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Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

I have a 1-Year 3-Device subscription for Norton Internet Security with 259 days remaining.  I only have Norton installed on one machine - my 32-bit Vista SP2 machine - and have not shared my product key with anyone.  I logged in to my Norton Account today at https://manage.norton.com/ and discovered that my last two seats were illegally activated on 24-Feb-2017 on devices named OLEG and ROSTIK.  According to the Devices tab these seats were activated on Win 8.x computers.

This is not the first time this product key has been used illegally - see my image in msgray's thread unknown desks appear on my account. showing seats being used by devices with Cyrillic characters in the name.  I normally purchase a boxed retail version of NS on sale at Staples and then ask Norton Customer Support to add 365 days to my current NIS subscription, and I believe it's the same NIS product key that keeps getting used to illegally activate other seats.

The last time this happened a Norton employee suggested that I log in to my account and remove the license for the illegal seats but my request for a new product key was denied.  Repeatedly deleting illegal seats in my account clearly isn't a long term solution, so what do I have to do to get Symantec to issue me new product key and deactivate the stolen key?  I'm fine switching to NS if new NIS product keys are no longer available.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.1 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

lmacri:

I normally purchase a boxed retail version of NS on sale at Staples and then ask Norton Customer Support to add 365 days to my current NIS subscription, and I believe it's the same NIS product key that keeps getting used to illegally activate other seats.

I'm sorry, but I am unclear on this.  Is the product key that is being compromised one that you purchased at Staples, or is it one provided by Norton Support?

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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

SendOfJive:

Is the product key that is being compromised one that you purchased at Staples, or is it one provided by Norton Support?

Hi SendOfJive:

I believe it's the same NIS product key I purchased from Staples in 2014 and activated in 2015. If you look at the image in my original post it says First Installation was 07-Jan-2015.

Each December I purchase a cheap NS retail box at Staples, and each January I contact Norton Customer Support a few days before my NIS subscription expires.   They simply confirm my spare NS key was legally purchased, deactivate (or possibly recycle?) the new NS key, and add 365 days to my NIS subscription.  According to my notes I've had the same NIS product key listed in my Norton Account list since 2015.

And before anyone asks, I wanted to keep NIS because the v21.x engine worked much better on my 32-bit OS, and there is no such thing as a NS v.21.x installer.  My preference for NIS became a moot point when Norton decided not to patch NIS v21.7.0.11 for the vulnerabilities listed in SYM16-010 and I was forced to upgrade to NIS v22.7 in June 2016, so it doesn't matter to me now if I use NIS or NS since downgrading to v21.x is no longer an option.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.1 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

Hello Imacri

I'm not following something here. You have been using the same key since 2015 with a 1 year license and have purchased it some place other than the Norton Store? How do you get 365 days added on to the same key? The 366 days are added on to the same key only if you renew your NIS in the Norton Store. I have never heard of buying the product some where else and then having the 366 days  added on to the same key. When you purchase the product some where else, you  have to enter in a new key each year unless you have purchased a multi-year subscription and in that case you don't have to do anything.

If they have just been adding on days to the old key, perhaps that is messing up the system some how. The list of products in your Norton Account must look odd with the same key being used for so many years.if it's the same product, all you have to do is to enter in the new key into your current product. Are you sure they aren't voiding out the old key and entering in the new key?

I think it is much safer to just have the new key verified that is unused and then you enter the new key into the product yourself. That way you are eliminating the middle man. You should be getting new keys every year.

Thanks.

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit NSBU 22.17.0.183 Core Firmware 282 I E 11 Chrome latest version.
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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

floplot:

I think it is much safer to just have the new key verified that is unused and then you enter the new key into the product yourself. That way you are eliminating the middle man. You should be getting new keys every year.

Hi floplot:

The "middle man" is an official Norton Customer Support rep that I contact via Live Chat at www.norton.com/chat. Even if Norton Customer Support is renewing my NIS subscription incorrectly, I don't understand how it's relevant to my problem.  How did these people activate their NIS installation with my product key if I haven't shared my product key or login credentials with anyone else? If my account wasn't hacked (or accessed by an employee or contractor with read privileges) does that mean that Symantec recycles old product keys after a certain number of years and re-sells them to a different customer?
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.1 * NIS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

@lmacri

I've asked someone from Symantec to contact you.

Windows 10 Home X 64 Norton Security Premium Current
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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

I'm late to the party. But what you should have done is activate one of the new keys, and ask support to add the remaining time from the old, compromised, key to the new key. 

Let's see if F 4 E's contact comes through.

Things happen. Export/Backup your Norton Password Manager data.
Accepted Solution
好评7 Stats

Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

Hello @lmacri,

Your situation is extremely concerning and I've sent you a Private Mail to follow-up. We will need to gather some additional information but I'm confident we can get it resolved quickly.

