Symantec Experts Address Virus Fears Online
Cupertino, Calif. --March 2, 1998-- Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC), the world's leading supplier of anti-virus products, announced today that its team of anti-virus and utilities experts will host several one-hour chat events. Symantec's David Loomstein will host a chat on Talk City (http://www.talkcity.com) on Wednesday, March 4. America Online will feature Alex Haddox in a special chat with Los Angeles Times columnist Larry Magid on Thursday, March 12. Each chat begins at 7 p.m. PST.
These special online chat events are part of Symantec's continued public education campaign on the dangers, myths and realities of viruses, and the importance of quality anti-virus software for every computer user. Throughout each of the chats, participants can qualify to win the latest version of Symantec's Norton AntiVirus software by correctly answering anti-virus trivia questions.
The chats mark the sixth anniversary of the 1992 Michelangelo scare, when a virus threatened to erase hard drives on hundreds of thousands of PCs worldwide. While the virus actually affected only ten or twenty thousand computers, it marked the first time most Americans had heard of a PC virus. Although the Michelangelo virus no longer poses a real threat, 10 to 15 new viruses are discovered every day. The largest threat today is from what is known as macro viruses, which attach themselves to the macros in Microsoft Word and Excel documents. While macro viruses represent only 10 percent of all known viruses, they account for more than 80 percent of all virus infections.
In addition to macro viruses, there are a number of online threats that are not classified as viruses, but still pose a serious problem to users. The latest are known as "Trojan Horses," which appear to be legitimate programs, but once opened carry out malicious activities such as stealing passwords or destroying data. Other potential new threats include malicious programs within Java and Active X applets, which are transmitted to the PC while users surf the Web.
In response to these growing threats the industry's premier anti-virus laboratory, the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC), has developed a number of new technologies such as Bloodhound Boot, which combats new and unknown boot-sector viruses, and a new Trojan Horse detection engine. Heading off these new viruses is essential and SARC's quick response also means that protection is available on all platforms for the new XF.Paix.A virus that uses formulas inside the data region of the Excel spreadsheet to infect.
"We are continually developing new technologies to address emerging threats and have committed significant resources to researching threats that haven't even surfaced yet," said, Alex Haddox, product manager of SARC. "However, that is only one way for consumers to stay protected. In order for consumers to keep from being attacked, they must understand the threat of computer viruses and other malicious programs and know how to avoid them. That is what we hope to communicate through these online chats."
About the Symantec AntiVirus and Utilities Experts
Product Manager Alex Haddox, who oversees the direction of the Center, is responsible for the monthly updates in which new virus definitions are added to the Norton AntiVirus and Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh databases.
Symantec's David Loomstein is the product manager for the Macintosh utilities and anti-virus family of products at Symantec Corporation. He manages product development, including Norton Utilities for Macintosh (NUM), Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh (SAM), SAM Administrator and Suitcase for Macintosh. Previously, he was Symantec's manager of multimedia development.
How to Participate in the Chats
To participate in the Talk City chat on March 4, set the IRC client to chat.talkcity.com using port 6667. Or use the Java client at http://www.talkcity.com/chat. Once connected to Talk City, enter the name of the room (channel) for the desired chat as /join #Roomname.
To join the America Online chat on March 12, attendees must first subscribe to AOL. Once logged on to AOL, participants should type in the keyword "COMPLIVE" (waiting for Alyssa to send over the keyword) and then click on the Symantec event in the list box to enter the room. Participants need Windows AOL 2.5 or greater, or Mac 3.0 or greater.
About the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center
SARC comprises a dedicated team of virus experts who provide swift responses to local and global computer threats, actively research and develop technologies to eliminate such threats, and educate the public on safe computing practices. As new computer viruses appear, SARC detects and identifies them, and provides either a repair or delete operation, thus keeping users protected.
Symantec provides its users monthly virus definitions that are easy to obtain and install. Registered users of Norton AntiVirus can automatically download and install them using the software features LiveUpdate or Intelligent Updater.
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 Cafe 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 company and its products can be obtained by calling (800) 441-7234 toll free, (541) 334-6054 or accessed on the World Wide Web at http://www.symantec.com.
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