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...
Vacation may be a time for rest and relaxation, but your mobile devices likely won’t be getting a break. Now that smartphones and tablets are part of our daily lives, we spend more time than ever staying connected, even while on vacation. Just think of all the selfies you’ll be taking and updates you’ll be posting to your social networks! But, while sharing your vacation moments will be a fun way to capture your R&R, your fun vacation could turn into a bad situation if you choose to use your mobile devices on free public Wi-Fi during your trip. Learn how to be aware of using your mobile devices on public Wi-Fi at key points on your vacation.
You don’t have to be a super geek to protect yourself from cyber criminals and hackers. Sure they might know more about computers and software than you do. However, there are basic defenses available to help you stand up against even the most sophisticated online threats.
Today, most of us have multiple devices to access the Internet. All of these devices create a latticework of information that links to you personally. If one device is unprotected, it could be compromised in a way that affects all the others. That’s because most of us use different devices to access many of the same pers...
The hottest new trend on the Internet isn’t a new social network or app. It’s things. Dubbed “The Internet of Things” it refers to any object you can connect to with the Internet. These "things" include an array of devices and even systems. Either way, the Internet of Things promises to connect more devices than ever before.
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...
It’s G.I. Joe week here at Norton, and to celebrate the upcoming movie , we want to give you stuff! Okay, maybe we’re going to make you work for it. Just a little, though.
Here’s the deal: follow us on Twitter (@nortononline) this week. The first 50 new people to follow us after this message is posted will receive (2) free Fandango movie passes. Just for showing up. Really, it’s that easy.
Throughout the week, pay attention! We’re going to be asking you some trivia questions about G.I. Joe and if you’re the first one to answer the question correctly, you might get one...
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 ...
March 31 marks World Backup Day! What is backup? It's a second copy of all your most important files like financial documents, family photos, videos and more. While it's best to backup your files regularly now is as good a time as ever. Here are a few more tips for digital spring cleaning! Read on.
Five easy ways to get started on digital spring cleaning:
Be sure your software is up to date. Ignoring the latest software updates could put you at risk. Companies announce security vulnerabilities as they are discovered and quickly work to fix the vulnerabilities with software updates,...
Just like everyone else, we’re excited about Windows 10 this year. We particularly look forward to new security improvements that Microsoft brings to Windows with each new release. While this may sound like a strange position for a security company to take, the reason why we welcome these improvements is that every security improvement, no matter how big or small, is bad for hackers and criminals and good for consumers. Like the majority of customers in the market, we’re also customers of Microsoft Windows and we recognize that Microsoft Windows is an attractive target for criminals.
Even with all of the new features, Microsoft Windows’ “attack surface” continues to grow with each new release. Microsoft-developed security improvements and features can play an important role in helping to reduce the attack surface of each new Windows release.
As a Norton customer, you are always entitled to download the latest version of your Norton product for free during your service period. Existing customers are also entitled to receive free support at http://support.norton.com.
If you’re using Windows 7 or 8, you may have already reserved an upgrade to Windows 10 before its July 29th release. After doing so, Microsoft’s app compatibility checker may show that your Norton product is incompatible with Windows 10. Not to worry- you’re still protected with the best in-class security for your PC. There will be an update available for a Windows...
Symantec security expert, Candid Wueest, investigates the security implications of Amazon's new Fire Phone. For the original article, and to catch the latest security intelligence information, check out Symantec's Security Response blog: http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/will-amazon-s-fire-phone-burn-users
Everyone has heard stories about smartphones with malfunctioning battery packs bursting into flames, but the new Amazon Fire Phone, despite its name, could pose a different kind of danger. Amazon’s recently announced device is due to be released in July and may present some pote...
To understand the importance of privacy in the digital age, one must understand exactly what it is before it can be valued. There seems to be a good number of people in the “I’m not doing anything wrong, therefore, I have nothing to hide” camp. Well, we are here to bust that myth. The truth of the matter is, right or wrong, we have everything to hide.
What Is Privacy?
Privacy is closing your bedroom curtains when getting ready for bed. Privacy is visiting with your doctor behind closed doors. While in real life this type of privacy comes naturally, with little thought, in the digital s...
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...
Every spring the NCAA college basketball tournament — known as March Madness — turns workplaces into play spaces. Betting on brackets and watching games seem more suited to sports bars, but since many of the games are played during the workday, it’s not unusual for otherwise dedicated employees to schedule in some pleasure along with business. However, March Madness can cost workers and small business owners much more than productivity as cybercriminals target unsuspecting fans with malware.
