Symantec Adds IBM Neural Network Boot Detection Technology to Norton Antivirus
Artificial Intelligence Complements Bloodhound Heuristic Technology to Provide Superior Protection Against Known, Unknown Boot Viruses
Cupertino, Calif, August 4, 1999 -
Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced the integration of IBM's
patented neural network boot detection technology into Norton AntiVirus products.
This neural network technology, which uses artificial intelligence to detect
boot viruses, complements Symantec's revolutionary Bloodhound heuristic
technology, which detects boot viruses by using expert systems to identify
virus-like behavior. As a result, Norton AntiVirus customers receive two powerful
heuristic technologies proven to detect up to 90 percent of new and unknown boot
viruses. The technology is available to Norton AntiVirus customers at no cost via
"The integration of IBM's neural network boot technology into Norton AntiVirus
offers further evidence of the continued collaborative relationship between
Symantec and IBM," said Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec's Security and
Assistance Business Unit. "We are pleased to be able to offer this new technology
to our customers immediately through LiveUpdate, thereby providing them increased
protection against boot viruses that represent a significant threat to the
integrity of their valuable computer systems."
"IBM and Symantec are working together to create a global system that will find
new viruses, analyze them, create a cure, and spread that cure worldwide, all
automatically and faster than the virus itself can spread. This is amazing
technology," said Steve R. White, senior manager of antivirus research at IBM's
Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, NY.
New Neural Network Strengthens Technology-Rich Norton AntiVirus
The addition of neural network boot detection technology into Norton AntiVirus
builds upon the numerous detection technologies already incorporated into the
industry-leading anti-virus software, including Striker polymorphic virus
detection technology and the Macro Virus Protection (MVP) system. To combat the
proliferation of complex new and unknown viruses, Norton AntiVirus utilizes
Bloodhound technology, which loads each file into a software-simulated
environment, coaxes the viruses into exhibiting malicious behavior, and then
notifies the user.
IBM's neural network boot detection technology provides additional security by
mimicking human neurons in learning the difference between infected and
uninfected boot records. By being shown many examples of viruses and non-viruses,
the neural network learned to recognize viruses better than traditional
heuristics hand-tuned by virus researchers. This neural network can detect an
extremely high percentage of new and unknown boot record viruses automatically.
Together, these technologies provide Norton AntiVirus customers superior
protection against both known and unknown boot sector viruses.
LiveUpdate, NAVEX Ease Update Process
Because customers need an easy, automatic way to receive this updated technology,
Symantec is making the technology available via LiveUpdate. LiveUpdate
simplifies the update process; it automatically detects an Internet connection or
modem and connects to a Symantec server, then downloads and installs the latest
virus definitions, software updates, or product information. Norton AntiVirus
users can schedule LiveUpdate to run at regular intervals or can trigger it
manually by pressing the LiveUpdate button.
Norton AntiVirus also features a modular engine called NAVEX that allows Symantec
to ship fundamental changes and updates to the engine, such as the IBM neural
network technology. LiveUpdate delivers this engine, but NAVEX is what keeps
these changes small enough to download over the Internet.
Technology Integration Reinforces Symantec-IBM Collaborative Relationship
The integration of IBM's neural network boot detection technology into Norton
AntiVirus reinforces the ongoing relationship between the two industry leaders.
Last year, Symantec and IBM announced a partnership to deliver a single family of
anti-virus products to be marketed under the Norton AntiVirus brand name. In
addition, Symantec has licensed IBM's immune system technology and patents, and
is combining it with its own technology to produce a range of products. As part
of the agreement, IBM also assigned its existing anti-virus customer and OEM
contracts to Symantec and recommends Norton AntiVirus to its customers worldwide
as the anti-virus solution of choice.
Symantec is a world leader in Internet security technology and technology
solutions that help companies manage and support workforces that use laptop
computers and other mobile devices.
The company is a leading provider of software products for the consumer market
and is rapidly growing its presence as a provider of solutions to enterprise organizations
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