CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Dec. 17, 2002 - Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in Internet security, today announced that 30 million people have used Symantec Security Check, one of the most widely visited security testing sites worldwide, to identify and address online safety threats to their personal computers. As security threats have increased in frequency and severity, the free online service has continued to gain in popularity among home users. In June 2002, 20 million users had utilized the service; during the following four months, an additional 10 million consumers used the service to test their exposure to risks from hackers, viruses, Trojan horses and other security threats and to get recommendations on securing their computers against those risks. Symantec Security Check is available at www.symantec.com/securitycheck.
Results of completed Symantec Security Check scans show that more than one in four home users still do not have an up-to-date antivirus product protecting their computer. In addition, a full 50 percent of users were found to be at risk for Internet browser privacy threats. One in every five machines tested was also open to NetBIOS and network vulnerabilities.
"Every day, home computer users are faced with hack attacks, malicious code and other potentially destructive threats that put their systems and data at risk," said Steve Cullen, senior vice president, Consumer and Client Product Delivery at Symantec. "Consequently, we are pleased to see millions of home users taking advantage of our free Symantec Security Check to help them identify exposure to online security threats and, in turn, learn how to make their computers more secure through this quick, reliable and easy-to-use service."
Symantec Security Check performs a wide range of security tests to determine users’ exposure to today’s most common security threats. Antivirus product and definition scans identify ineffective virus protection software and outdated definitions, respectively. A Trojan horse scan determines whether a computer is vulnerable to common malicious Trojan horse applications. A browser scan reveals whether the browser is configured to reveal information to the Internet such as e-mail addresses or a recently visited Web site. A NetBIOS availability scan determines whether the system is exposing computer-specific information to the Internet, thereby potentially opening accessibility to hackers. A network vulnerability scan determines whether a computer has a TCP port in an open or vulnerable state, which could allow unknown or unauthorized Internet communication. Once Symantec Security Check identifies vulnerabilities, it then provides recommendations for addressing those weaknesses.
In addition, consumers can use Symantec Security Check to trace an attack in order to determine the network from which it originated as well as the geographic location of the computer that was used. This tool is also useful in identifying the source of spam, or unsolicited e-mail.
Symantec Security Check is available worldwide and supports home computer users in 11 different languages.
Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at www.symantec.com.
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