In today’s fast-paced world, you can be sure that most universities have gone digital. As a result, more students are saving their important papers on their computers and external hard drives. However, from what I’ve seen, that’s about as far as most students go to safeguard their work. With so many hours (and lost sleep) going into these papers, it is essential to make sure you have it backed up in the cloud, because there would be nothing worse than losing all of your hard work due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
If you only save your work on a hard drive, once your compute...
Small Businesses (SBs) often experience a greater risk from hackers, malware and other security threats.
You’ve read the headlines: “Data breach”, “Small vendor used in big attack!” Small Businesses are under increasing attacks from cyber criminals. They are used frequently as a stepping stone to a bigger target such as the big enterprises they conduct business with. In fact, targeted attacks on SBs now account for 30% of all targeted attacks. While still less than those targeted at enterprises, the numbers are growing and other attacks forms are increasing. For example, one in five SBs wa...
You can’t always keep track of what your children are doing online. For the most part it will be harmless fun, but there’s always the danger that they could stumble into areas they shouldn’t without realizing. Unfortunately, those areas can be the most innocent-seeming ones, such as social networking or mobile apps.
You can have the usual parent-child conversations about not chatting to strangers and not revealing too much about themselves, but sometimes the apps take matters into their own hands and give away more than they should. Check out these quick steps you can take to make socia...
Norton is dedicated to empowering you to Go Boldly, Not Blindly, in every aspect of your life. We want you to take on all the world has to offer. That’s why over the next 5 weeks, we’re celebrating the ones with tremendous goals and the ones who never stop seeking more. The ones who Boldly Go.
Here’s how it works, 3 simple steps to enter to win:
Follow the Twitter account @NortonOnline
Send a Tweet to @Norto...
By Alejandro Borgia, senior director, product management, Symantec Corporation
For customers looking for the best security technology for their needs, it’s critical to have access to reliable and meaningful information so they can make smart decisions to stay protected in today’s complex threat landscape. As an industry, we face a challenge in that testing security products is a highly technical and time-consuming process, and there are shortcomings in the approach of some tests that result in data that is misleading at best.
Last week, PC Magazine published an article titled “Microso...
Mobile technologies sure-to-trend in 2014 include "smart" connected devices and wearable gadgets. With 2.88 billion people reached by the #CES2014 hashtag, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, this new tech is growing in popularity in no time. Watch the best-of from Norton at CES.
Did you miss the Norton Truck interactive mobile privacy experience at CES? You can still try Norton Mobile Security for free, here: https://mobilesecurity.norton.com/
Read on for more quick tips to protect your mobile privacy:
Protect your private info: Did you know? 1-in-4 smartphone user...
As a tourist in a foreign city, especially a chilly one hosting hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world this weekend, it’s probably wise for you to learn a few key phrases to protect yourself, like:
Спасите! (Spasite!) “Help!” Пожар! (Požar!) “Fire!” Стой! (Stoj!) “Stop!”
…but, what if you need to protect your mobile device or laptop? These phrases are pretty ineffective against cyber crimes. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team reports that possible targeted attacks could appear in the form of spam, phishing scams, fake websites, or drive-by download campaigns, an...
Social media accounts are powerful tools in the wrong hands. We’ve recently seen hackers take over the Twitter accounts of media outlets and large corporations, using them for anything from basic spam to drawing attention to global issues. Your own accounts might seem too small to tempt scammers, but even with just a few followers your information is a valuable commodity. Read on for tips to stay safe on social networks.
Use unique passwords for each social network
It’s a pain, but it is also absolutely essential that you don’t use the same password for Twitter as you do for, say, Facebo...
The clock is ticking down on Windows XP. Microsoft will end technical assistance for the 12-year-old operating system on April 8 and effectively stop delivering automatic updates and security patches to Windows XP users. Although many consumers, small businesses and even large enterprises have already transitioned to newer and more secure systems, an estimated 30 million desktop operating systems still run on Windows XP today and could be left vulnerable after April 8.
At Symantec, we firmly believe running up-to-date security products is a critical step in protecting your personal infor...
The rise of the smartphone has brought countless technological benefits that make our daily lives easier in so many ways, and one of the biggest has been the freedom of mobile banking. Gone are the days of waiting in a busy branch on a Saturday afternoon to transfer money into your savings account, or calling an automated number to check your balance.
But having your bank accounts within such close reach does bring its dangers, and it shouldn’t simply be assumed that logging in and doing your banking can now be done at any time and in any place. Here are five quick tips to keeping your mon...
