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Symantec Receives Patents on Technology that Enables Norton AntiVirus to Detect the Most Complex Polymorphic Viruses

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Jan. 18, 2000 — Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced that its technology to detect complex self-mutating or polymorphic viruses has been granted patent numbers 5,964,889 and 5,999,723 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The technology is a component of Symantec’s powerful Striker anti-virus engine and is included in all Norton AntiVirus products.

With this patented technology, Striker detects the most complex polymorphic, or self-mutating, viruses. This technology enables researchers at the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) to analyze and produce cures for complex viruses much more rapidly than would be possible with traditional anti-virus engines.

Today’s polymorphic viruses are very difficult to detect using conventional anti-virus engines because polymorphic viruses mutate themselves to conceal their identity, or digital fingerprint. Striker overcomes this challenge by creating a virtual computer, or sandbox, where polymorphic viruses are tricked into exposing themselves and are then eliminated before they can cause damage.

"As the number of complex viruses steadily rises, so does the need for the most sophisticated technologies to combat these insidious threats," said Carey Nachenberg, chief researcher, Symantec AntiVirus Research Center. "By coupling this advanced new technology with Symantec’s exclusive Scan and Deliver automated system, which enables users to send suspicious files to SARC over the Internet for analysis and repair, our engineers are one step closer to deploying virus cures faster than the viruses can spread."

In addition to engineering the most effective anti-virus engine, Symantec has also developed technologies for facilitating the delivery of a cure. By using the Quarantine feature in Norton AntiVirus, users can safely isolate viral files and send the file over the Internet to Symantec’s AntiVirus Research Center for analysis and repair using the Scan and Deliver component. Scan and Deliver includes automated macro virus analysis and repair technology jointly developed by IBM and Symantec. Together, these capabilities make Norton AntiVirus the most advanced, responsive, and sophisticated anti-virus solution available.

About Symantec
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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