Thanks,
Matt

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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

Thank you very much Matt

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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

Just an update to let everyone know that my issue is resolved.  The Norton Escalation Team contacted me yesterday and offered me a new Norton Security product key at no charge and then cancelled my old NIS product key once NS was installed on my machine. Kudos to Matt Phillips and the Escalation Team for their prompt and professional response, and to F 4 E for contacting Matt about my issue.

There are multiple users in this forum who have reported the same issue, and in most cases their product keys were purchased from the official online Norton store.  I hope that Symantec is eventually able to track down how unauthorized users were able to activate unused installation seats in our accounts, but in the mean time I'd like to see Symantec implement some safeguards to improve the security of  product keys.  One simple solution would be to send an e-mail notification to the account owner every time someone tried to activate an installation seat with their product key so the owner could immediately detect and report any unauthorized use of their key.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.1 * NS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

好评0

Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

Hello Imacri

May I suggest to you and others that when you buy your NS on sale, please enter your NEW key and contact Customer Support and ask them to add on the remaining days to the new subscription. This way your Norton Account will show a new key every year instead of the old key being used over and over again. It would also be a good idea if you changed your password to your account frequently with strong passwords.

Thanks.

PS Glad you got your issue fixed and Matt comes thru once again.

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit NSBU 22.17.0.183 Core Firmware 282 I E 11 Chrome latest version.
好评2 Stats

Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

Imacri said,

One simple solution would be to send an e-mail notification to the account owner every time someone tried to activate an installation seat with their product key so the owner could immediately detect and report any unauthorized use of their key.

Google does it if they think your account has been compromised/accessed, so it can be done.

I won't hold my breath waiting for Symantec to do the same................

Windows 10 Home X 64 Norton Security Premium Current
好评1 Stats

Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

floplot:

May I suggest to you and others that when you buy your NS on sale, please enter your NEW key ...It would also be a good idea if you changed your password to your account frequently with strong passwords.

 Hi floplot:

As a long-time NS Premium/NSBU user you might not remember how confusing it was for NIS/N360/NAV users like myself back in 2015 when Symantec introduced Norton Security v22 and suddenly stopped issuing matching product keys for older products (e.g., NIS keys that started with "JTQB...").  Back then every Norton employee you spoke to had a different interpretation of what NS/NSBU product keys could be used to renew "similar" N360/NIS/NAV products.

Before I purchased a cheap retail box of NS with Backup (NSBU, or what is now called Norton Security Premium) from Staples I contacted Norton Customer Service via a Live Chat just to confirm that I could renew my NIS v21.7.0.11 product with a NSBU key.  I was told that Symantec would honour the NSBU key but that I would have to contact Norton Customer Service and have them add the 365 days to my subscription because NIS and NSBU were not "similar" products (i.e., N360 was "similar" to NSBU keys because both products had backup features; NIS and NAV were not similar to NSBU because they did not have a backup feature).  I still have a copy of that 2015 Live Chat session, and based on that advice (right or wrong) that's what I did for the next two years.

And again, I'm not sure why the security of my product key should depend on the method I used to renew my subscription as long as I obtained my new product key from a reputable source.  Under the current system, once your product key is stolen anyone can download an offline installer (e.g., from www.norton.com/latestnis), install the software and enter then your stolen product key in the Norton GUI to activate an installation seat without your knowledge.  Once your product key is stolen this activation can be done by an unauthorized user without ever having to log in to your account as long as long there is a free installation seat, so changing the login password for your account isn't going to accomplish anything once your key is stolen.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.1 * NS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

好评0

Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

We are glad that things were sorted out for you.

I'm not sure why the security of my product key should depend on the method I used to renew my subscription as long as I obtained my new product key from a reputable source.

What floplot and I suggested above about using the new key is just a way to get around any way that the old key may have been compromised. You were never able to determine how the old key got stolen, and a new key should get you a fresh start each time. 

Things happen. Export/Backup your Norton Password Manager data.
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Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

peterweb:

What floplot and I suggested above about using the new key is just a way to get around any way that the old key may have been compromised. You were never able to determine how the old key got stolen, and a new key should get you a fresh start each time

...which is why I requested a new product key back in July 2015 after I reported <here> that unknown users were activating installation seats on my subscription.  We likely wouldn't be having this conversation now if my product key had been swapped out for a new key when the problem was first reported.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.1 * NS v22.9.1.12 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

好评0

Re: Unused Installation Seats Illegally Activated (Again)

Very true. And that is why F 4 E, and others in the background, pushed to get you a resolution.

Things happen. Export/Backup your Norton Password Manager data.

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