After April 8, Microsoft will no longer release updates designed to fix bugs that cybercriminals use to gain access to the operating system (OS). Any newly discovered vulnerabilities in the operating system will effectively become an open invitation to an attacker to gain control of a computer running Windows XP. Symantec strongly recommends that Windows XP customers upgrade to a current OS as soon as possible, but will continue to support Windows XP SP3 systems for the foreseeable future.
SavvyMediaGal recently posted a Norton Protection Blog entry titled, “How will the end of Microsoft ...
Some media outlets are sounding the alarm about the recently discovered Covert Redirect flaw in OAuth and OpenID being “the next Heartbleed.” Symantec experts have assured people that it’s not.
What is this Covert Redirect flaw? The vulnerability exploits web and mobile applications that allow users to login via OAuth (an application that lets 3rd parties access account details from other websites, such as social media sites). It allows attackers to disguise a fake login popup, using the affected website’s real domain. These attackers can collect login information from users if they autho...
Information security is more important than ever when it comes to safeguarding small business. According to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report a noteworthy 30% of all spear-phishing attacks were aimed at small businesses in 2013, while one in five small businesses received at least one targeted spear-phishing email. In 2014, we identified a few technology trends that will have a direct impact on small businesses and the way they protect business critical information.
All eyes will be on protecting Privacy
From scary headline news to a much-needed wake-up call, consumers and sma...
I don't know about you, but growing up The Incredible Hulk was one of my favorite comic books. I always loved the raw nature of the Hulk and his crazy rampages and willingness to take on just about anything from tanks and mutants to other superheroes in the Marvel universe. The new Hulk movie premieres on the big screen this weekend and I'm excited to see Edward Norton bring my favorite character to life. Closer to home, our Norton team partnered up with this summer blockbuster and is offering up some pretty decent loot (think 52" SHARP LCD TV) -- the details of which can be found at this ...
There has been a lot of coverage in the tech-related blogosphere lately regarding a specific threat called (among other things) Trojan.Gpcoder.F. Once this malware has infected your machine it searches for files on your system that could potentially be important to you (based on the extension of the file) and then encrypts the data using a 1024 bit key (technically it creates an encrypted copy of the file and deletes the original.) Once your data has been encrypted, the malware informs you that your files are being held for ransom along with details on how to buy the decryptor program to...
A recent PCMag.com blog post points out that the fake White House website whitehouse.org (no, I won't link you to it) has been hacked and is serving up malware. Part of the issue here is that many people attempting to go to the government website www.whitehouse.gov will accidentally mistype it as whitehouse.org. This is a specific case of a very real threat.
If you look at the list of the top 500 most popular websites according to Alexa.com. How many of these domain names are easily misspelled or mistyped? There is nothing stopping bad people from registering common typos of popular do...
One of the best parts of my job is not just laying out the strategy for Symantec's Consumer Business, but getting out and telling people where Norton is headed in six months, 12 months, or even two years. Why is this so rewarding? Because we've got a rich and compelling story to tell. We aren’t just talking about security software — we're looking at solving consumer problems in brand new ways. Recently, I've spent some time sharing our vision with some of the key people in our industry. Neil Rubenking at PC Magazine was one of our stops and following our conversation, he put out a compreh...
Jaqcqui Cheng from Ars Technica has a great article today about the latest email scam design to trick people into giving up their personal information (including social security number and mother's maiden name), this time, the email is supposedly from the iTunes store and links to a poorly crafted site. You should check out Robert Vamosi's article on Cnet about this as well.
Okay, so this is really nothing new, we talk about phishing scams all the time. However, like Jacqui writes in her article, this is interesting because Apple users are getting targeted. iTunes is cross platform, lot...
Are you Naked?
Exploits from the latest Microsoft Vulnerability seen in the wild
Which is worse, being seen
naked running down the street or having a vulnerable computer leaving you
exposed to attacks from drive-by downloads? It is probably a matter of opinion (or local
laws.) Unfortunately, I think people are
more concerned about being seen naked than whether they have a computer that is
vulnerable. Don’t get caught being
exposed by having a vulnerable system!
In my previous blog
post, I talked about the way that malware is able to get onto your
system. Exploits from drive...
This past weekend I was joined by an international group of journalists and bloggers for a Zero-Gravity flight to “blast off” the launch of the Norton 2009 security products. This 18-person “band of brothers” boarded the G-Force One in Las Vegas, prepared to float, flip and fly the way orbiting astronauts do. One word describes the experience - awesome. But most people want to know, what in the world does a Zero-G flight have to do with security software?