Why I Do It: A Support Agent’s Tale
Why I do it
I have always loved computers. I also worked in health care for ten years, and that gave me a wonderful perspective on helping people. I have been able to carry over that experience to my current position as a Norton Technical Support Agent and it provides me with the ability to offer my customers a positive experience in the middle of a stressful situation. It's always a great feeling when I finish a call, and someone who used to be really upset is now really happy.
Saving digital lives
I remember one custom...
A free Wi-Fi connection in a public space can seem like a lifesaver when you’re on the go. But if you decide to use public Wi-Fi, just be aware that you could be making yourself an easy target for hackers — and putting your information and more at risk.
Online Crime Takes Many Forms
The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report announced that 594 million people around the world were victims of cybercrime in 2015, with 21% of Americans getting their email hacked and 12% having their financial data stolen after shopping online. With public Wi-Fi available everywhere, what seems like a conveni...
February 13th is National Clean out Your Computer day, and there’s good reason behind it. When you “clean” your computer, you don’t just dust off the keyboard and wipe fingerprints from the screen. You also pay attention to the state of the hard drive, updating software and removing old programs.
Why is cleaning up your computer important?
Clean software helps protect your data. Internet security software and regular program updates help ensure that viruses, malware, and remote “hackers” stay out of your system. When you maintain your files by backing them up, deleting unused programs,...
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...
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...
Modern day computer virus origins may surprise you- their goals were not quite the same as they are today.
Early on, viruses had varied utilities and were engineered mostly by people in computer science industries. College students created viruses for research projects in order to help further their studies and fine-tune their coding skills. In addition to research, those students would also construct code to play practical jokes on their classmates. Engineers at Xerox created a computer worm meant to search for idle processes in a computer network. A pair of programmers created a boot...
How safe was your family online in the last year? According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2014, they weren’t as safe as you might think. The study analyses threat data from over 157 countries, more than 41.5 million attack sensors and a database of over 60,000 vulnerabilities, making it the most comprehensive picture of internet security in the world – and it says mobile users are falling for more “too good to be true” scams than ever.
An incredible 38% of mobile users have experienced cybercrime, and it’s often down to their own behaviour. More than half of...
There’s already enough to stress about with the upcoming holiday season- finding the perfect present for everyone on your list, making holiday treats for friends and neighbors, and of course, sending out all of the holiday greeting cards. One less thing that needs to be added to that list is the stress of a credit card data breach. This holiday season, we’re examining all of the ways to pay, on and offline, and the safest way to take care of all of your holiday purchasing needs.
Credit Cards and the Recent POS Breaches
The topic of data breaches and identity theft has been in the med...
The new Norton AntiVirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security 2011 beta products include several new and improved features which I'm going to detail here.
In our 2009 products, we introduced Norton Insight which dramatically improved performance by not scanning known good files.
In 2010 products, we went one step further by using reputation data to mark files as good, bad or unknown.
With 2011, we are enhancing this even more by providing fine-grained reputation information about files and by allowing users to perform a Reputation Scan of their files. You...
We are very excited to release Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus 2011. After undergoing months of Beta testing, getting feedback from our enthusiastic Norton community and incorporating much of that feedback, we are finally releasing what we think are our best products to date.
While this post is somewhat similar to the 2011 Beta post, it has some important additions that warrant an update.
2011 Security Features
In our 2009 products, we introduced Norton Insight which dramatically improved performance by not scanning known good files.
In 2010 products, we w...
Consumers often shun software with even modest price tags in favor of the next tempting giveaway. But stop and think for a second and it’s pretty obvious these free downloads can’t really cost nothing, or the skilled people who make them wouldn’t be able to earn a living. No, free rarely means free, and you should always be wary of downloading more than you expected.
The acceptable way to monetise free software is to use advertising, and whether you’re okay with that will largely depend on how much you want that new app without paying for it. As the saying goes, “if you’re no...
We at Norton are very excited to
share the Beta release for Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus 2012
products with you. Below are descriptions of the new features and great
enhancements provided with this release.
2012 introduces several new technologies to combat emerging threats.
Fake AV is one of the most visible and wide-spread threats that Internet users face today. Fake AV pretends to be security software and tempts the user to pay for it. Even worse, it can install additional malware on the system and claim the system is clean. New for 2012, we’ve included...
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...
