Symantec update caused Windows XP PCs to crash

Symantec admitted that a recent update to their antivirus software have caused some PCs to crash.

Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1 antivirus software for businesses updated earlier this week and caused Windows XP-based PCs to repeatedly crash. The company revealed this on their website as they try to update their customers who have experienced the problem.

According to Orla Cox of Symantec, “On July 11th, 2012 Symantec Security Response started receiving reports of customers experiencing blue screens after applying the July 11th revision 18 definitions. Machines may continue to blue screen after they reboot. This problem only appears to occur on Windows XP machines.”

Symantec said that they only learned about the problem last Wednesday night when they receive reports from irate customers. Symantec then issued a rollback of signatures the next day to resolve the issue.

One angry customer said, “This whole episode is a joke, had the issue been a conflict with a random device driver then I could maybe slightly more sympathetic. But for it to conflict with its own Symantec related drivers and cause this issue is a total farce. Who tested it before release? Was it even tested?”

Did you experience the problem with your Symantec update?

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Symantec: Norton speeds up Windows 8 OS

Would you believe if an anti-virus company claimed that their anti-virus will actually increase or boost up the speed of your computer?

Security provider Symantec believes that their Norton security software for Windows 8 actually speeds up Microsoft’s new operating system.

Symantec’s head of development Collin Davis boasted that the performance of Symantec’s new code is beneficial because when you use it with Microsoft’s Windows Defender, the result would be a faster experience.

Davis said, “Windows, as you know, include Defender. And that’s a big deal. that’s great, it’s important and it’s continued to raise the bar.”

“If you turn off Defender, your PC will be faster. We always have overhead, we still do. We add less overhead than Defender does. Beginning with our Fall release, you will be updated to the latest technology without reboots,” he added.

Symantec did an internal test with regards to the speed of their Norton product. And it proved that it indeed speeds up your PC.

The good thing about the new Norton program is that you don’t need to reboot your PC when you install updates.

Davis said, “You won’t need to reboot your PC. We’ve done a lot of new work on our update system without having to bounce the system.”

What do you think of this Norton program then?

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Religious sites may be more dangerous than porn sites

The prevalent malware attacks have caught the world off guard. The high rate of infected computers has been on the rise even if security firms have been trying to be on top of the situation. The threat is still there and the numbers can still climb.

According to Symantec in its Internet Security Threat Report’s 2011 trends that was published last month, “Religious and ideological sites were found to have triple the average number of threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites.”

They add that, “We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free – it’s not good for repeat business.”

The Security firm also noted that majority of malicious sites are regular sites that you think pose no threat to your computers.

Unbeknownst to the user, what seems to be a legitimate Website may itself be infected by these malwares.

Symantec adds, “Attackers keep changing their technique and they have become very sophisticated. Badly-spelled, implausible email has been replaced by techniques such as ‘clickjacking’ or ‘likejacking where a user visits a website to watch a tempting video and the attackers use that click to post a comment to all the user’s friends on Facebook, thereby enticing them to click on the same malicious link.”

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Hackers earned from Google ad sense

Security firm Symantec found out that the company that was most hurt by the recent flashback variant attacks that exploited a java software flaw and dealt damage to about 600,000 Macs around the world was search giant Google, Inc.

The firm’s researchers found out that a huge sum of money was stolen from the sites Google ad clicks to sites that were determined by the hackers.

The attackers were able to make 0.8 cents per click. The security firm said that the hackers could have gotten about $10,000 per day during its heyday.

While Russian based company Dr. Web was able to catch much of the traffic from infected machines that they were trying to send to their servers.

They were able to discover that about 60% of the Macs that were infected by the Flashback were Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, while 25% of those infected were running on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Those that were running on Apple’s latest OS, the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion only had a share of 11%.

Microsoft recently released a blog posting that details on how big the danger is on those Mac users who run Office for Mac that was patched way back June 2009.

Lion users are safe from this flaw since its non-executable memory feature prevents Office software to be changed while still running.

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New Year script compromises 10,000 websites

Anti-virus provider Symantec unveiled a report indicating that at least 10,000 domain names were compromised by a redirect script that targets the New Year celebrations.

According to the company, the websites was found to have a redirect script written in PHP that has a ‘New Year’ written on its file name.

Paul Wood, senior intelligence analyst for Symantec said, “We also expect to see plenty of spam and malware taking advantage of some of the major upcoming sporting events this year. We are already seeing reference to the Summer Olympics in London as part of 419 or advance fee fraud messages.”

The report said that spammers are distributing spam emails to lure individuals to those sites that were affected. A social networking site was mentioned that was used by these unscrupulous individuals in their scheme.

Wood added that, “By relating their mails to widely-celebrated holidays and current events with global interest, spammers and malware authors can (at first glance, at least) make their messages more interesting, and increase the chance of recipients visiting spam websites or becoming infected.”

The report also stated that at least 1 in every 327 emails in Australia has been found as malicious and 1 in every 542 are phishing related.

Symantec: Zero-day PDF exploit confirmed

Symantec has confirmed that there is indeed a zero-day “Xmas exploit” that target both Adobe Acrobat and Reader.

The zero-day vulnerability is said to be triggered by malicious PDF attachments which unknowingly being opened by recipients.

“The PDF files we discovered arrives as an email attachment. The attack attempts to lure email recipients into opening the attachment. When the file is opened, a malicious file is dropped and run on a fully patched system with either Adobe Reader or Acrobat installed. Symantec products detect the file as Trojan.Pidief.H.,” Symantec said in a blog post.

According to Symantec, they have already informed Adobe of the vulnerability.

Brad Arkin, Adobe’s director of product security and privacy, said the company learned of the attack Monday.

“This afternoon, Adobe received reports of a vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions being exploited in the wild,” Adobe wrote in a post to its Product Security Incident Response Team blog Monday afternoon.

“We are currently investigating this issue and assessing the risk to our customers.”

Symantec, for the meantime, has urged users to be “extra vigilant” this holiday season  especially when opening attachments received from unknown individuals.


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