And the answer is simple…we designed the 2009 Norton products with a mantra of "zero-impact performance". Meaning, we want our softw...
To our Norton Customers:
Symantec is pleased to announce the official release of our Norton 2009 products. This year, we’ve made performance improvement the key focus of the 2009 Norton product line. Virtually everyone in the company - including executive management, product engineering, Quality Assurance, design, and development - knew that this was our main mission ever since our first 2009 engineering planning sessions. Since then, we’ve questioned, agreed, and disagreed to many of the ideas and concepts that came up, but we were consistently guided by our shared vision and dedicatio...
Every day, corporations, governments, and individuals must live with security vs. performance tradeoffs. An extra layer of security in any situation, digital or otherwise, always has a performance impact. A simple (and probably overused) example is airport security. Standing in an airport security line is time consuming, but provides the level of security mandated by the government. We are mandated to trade performance (walking straight to the terminal) for the security provided by the inspections. Overzealous security can cause bottlenecks, which inhibits daily activities. Eliminat...
I was surfing the web tonight and I came across an article on Scientific American. The author asked some friends for permission to break into their bank accounts and then went to work trying to steal their identity. The ease at which he was able to do so is startling. He first used a variety of techniques to gather information including reading the target's blog and googling them and then he used that information to break into the user's email accounts via password resets. Once he had access to the target's email he would be able to receive password reset emails from their bank accoun...
You remember the Shoemaker’s lesson, don’t you? It’s always the shoemaker’s children go barefoot. And so it was that after thirty years of writing about PCs and wagging my finger at those who tempted fate by not backing up regularly, I did it myself. The entire episode has made me feel a little addle-brained, a lot chagrined, and like a cautionary tale.
It started when I bought the new Dell XPS—fully loaded. When was the last time you moved three years of work from one PC to another? Seriously, it consumed my free time for about three weeks until I had things the way I wanted them. You...
The Boston Globe had an article recently on how difficult it is to be anonymous in the internet age. Reading the article compelled me to perform my every-once-in-a-while "googling" of myself. What I found was pretty interesting.
First of all, I'm not keeping a very low profile. There were approximately 23,000 responses to the search query on my name (541 if you put my name in quotations.) Most of the front page stuff was computer related. A post on an old blog of mine about a web programming framework; several links to my posts on the Norton Protection Blog; a patch I submitted to an...
Today, the Norton team is launching an exciting new beta offering called Norton Safe Web, a Web site rating service that makes it easy for users to differentiate safe sites from malicious ones. Once downloaded, the beta will provide visual site ratings within everyday search results from top search sites like Google, Yahoo! and Live Search- so you can keep using your preferred search tool and don't have to take any extra steps. Additionally, due to the nature of Web threats such as drive-by-downloads, it will also warn users before they visit a site that contains malicious content.
I was just reading a story about Microsoft’s new subscription software package – Microsoft Equipt – and I have to say I was baffled to see the new “post-Bill Gates” Microsoft continuing to push these tired, old bundles. Drawing consumers in with the promise of enhanced productivity but essentially delivering a hodge podge of Microsoft technologies that lack consumer value and limit choice, Equipt looks less about providing a compelling value proposition and more about increasing Office revenue.
For many folks, backing up their data is a lot like flossing. It's a chore and not the most pleasant way to spend a few minutes. You know it's important for good personal or computer hygiene, but you probably don't do it as often as you should. But once teeth start falling out or you lose wedding pictures, contacts, and tax records due to a computer crash, you become a lot more diligent with your flossing and/or your backing up. In fact, I'd wager that backing up is even easier than flossing now.Here's a quick video on why it's important to back up your most important files and how...
This is where the magic happens...WWDC08 I was up in San Francisco last week for the Apple WorldWide Developer's Conference (WWDC08) and I figured I would talk a bit about it.Now, the specifics of the show have been blogged to death, I am sure (some good writeups here and here), but a few themes really struck me:1 - We are all basically experiencing a fairly incredible transition, thanks in no small part to the iPhone. Yes, so-called Smartphones have been around for awhile, but it is clear that the iPhone has captured the imagination of people who would otherwise not care at all about a ...
