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Repeated memory heap spray attacks, likely false positives

Currently with Norton 360 Deluxe and similar Norton products over the past several years, I have repeatedly experienced memory heap spray attacks blocked by Norton when loading winword.exe and a large file, the manuscript of a book initially 2000 pages long, now over 4100 (file size 70 MB).

I can sometimes go months without experiencing that alleged attack, but sometimes it occurs a few days in a row. If I immediately reload the file that triggered the alleged attack, it always goes smoothly — or at least as smoothly as clunky Microsoft Word ever does when opening large files that take a few minutes to load, even with a solid-state drive (no significant change in that over many years, even when opening from a mechanical hard drive).

This alleged attack has repeatedly occurred on my current computer and past ones, but countless scans of them have never detected the source of this alleged attack.

I strongly suspect this is a false positive or false alarm because if there were a virus, Norton would presumably remove it. The fact that I experience the same alleged attack again and again yet rarely (perhaps once every year or two, if that) encounter other viruses (assorted ones, never the same repeatedly) suggests that this isn’t a genuine attack.

In the past decade, five U.S. patents were issued for technology disclosing methods of memory heap spray detection. Perhaps these methods, or whatever Norton uses, are not 100% accurate.

I am hesitant to disable this protection because memory heap spray attacks sometimes occur. What is the best way to handle this problem? Disable protection? Put up with this chronic waste of time? Switch to a different anti-virus software?

OS: Windows 8 and 10 (initially), now Windows 11



Re: Repeated memory heap spray attacks, likely false positives

Hello. I would DEFINITELY NOT disable that protection in any manner. There is a reason this is being detected and should be determined. May we ask. What is your Norton 360 version? The latest is What Office software are you using when this happens? Do you use Adobe products and are they on the latest updates if you are using them? Can you post a screenshot from your Norton history for review?

One discussion, although older is here on the Broadcom forums

Added note that there are older CPU's which are vulnerable to a multitude of attacks directly related to memory and use after free issues. Side channel CPU attacks are common. I would suggest that you have ALL your hardware devices drivers updated directly from the company who makes your computer to ensure you are patched. 


MS Certified Professional Windows 11 Home 22H2 x 64 build 22621.1702 - Windows 10 Pro x 64 version 22H2 / build 19045.3031 / Norton Security Ultra - Norton 360 Deluxe ver. / Opera GX LVL4 (core: 98.0.4759.74) 64 bit-Early Access w/Norton Chrome Extensions

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