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Symantec Announces New Service For Online Publishers Concerned About Malicious Advertising

Mountain View, Calif. – Oct. 17, 2011 – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced Symantec AdVantage, a new cloud-based service that will enable website owners to discover malicious software (malware) hidden in online advertisements. Malicious advertising (malvertising) poses a growing threat to website owners and their customers reputation and bottom line. Offered in partnership with Armorize Technologies, Symantec AdVantage will use the latest malware detection techniques to enable website owners to quickly, easily and cost-effectively mitigate malvertising threats. Symantec AdVantage is scheduled to be made available to publishers and ad networks through a free early access program beginning in November 2011.


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A website’s success depends on visitors trusting that the site’s links and banner advertisements are safe. Cybercriminals know this and have deployed malvertising to take advantage of that trust. Malvertising takes three primary forms: cyber criminals hack into websites and inject malware into banner ads, website owners unwittingly distribute malware after cyber criminals compromise their networks, and cyber criminals pose as genuine advertisers and wait for victims to click on their ads.


Website owners can have tremendous difficulty detecting malvertising attacks and an even harder time tracking down perpetrators. In addition, the malware problem is worsening: Symantec reported in its April 2011 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report Volume XVI that it discovered 286 million unique malware variants in 2010, up 19 percent from 240 million unique variants in 2009. A growing proliferation of web-attack toolkits drove a 93 percent increase in the volume of web-based attacks in 2010 compared to 2009.


Symantec Advantage will scan, detect and report malvertising on websites by automatically alerting publishers and identifying the location of malicious advertisements so customers can remove malicious ads that may damage their business’ reputation. A real-time performance dashboard complements these automatic reports by providing essential insights. For example, Symantec AdVantage will enable customers to compare safe ads to malicious advertisements and discover how and when malvertising occurred by visually tracing and identifying the path and source of infected advertisements.


Availability

Beginning in November 2011, Symantec AdVantage is scheduled to be available to a limited number of publishers for six months of free malvertising scanning. Publishers interested in the free early access program can apply at: http://advantage.symantec.com.


Quotes

  •  “The OTA formed the Anti-Malvertising Task Force in 2010 in response to increased threats to consumers and to help defend the integrity of interactive advertising.  Malvertising is quickly becoming  a leading tactic of choice to deliver malware.  These attacks are of concern to individuals, site owners and advertisers – from a security,  privacy and regulatory perspective.  We are delighted that Symantec will be providing services to help the interactive advertising community better monitor and track down these problems – Symantec is well-known in the security community and we expect great things from them.”
    – Craig Spiezle, President and Executive Director, Online Trust Alliance
  • “Malvertising poses a serious risk to online publishers and their customers, reputation and revenue. Highly publicized malvertising infections can damage the reputation of even the most trusted online sites. Symantec AdVantage will provide ad publishers the tools they need to protect their businesses by fighting back against these threats.”   
    – Fran Rosch, Vice President, Identity and Authentication Services, Symantec Corp.
  • “Up until now, even the largest publishers do not possess insight into exactly what ads are presenting to their visitors. Symantec AdVantage is the first of its kind to redefine visitor experience analytics. Using the latest malware detection techniques in conjunction with Armorize, Symantec AdVantage traces ad analytics from the visitor perspective and asks the question ‘what do they see’ and expands to questions like ‘what is the quality and security of the content they see’.”
    – Wayne Huang, Co-Founder and CEO, Armorize Technologies

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Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.


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Forward-looking Statements: Any forward-looking indication of plans for products is preliminary and all future release dates are tentative and are subject to change. Any future release of the product or planned modifications to product capability, functionality, or feature are subject to ongoing evaluation by Symantec, and may or may not be implemented and should not be considered firm commitments by Symantec and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.

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