh Viruses --

CUPERTINO, Calif. - July 14, 1998 - Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing, today announced that the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) has posted complete detection and repair for 11 new Macintosh-specific viruses discovered within the last few weeks, including the f irst polymorphic virus for the Macintosh. Customers with Norton AntiVirus 5.0 for Macintosh need to click the LiveUpdate button to be protected immediately from these new threats. Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh customers can get the new definitions through the Automatic Update feature or by downloading the updates from Symantec's BBS, FTP site or web site at or from the company's forums on AOL and CompuServe.

With these 11 new threats, the number of viruses written specifically for the Macintosh environment increased by 33 percent in the last month. SARC discovered these new viruses through its Seeker technology, a Web spider designed to scour the Internet and gather files for analysis. Seeker discovered four variants of the first known polymorphic virus for the Macintosh, named MDEF 9806, one of which periodically deletes all non-application files. Symantec's researchers created definitions for two additional variants on the AutoStart Worm previously announced, which replicates itself from computer to computer as a self-contained, stand-alone file, usually causing performance problems and corruption to other files. Researchers discovered five additional variants that infect the system file or spread from application to application. Not all of these new viruses are destructive, but they all can be disruptive.

"It is highly unusual to see so many new viruses in such a short period of time written specifically for the Macintosh platform," said Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec's Security and Assistance Business Unit. "We had previously seen an average of one new Macintosh virus every six months to a year. We are starting to see an upward trend in the growth of Macintosh-specific viruses that consumers need to be aware of and make sure they are protected against. Symantec is committed to providing comprehensive and timely solutions to all potential threats."

All of these viruses will be detected by Norton AntiVirus and Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh as soon as users update the virus definitions on their systems. Users will be automatically protected from these new viruses when the AutoProtect or Intercept feature is on. However, if the AutoProtect feature is off and users suspect they have become infected by these or any viruses, the safest way to clean an infected system is to reboot the computer from a bootable CD and scan with Norton AntiVirus.

Norton AntiVirus 5.0 for Macintosh
Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh offers the most comprehensive virus detection and prevention available for the Macintosh. The latest edition includes automatic virus definition updates through LiveUpdate and seamless file repair through Auto Repair. Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh also incorporates Symantec's exclusive Bloodhound-Macro heuristic technology for detection and repair of new and unknown macro viruses, and expands the SafeZone beyond the desktop to the entire drive. In addition, like Norton Utilities for the Macintosh, Norton AntiVirus for the Macintosh now also features a bootable CD in case of an emergency.

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.

About Symantec

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

NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, 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. All prices noted are in US dollars and are valid only in the United States.