“Whaling”. The term brings up images of Captain Ahab and harpoons. For some folks, “whaling” brings up thoughts of deep-pocketed Vegas high-rollers. Unfortunately, what I’m referring to is a product of today’s online threats. It’s a new phishing scam called “whaling” and its emerged to target the big fish – top-level corporate executives at leading companies and organizations. By doing some easy research up front, phishers can hit those at the top with surprising success because most corporate email conventions are easy to figure out (eg. First initial_last nameatcompanydotcom). These...
Does your security software do any of the following things?
• guard against virus activity before users see the effects of it
• keep hackers from stealing personal information
• prevent the system from becoming a zombie
• thwart phishing attacks from getting people to give away data
• stop malware and spyware from installing themselves
If your answer is yes (and I hope it is!) then your software is using up some amount of the system’s memory in order to keep you safe. Symantec’s mission is to make this protection impact as minimal as possible while st...
I have been out for a bit (conference, two weddings and lots of airports) but I just wanted to post the following video that we did discussing vulnerabilities, specifically the one that happened at CanSec West. Mighty props out to Rob Pegoraro's article that started the discussion in the first place!
Message Edited by jgonzales on 05-09-2008 03:00 PMMessage Edited by mikeromo on 05-15-2008 02:15 PM
I had the pleasure of meeting some of my Symantec Italy colleagues at a recent conference in Vegas, but I had no idea that Lee Majors was part of the team. I was delighted to see that the product development team’s focus on performance has been resonating internationally; here’s a link to a light-hearted video they created to showcase the bionic performance of Norton Internet Security 2008:
Message Edited by jgonzales on 05-21-2008 11:04 PM
As a follow-up to my earlier post this week, I noticed that Walt Mossberg posted today a helpful article and short video clip on "social engineering" that offers several specific tips on avoiding online scams. For example:
1. Never, ever click on a link embedded in an email that appears to come from a financial institution, even if it’s your own bank or brokerage and even if it looks official right down to the logo. The same goes for payment or auction services, like PayPal or eBay (EBAY).
More solid tips are available at Mossberg's All Things Digital site.
I also recommend related post...
Earlier today I came across a CNET blog entry wherein Ina Fried discusses the recent purchase of a refurbished iPod that arrived with a virus on it. Although Ina's article is about an iPod, it reinforces the reality of today's threat landscape: malware can come from anywhere.
As we look at the Genesis of Computer Viruses (see The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense, by Peter Szor), we can't help but remember the days when the vast majority of personal computer malware spread via physical interaction between computers, usually in the form of floppy disks. These early viruses operat...
I couldn’t tell you the first time I got Rickrolled. By now you’ve heard of it, from Google or the Nightly News to the guy two cubicles down who’s always late to the Internet party. Once, it was a surprise to click on what promised to be an election-year gaffe, a great deal on flash memory, or a review of the best chimichanga in West Los Angeles…only to be treated to that fine young man Rick Astley belting out “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
At first it’s perplexing. Then, perhaps for a nanosecond, amusing. By the time your mother-in-law with the Mac SE and 2400 baud dial-up AOL connection ...
There was a great article in the most recent issue of the Communications of the ACM entitled "The Psychology of Security: Why do good users make bad decisions?"
The main thrust of the article is to shed some light on the psychological process for decision making and how the process manifests itself when users are asked to make security decisions. Armed with this knowledge security software developers can make better decisions regarding what to present to a user and how these choices should be ultimately represented. I took away three key observations from the article:
First, the article po...
As a youngster I was taught to think of history in terms that scream out for marble monuments and epic poetry. College did its best to break me of that tendency, and though I retain some of that boyish awe, I have come to appreciate the humanizing elements of history.
I like to remind myself as summer approaches by watching the musical 1776, about the drafting of the US Declaration of Independence. Aside from the fun it has with history, I also enjoy the lessons it offers for my day job. The play looks beyond the yellowed parchment with the odd penmanship and the huge signature of John...
One of the most important features of our products is the ability for us to actually update them. The Mac team has been talking a lot about this lately, specifically: how best to keep users up to date without impacting them in any way?
Our updating process actually has quite a few steps:
1 - we launch a process that manages the updating (LiveUpdate)
2 - LiveUpdate checks the LiveUpdate servers (most of the time a Symantec server, but sometimes enterprise customers have a local LiveUpdate server that lives behind the enterprise firewall) and checks to see what updates are actually up there...
You just read an article title like this and think, ugh, more guilt about the clothes I wear, the food I buy, the car I drive. I feel the same way. I wish I could live more like Ed Begley Jr. and less like the Super Consumer I really am. The truth for me, and maybe for you too is that we have to pick a few areas to make new choices in order to help the environment. So maybe a better title is “Baby Steps to Going Green.” Small changes do matter and may be our best shot for lasting behavioral changes.
