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Symantec Launches Anti-Spyware Beta

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the computer-as-appliance dept.

Security 319

daria42 writes "Symantec has launched the beta test version of its anti-spyware application, which will be sold from June as part of Norton Internet Security 2005. The company's Norman Kohlberger said the main aim of the new combined product was to make PC security as easy as possible for the end user. 'The computer is not a toy anymore. It has turned into a toaster and microwave -- it has become an integral part of the home environment,' he said. 'We have to reduce the complexity. People do not want privacy software, firewall, antivirus, spyware, adware and blended threats. The average individual is saying I don't want this anymore. Just fix it. What we are doing is reducing the complexity.'"

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Challenge (4, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450717)

Here is what I want to know: Why is Symantec forking their projects into Spyware on one side, virus protection on the other, firewall on the other, subscription on the other? Why don't they have these services in one package?

I'll tell you why. They want to make more money off of this. Each and every service that Symantec provides is a de facto necessity to windows users, whether they get the services from Symantec or from some other company.

My challege to a startup out there: Create a complete Windows package that protects users, AND charge very little money for it.

Re:Challenge (1)

mattspammail (828219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450728)

Too many people they had to pass on hiring. They want all the brilliant virus, spyware, adware writers on their team.

Windows that protects users (3, Funny)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450778)

Create a complete Windows package that protects users, AND charge very little money for it.

Sounds like a great idea!
Windows with all network code removed.
Windows XP NN?

Re:Windows that protects users (1)

IchBinDasWalross (720916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450815)

When I use Windows, I use it with a Linux box handling all the connections. I do not connect directly to the internet. I let the Linux box run a homebrew software app (I run a business from my home) that strips out all ugly and yucky content. It is great for gaming, and in the year and a half I've had this setup running, I've never gotten so much as a single piece of spyware.

Re:Challenge (2, Informative)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450798)

I used to use Symantec - for many years...even before when it was Dr. Nortons. Now it just plain sucks. It kept crashing on my XP laptop. Crashed ony my parents laptop. That and even before then, Norton Antivirus would not always turn on when the computer powered up...and everything would turn it off. My cousin just got McAfee internet security - came with virus, spameware, adblock, and more.

Right now I use CA eTrust virus and MS AntiSpyware.

Re:Challenge (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450814)

1) Zonealarm
2) Ad-aware
3) Spybot
4) AVG Free edition

Never had a virus or spyware problem.

Re:Challenge (2, Informative)

dlZ (798734) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450944)

I see a lot of machines come in without Internet access and Symantec's firewall offering on the machine. Can't uninstall any of the Norton products, so have to remove them by hand. Magically, the wonderful wide Interweb comes back for the customer to install spyware till their heart is complete. Install Zonealarm or enable the Windows built in firewall, no issues.

Run Antivir or ClamAV, find way too many copies of Klez or something else Norton AV should have caught.

Customer goes home, immediatly installs Norton again even though we warn them not to, machine is back in the shop two days later because it's broken again.

I can only wonder what their anti-spyware software will do.

Re:Challenge (1)

Vague but True (804899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450999)

Not all people have problems with Norton. I run Norton's total security on my XP laptop and have had no problems. Norton total security has anti-virus, pop-up blocker, and a firewall (Spy-bot and Adware handle spyware for me).

Perhaps the problem wasn't Norton, but something else on the laptop.

Re:Challenge (2, Interesting)

hendridm (302246) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450802)

I don't think they need to charge "very little money," but $64 is a little steep for me considering it comes with only a year of updates.

I'd pay $64 for protection for the lifetime of the OS (which is what, ~4 years?) or a pure subscription of say ~$15/year.

I, too, don't like the separate products. And I don't understand what took them so damn long to include protection from spyware and other malware. I want it a part of Norton anti-virus - one program running that protects me, as you said. I think Symantec is late in the game on this, and they're entering a market that has free alternatives in it. I say add the functionality to NAV for free so your core product doesn't become irrelevant. To me, spyware should be treated as a virus (with the exception of maybe asking me if I want it quarantined instead of doing it automatically as with viruses).

Re:Challenge (3, Insightful)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450839)

Why don't they have these services in one package?

I'll tell you why. They want to make more money off of this.

No way! Really? Wow, yeah you're right. Everything falls into place now. No wonder MS didn't bundle Office with their OS. It's all some devilish scheme to create profit!

Re:Challenge (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450840)

There is some truth to the complexity argument. A lot of my customers will buy "Norton Internet Security" or the equivalent from McAffee without understanding what they do. Once those programs are installed, they find the regular security warnings, queries to set firewall behavior and general frustration that they STILL have problems with viruses, spyware and trojans are all far too much to deal with.

I uninstall the "all in one" security packages whenever I see them.

I call bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450911)


The only requirement for windows users is a firewall and a clue.

I run XP home SP2 on an adelphia cable modem connection. I have never, I repeat, never been infected because the first thing I did was install zonealarm.

Even windows firewall is enough for most users who do casual browsing. Most viruses are not browser exploits, they are bundled with software you give permission to run or are attachments to email.

Re:I call bullshit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451061)

Viruses now download spyware onto your computer. The majority of spyware doesn't come bundled with some crappy application anymore - they'll put it on your computer by any means necessary.

There are plenty of browser exploits out there too. Try getting a no-CD crack off a dodgy website with IE. I've seen someone snared that way (WITHOUT downloading the crack) in couple of minutes.

