Press Release

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter RSS

Symantec Detects and Eliminates Recent Pentium III Serial Number Exploit

Symantec AntiVirus Research Center Responds to ActiveX Exploit within Four Hours of Receiving Sample

Cupertino, Calif,. - March 19, 1999 - Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing, today announced it now provides detection and elimination for the Pentium III processor serial number exploit released last week by Zero-Knowledge Systems. Devised by the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center, the detection and elimination is currently available with the regular weekly virus definitions on the Symantec web site at www.symantec.com. Symantec customers can download the new definition set using LiveUpdate.

"Symantec remains firmly committed to ensuring that users enjoy a safe computing environment. The rapid creation and availability of a new definition set that detects and eliminates this vulnerability is further evidence of our profound dedication to addressing users' concerns through innovative and intelligent software solutions," said Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec's Security and Assistance Business Unit.

The Pentium III processor is the newest processor developed by Intel. The processor includes a serial number feature embedded into the chip during the manufacturing process. This number serves as an identifier for the processor and, by association, its system. Intel has encouraged OEMs to ship its processor serial number control utility with Pentium III processor based systems so that consumers can easily turn the serial number feature on or off. Zero-Knowledge Systems, an Internet privacy company, countered by releasing an ActiveX program that, according to the Montreal-based company, installs malicious code to read the processor serial number before Intel's control utility can run and crashes the user's system. The new virus definition set will now detect and eliminate the Zero-Knowledge ActiveX program.

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 www.symantec.com.

NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec Corporation and its products, view the Symantec Press Center at www.symantec.com/PressCenter/ 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.