As I write this, workmen are sweating away in the unseasonably warm April weather (94 deg...
This Blog is dedicated to you - as a past, present or future user of our products. A large team of our product managers, engineering, testers and designers will regularly be posting directly to this blog. Each of us care passionately about security, and share the responsibility to design, develop and test the solutions that protect our customers.
It is my hope that, through this Blog, you will be able to hear directly from the people who are working on the Norton products. Through your feedback, whether it is frustrations, accolades, opinions or ideas about our products, I believe we c...
So, "Norton AntiVirus for Mac" has been around for a long time. Everyone seems to know it (alongside Norton Utilities for Mac, another topic for another time), but I gotta tell you, sometimes I think the name does the software a disservice. I mean, literally, as soon as I even say the name of the product, I inevitably hear, “But I thought Macs don’t get viruses!” Everywhere I get this. I was, no joke, getting a physical with my doctor, and when he was done he asked, “You know, I don’t mean to, well, whatever, but I thought that Macs didn’t get viruses.”Can I at least get my pants on before...
I was surfing through some security news this weekend and ran into an interesting article on SecurityFocus. The article references a report that states that the reported damages from cybercrime and fraud rose by more then 20% from 2006 to 2007.
One interesting piece of information turned up by the report is that while identity theft is the most commonly cited example of cybercrime, other criminal activities like auction fraud are causing greater monetary damage.
This is alarming to me both as a consumer and as a developer of security software. As a consumer if I want to buy something on eB...
I recently explained how the Smart Scheduler feature in Norton 360 works to stay out of your way in deciding when to run tasks. The scheduler is so effective that it's common for users to wonder if we're ever performing scans. Neil Rubenking even noted in his PC Magazine review of Norton 360 that "It's so quiet you might begin to wonder if it's doing anything at all."
We want to shed some light on this for anyone (myself included) who can't resist the urge to dig into how things work. We've created a small widget that shows you everything going on behind the scenes:
You can download it he...
While building the first release of Norton 360 in 2006, we decided we didn't want to use the typical task scheduler so many other products use to run weekly antivirus scans. Remembering to keep your computer on "every Wednesday night at 2am" is a pain, so we set out to build a better wheel.
Norton 360 introduced Symantec's smart task scheduler. The new scheduler doesn't rely on a fixed schedule - instead it works around yours. Basically, Norton 360 is always looking for times that you're away from your desk and uses those opportunities to perform the routine maintenance tasks it needs to k...
In the old days, practicing “safe Internet” meant staying in the good online neighborhoods so you didn’t get infected. Today, almost any website you visit could be a landmine leading you to having your system compromised. We all remember the quote from Austin Powers where Dr. Evil says “One MILLION dollars”. Now imagine a techie version of Dr. Evil, let’s call him “Dr. Drive-by” saying in that same tone “One MILLION websites compromised”. Drive-by download outbreaks can be measured in how many occurrences a particular domain name occurs in Google searches. Recent reports from SANS Interne...
So, this is a bit of a deviation from our standard security-focused articles, but given how you can't go 15 minutes without hearing about the iPhone 3G, I think it's appropriate to bring it up. I have an original iPhone (4GB!) and was able to successfully download the new iPhone software before the mad rush and figured I would share some observations after a full week or so of using the software.First off, I admit it: I haven't been this excited about computers since I got my first Mac in 1985. Apple's App Store (accessible via iTunes and through the iPhone itself) brings back that sense...
Our team team hit a big milestone this week by reaching beta of our 2009 Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus products. As many of you know, beta is a pre-release version of a Symantec product that is available for public testing before the final version is released. We rely on the valuable feedback of our community to evaluate how the product performs in "real world" environments. Additionally, it is an opportunity to be among the first to experience our latest products before they are finalized and released. We monitor the beta feedback closely and it is an important source of f...
Right this very moment, the Norton software development team is hard at work making our products faster than ever. But hey, you know what else is fast AND just might help you save a little green on gas?! A brand-new Vespa!
At the newly launched http://www.NortonToday.com site, we’re looking for videos (maximum two minutes in length) that show someone or something getting “Nortonized.” Something that’s been “Nortonized” goes faster. It feels less bogged down. In short, it performs better than its competitors. If you have questions, don’t worry: our contest information kit explains eve...
Our gamers get set up as the main course in an all-you-can-eat human buffet...