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Electronic Greeting Cards are Safe; Blue Mountain and Symantec Expose Virus Hoax

TORONTO - March 16, 1999 --, the ninth most popular web site in the world and Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing announced that it is technically impossible for a virus to be transmitted to users through Blue Mountain Arts electronic greeting cards. Both companies denounce a recent e-mail hoax depicting a virus threat with these cards and assure consumers that the popular electronic greeting cards and the web site are safe.

In late February, en e-mail hoax began circulating the Internet that depicted system crashes because of a virus which had infiltrated the Blue Mountain system. It urged users not to open Blue Mountain cards for risk of virus infection. This is false.

"We believe that this hoax has reached hundreds of thousands of people and it is still spreading," said Jared Schutz, executive director,, Blue Mountain Arts. "We must educate people that this is a hoax and that cannot possibly spread viruses. We enjoy providing fun and interesting cards to help loved ones and friends bring smiles to one another and we have no idea why someone would want to cause our free cards efforts so much harm by starting such a vicious rumour. is a safe, user-friendly web site that offers free e-greetings cards to anyone on the Internet."

Blue Mountain Arts electronic greeting cares are web pages that consumers view with an Internet browser. When users view the cards on, they do not download to their computer any file that may contain a virus, so viewing the cards is completely safe. In addition, the e-mail notifications are only text messages without attachments and therefore do not offer a mechanism for distributing a virus. The posting information in the e-mail is simply a link to the blue Mountain web site.

"It is important for consumers to understand that they cannot get a virus simply by reading their e-mail," said Enrique Salem, vice president, Symantec's Security and Assistance Business Unit. "Symantec is committed to helping Blue Mountain educate the public about this hoax and how users can stay protected against the real virus threats circulating today."

Consumers should also feel secure knowing that Blue Mountain is protected by Norton AntiVirus, the world's leading anti-virus solution. Norton AntiVirus provides with state-of-the-art virus protection at all virus entry points, including shared floppy disks, the Internet, e-mail attachments and networks. Norton AntiVirus protects the web site as well as the company's internal network with the world's most powerful anti-virus capabilities.

Norton AntiVirus 5.0 is part of Symantec's suite of multi-tier virus protection products designed to protect the enterprise at the desktop, server, Internet and gateway levels. Symantec's Norton AntiVirus products have received numerous awards since January 1998, including PC Magazine's Editor's Choice in 1998 for Best AntiVirus Utility for the third year in a row, as well as the magazine's 1997 Best AntiVirus Utility award, PC World's Best Buy and PC Computing's A-List. For the third time this year, Virus Bulletin awarded a Norton AntiVirus product its coveted 100% award for detecting all in-the-wild viruses in VB's comprehensive test sets. In addition, a recent independent study by Secure Computing found that Norton AntiVirus 5.0 is able to detect and repair 100 per cent of in-the-wild viruses.

Blue Mountain Arts offers free electronic greeting cards for general occasions and holidays, helping people communicate around the world. It is widely known for its creative animation and sounds, as well as its generous assortment of cards for lesser known holidays, such as Dentist's Day (March 6) and National Pet's Day (Feb. 20). It is also popular worldwide with a Spanish version ( and a French version ( Blue Mountain's user-friendly website attracts children, students, parents and grandparents alike, all of whom can appreciate the variety of cards for every occasion.

For more information on viruses and the myths and hoaxes that frequently spread them, please view the following websites:

About Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts is a publisher of quality greeting cards and poetry books, founded in 1970 by Susan Polis Schutz and Dr. Stephen Schutz. The website was launched in 1996, offering free electronic greeting cards. According to December 1998 Media Metrix figures, was ranked in the 12th most trafficked Internet site overall.

About Symantec in Canada:
With 250 employees, Symantec's Canadian operations are headquartered in Toronto with offices in Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. For information on Symantec products or current promotions, contact the Canadian office at (416) 441-3676 or access Symantec's Canadian Web Site. Symantec is an active member of the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST).

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

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, Calif., 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.

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