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Help! WS.Reputation.1 keeps deleting my files!

I installed Norton Internet Security (version 12.11.2.7) last night. Since then, it has automatically deleted...

  1. All of my own DLL files that I created from Microsoft Visual Studio.
  2. An EXE file that is part of a Steam game I purchased..
  3. Another important EXE file from another location that I know is safe.

In each case, NIS reports that the file is a WS.Reputation.1 violation... in other words, Symantec doesn't recognize it. What a ridiculous reason to auto-delete a file that otherwise has no strikes against it!

I've looked at similar forum posts, and Symantec's official response seems to be, "Submit the file to us and we'll add it to our whitelist." Obviously, that's not going to work with DLLs I've created, myself, which are not part of any commercial product.

I added WS.Reputation.1 to the NIS's Signature Exclusions list, but that had no effect whatsoever.

This is a serious problem for me. If it can't be resolved, I'll have no choice but to uninstall NIS and install a competing product.

Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks for any help.

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Re: Help! WS.Reputation.1 keeps deleting my files!

P.S. The situation is even worse that I thought. I discovered that NIS has systematically deleted every utility and game application I've ever written. Obviously, that's unacceptable. I'll continue to monitor this thread, but, for now, I've removed NIS.

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Re: Help! WS.Reputation.1 keeps deleting my files!

Um, perhaps create work product folder and exclude folder from Scans and Auto-Protect.  
Check all Norton Settings are Default.

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Re: Help! WS.Reputation.1 keeps deleting my files!

Thanks for the response. That's a good idea, but (1) the files are not isolated to one folder and (2) I don't want NIS to delete any files from my computer merely because it doesn't recognized them.

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Re: Help! WS.Reputation.1 keeps deleting my files!

Norton's method of detecting and removing files that have no history works great for most users.  Generally, unknown executables appearing on a consumer's PC are likely to be malicious and Norton's reputation-based detection, while prone to some false positives, has undoubtedly prevented the installation of countless malicious programs.  Most users do not introduce unique executables onto their systems so the implementation of reputation-based protection is very effective with few problems.  Unfortunately, this type of protection is not so good for users who develop their own software.  It's not that it is a bad method, it is simply that what you develop yourself will match the characteristics that Norton leverages to recognize potential new malware on consumer's systems. 

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Re: Help! WS.Reputation.1 keeps deleting my files!

Thanks for the response.

So, NIS is inappropriate for -- and even hostile towards -- software developers? What a strange stance for Symantec to take.

(Of course, this problem could be easily solved if NIS didn't ignore the user's choice to exclude WS.Reputation.1. That seems like a blatant bug that, apparently, has been in place for some time.)

Well, whatever. I've uninstalled NIS and installed Webroot SecureAnywhere, which isn't nearly so arrogant. :)

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Re: Help! WS.Reputation.1 keeps deleting my files!

Jeff Brown:

So, NIS is inappropriate for -- and even hostile towards -- software developers? What a strange stance for Symantec to take.

Hostile, no.  Inappropriate, yeah, probably.  Without reputation-based protection, Norton customers, the vast majority of whom never knowingly download obscure software, would be extremely vulnerable to signature-evading polymorphic malware installing itself surreptitiously.  There is just no good alternative method of catching this stuff before it causes harm.  I am not unsympathetic.  No question that this is not ideal for developers, but most users buy the product to provide the best protection under the most common situations, and few of us develop our own software.

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Re: Help! WS.Reputation.1 keeps deleting my files!

Imagine you're a sculptor. You hire a guard to keep your studio safe from intruders. Instead, he wanders through your studio and smashes every one of your sculptures.

That's what I mean by "hostile". :)

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