Symantec Maximum Repair (SMR) is a brand new security engine that drives our new Norton Power Eraser recovery tool. It combines aggressive heuristics and advanced removal capabilities to combat the newest and toughest threats. I thought I would share with you some of the background on why we developed this new engine.
Why the need?
The threat landscape has radically changed over the last few years and that has driven the need for new approaches to protection. Most notable are the following trends:
A new micro distribution model for malicious threats. A couple of years ago, the norm wa...
Falling for an email scam is something that can happen to anyone. It’s a frightening concept, and one that frequently results in undiluted panic. Also known as a phishing scam, an email scam involves using email and fraudulent websites to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, account data, addresses, and more.
Fraudulent emails are crafted to appear legitimate, such as messages from your bank or another trusted source. They request personal information, which criminals then use for identity theft.
So what should you do if you find yourself a victim of an e...
Realizing your mobile device has been stolen is a sickening feeling, and often one that elicits panic. As challenging as it may be, you must remain calm so you can take the necessary steps to retrieve the device, or at least keep your data protected. You may never see your phone again, but you’ll know that your personal information is safe from those who would abuse it.
Let the Right People Know
The first thing to do is to let the authorities know your mobile device was stolen. File a report with the police—not only is this helpful for insurance purposes but it also increases recovery ch...
Stories of massive corporate data breaches in the media are becoming all too common today. So common that the FBI now considers cyber attacks on US companies one of its top law enforcement priorities. Unfortunately, as technology progresses and all of our information becomes more and more digitized, cyber attacks will continue to be an unfortunate part of our lives in the future. Corporations and even smaller businesses are an extremely attractive target to cybercriminals, simply due to the large payday of data that can be stolen.
What Can Cybercriminals Do With My Stolen Data?
You may have heard in the news recently that an Internet crime group, Carbanak, stole up to one billion USD by targeting the institutions themselves rather than individual customers. They transferred funds to controlled accounts and hacked ATMs via SMS messaging over the last two years. Cyber security experts at Symantec have been tracking Carbanak for some time now.
What can cybercriminals do with my data in the event of a banking or financial institution breach?
Cybercriminals are attracted to stealing data that they can make money from, such as credit and debit card numbers, bank a...
Some 10 million identity thefts happen in the United States every year. Taking extra steps to protect your personal information—and knowing what information you need to safeguard—is the best way to prevent identity theft from happening to you. Let’s review this information to help you protect yourself as much as possible:
Among the information considered “low risk” in regard to personal information sensitivity is your full name, address, and phone number.
Information regarded as “medium” in terms of sensitivity includes your date of birth, place of bi...
VoIP is an acronym for “voice over Internet Protocol.” That means any phone call that takes place over the Internet, rather than on landlines or through mobile towers. This alternative to traditional phone calls is gaining in popularity exponentially with both companies and consumers. Skype, Google Voice, and FaceTime are well-known and extremely popular examples of Internet telephony services. The question is: Are phone calls made over the Internet vulnerable to standard online security risks? The answer is yes, as is any other information transmitted this way, especially in light of recent hacks to VoIP apps. Read on to find out how to secure your VoIP calls.
Not all hackers are inherently bad. When used in mainstream media, the word, “hacker,” is usually used in relation to cyber criminals, but a hacker can actually be anyone, regardless of their intentions, who utilizes their knowledge of computer software and hardware to break down and bypass security measures on a computer, device or network. Hacking itself is not an illegal activity unless the hacker is compromising a system without the owner’s permission. Many companies and government agencies actually employ hackers to help them secure their systems.
There are many layers to the Internet that you may not be aware of. There’s the part that everyone sees Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, news websites and everything else under the search engine sun. This is known as the “surface web.”
Spear phishing isn’t what you do when you’re on vacation in Hawaii. It’s a targeted attack on your personal information. An updated version of the old trick “phishing,” where scam artists simply ask you for your password or other private information, spear phishing takes this trick to the next level, using social engineering. Before you respond to that email asking for you to verify your address or other personal information, read this article to protect yourself against spear phishing.
We talk about software vulnerabilities a lot, and the human versions of those are our emotions. When people are faced with frightening scenarios, their first impulse is to act first and think later. This is the exact “vulnerability” that social engineers depend upon for a successful attack.
Types of Social Engineering Attacks
Social engineering is a way that cybercriminals use human-to-human interaction in order get the user to divulge sensitive information. Since social engineering is based on human nature and emotional reactions, there are many ways that at...
A form of phishing, smishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via a text or SMS message. Smishing is becoming an emerging and growing threat in the world of online security. Read on to learn what smishing is and how you can protect yourself against it.
Put simply, smishing is any kind of phishing that involves a text message. Often times, this form of phishing involves a text message in an SMS or a phone number. Smishing is particularly scary because sometimes people tend to be more inclined to trust a text message than an email. Most people a...
Malvertising is a shortened term for malicious advertising, and is defined as using online advertising to spread malware. Malvertising requires placing malware-laden advertisements on legitimate web pages and through authentic online advertising networks in order to infect a web browser and device. Often, it’s very difficult to distinguish between legitimate and malicious online ads.
If you’re like most Internet users, you’ve never even heard of grayware, adware or madware. That’s because these are all lower on the threat scale in the world of malicious programming. What’s more, they toe the line between legitimate programs and actively harmful applications.
Here’s your quick guide to the new wave of code you don’t want on your computer:
What Is Grayware?
Grayware is a more succinct name for “potentially unwanted programs.” It’s not a virus and it’s not as obviously malicious as a lot of other problematic code floating around on the Internet. Make no mistake about...
Online socializing has both good and bad sides to it. While it has opened a whole new dimension of ways to communicate and has added convenience to our lifestyles, it unfortunately has some unpleasant effects too.
When you think of espionage, characters like James Bond might come to mind- having to travel halfway around the world, pretending to be someone they’re not, infiltrating organizations and stealing secrets. Even though James Bond is just a fictional character, old school spies like that do exist. However, with the advancement of all of our data becoming digitized, we’re quickly becoming introduced to the new school version of spies- cyber spies.
New school espionage simplifies the spying process extremely. Companies and institutions store almost an overabundance of data in their systems. I...
You’ve heard of malware, ransomware, botnets, and the like. What you don’t hear about is the technology behind these threats. These threats all have to come from somewhere, they’re not just out there floating around on the internet- they have to be stored someplace. Since a majority of these threats are illegal in a lot of countries, this is where bulletproof hosting helps facilitate these threats.
To clearly understand what bulletproof hosting is, we should first take a step back and talk about regular hosting. A regular web hosting service is a company that operates a facility, usually ...
If you’ve ever wondered if it’s safe to use public Wi-Fi, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, 6 in 10 consumers believe using public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a public restroom. And it is. Surfing the Web or transacting on an unsecured Wi-Fi network means you’re placing your private information and anonymity at risk. That’s why a virtual private network, better known as a VPN, is a must for anyone worried about online security and privacy.
A computer virus, much like a flu virus, is designed to spread from host to host and has the ability to replicate itself. Similarly, in the same way that viruses cannot reproduce without a host cell, computer viruses cannot reproduce and spread without programming such as a file or document.
In more technical terms, a computer virus is a type of malicious code or program written to alter the way a computer operates and that is designed to spread from one computer to another. A virus operates by inserting or attaching itself to a legitimate program or document that...
Many VPN providers safeguard their customers’ anonymity by offering a no-log network, meaning that they do not collect, or “log,” any information transmitted through the network. They don’t save information about your personal details, where you go online, what you download, or what you search for. Therefore your privacy and anonymity are protected from everybody — even your VPN provider.
In a sense, a man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) is like eavesdropping. Data is sent from point A (computer) to point B (server/website), and an attacker can get in-between these transmissions. They then set up tools programmed to “listen in” on transmissions, intercept data that is specifically targeted as valuable, and capture the data. Sometimes this data can be modified in the process of transmission to try to trick the end user to divulge sensitive information, such as log in credentials. Once the user has fallen for the bait, the data is collected from the target, and the original data...
A distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack is one of the most powerful weapons on the Internet. Most times that you hear about a website being “brought down by hackers” what that means is that it’s become a victim of a DDoS. A distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack is one of the most powerful weapons on the Internet. Most times that you hear about a website being “brought down by hackers” what that means is that it’s become a victim of a DDoS.
The Internet is filled with threats to online security. Many of these threats are just productive, positive technologies turned to evil use. The botnet is an example of using good technologies for bad intentions. A botnet is nothing more than a string of connected computers coordinated together to perform a task. That can be maintaining a chatroom, or it can be taking control of your computer. Botnets are just one of the many perils out there on the Internet. Here’s how they work and how you can protect yourself.
Botnets are the workhorses of the Int...