And in general it's a good idea to scan something that you're not sure about anyway.

While I agree that Windows firewall is sufficient, anti-spyware and anti-virus are not a bad idea.

You do not know what you have. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451077)

I was half expecting your system to get the blue screen in the middle of you posting this very scary message.

Seriously tho. You don't know what you might have! You could have all kinds of problems with your suggestion to run a naked system.

Firewall is not enough. Whoever you are, your advice could be very costly to a customer of yours. If you're in techsupport, can you tell me where you work so I can avoid using your company in the future?

Re:Challenge - done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451007)

its called linux

Re:Challenge (2, Insightful)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451050)

the fact that symantec wants to earn money by selling products is inherent to them being a company. so what's your point?

Panda AV best in my lab (2, Interesting)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451075)

I have had the opportunity to test AV in my lab, okay I worked in a computer shop... but I was able to crack some really infected machines..

Far and away, the best at finding viruses is Panda. Not only does it find on average two to three viruses that Norton's and Mcafee will miss, but it also doesn't bog down your system.

It used to be the lowest priced AV, and while this is no longer the case (probably due to the drop in the dollar -- they are Spanish, er Basque) it is worth the price. Their latest product -- Panda Platinum outscans most products for spyware: even webroot, Spybot and adaware. It also head and shoulders above any anti virus and includes a nice firewall (which I haven't tested, but if it is like their other products, it's the best)

I highly recommend their free online scan and would also recommend downloading a free trial of their software.

Why? (4, Interesting)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450721)

Why they did not simply have put that in Norton Antivirus a long time ago? They sure have all the scanning tools!

Re:Why? (1)

michael path (94586) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450759)

Good point. Why is this part of the Internet Security suite and not bundled with the Antivirus.

Couldn't the Antivirus engine be used in place of building a new software package?

I understand the bottom line is, well, their bottom line, but doesn't spyware/malware/etc. share more in common with viruses than a glorified firewall?

A lot of antivirus products have become 'free after rebate', including their own. Why not bundle spyware definitions as part of a value-add instead, and rename the product "Norton Anti-malware", or something to that extent?

Norton Antivirus does (3, Interesting)

osssmkatz (734824) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450835)

Spyware programs access the Internet a lot, and frequently via low-level calls. By monitoring what programs access the Internet, they can indeed know what spyware is on your computer faster than by scanning.

Their virus package does include support for 'expanded threats' including spyware.

But their antivirus engine is designed to assume 'all viruses are bad.' This new product can --and does-- tread more carefully. It tells you what programs will stop functioning if a given adware module is removed. (according to Symantec.) I do not touch Symantec's products, though it is getting more and more tempting.

If a company does good research, you think they could write good, lean, code without dependencies on TCP/IP. Uninstalling the program is a pain (for some), and manually uninstalling it without removing the TCP/IP dependency.. results in no Internet connection.

With XP's system restore, I would be willing to take more risks, and this is a 'beta' product, but still..

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

DrStrange66 (654036) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450789)

Well Norton Antivirus does pick up a lot of spyware objects already. Of course that is not its primary purpose so it doesn't catch everything like other programs. Pest Patrol, Microsoft Antivirus, and Ad-Aware all do a decent job of catching the spyware but each one of them seems to find spyware objects that the other doesn't. It would be nice if there was a collaboration to have one program that catches everything.

awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450726)

It seems that every other piece of software my end-users install on their home systems conflicts with the symantec antivirus that came with their stock system, now I get to deal with their half-assed attempt at spyware removal. w00t!

Not a Toy (5, Funny)

jobsy (222193) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450733)

" It has turned into a toaster and microwave "

Between the heatsink and the wifi card.. hes not wrong y'know!


Re:Not a Toy (1)

hugzz (712021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451066)

Great, now slashdot is a group of toaster repairmen.

One big problem (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450739)

Is that it keeps detecting itself as spyware and removing itself.

Differences with corporate? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450740)

Symantec has had spyware scanning and removal built into itscorporate version of Symantev AV for almost a year now. In my experience it has been fairly effective and its effectiveness has been increasing with every update.

I'd like to know if anyone can explain the difference between this new product and the corporate version that's been around for a while.

Re:Differences with corporate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450954)

hint: $$$

Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451022)

hint: $$$

I'm not clear on your meaning. On a per host basis, the Corporate version is already cheaper than the consumer version. Why would Symantec want to make their more expensive product, more expensive. They run the risk of pricing themselves out of the market that way. It's not like they are lacking competition.

Bullshit! (3, Insightful)

af_robot (553885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451054)

We do run Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 9 in our company and it hadn't detected a SINGLE spyware!
You'd better use Microsoft Antispyware/Spybot/Adaware because Symantec's offering for corporate market is still lacking decent antispyware protection, although it is a great antivirus, much better that a Nortor Antivirus.

A computer is still a toy... (0)

elcheesmo (646907) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450745)

I don't use kitchen appliances for pr0n or playing games.

Re:A computer is still a toy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450793)

not even hand-whisks? you're missing out!

Re:A computer is still a toy... (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450962)

You mean there are other uses for a spatchula!?

Re:A computer is still a toy... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451079)

As of 4/26/05 I enter the world of a non-smoker. Wish me luck and a lot of support.

Imagine a nice cigarette, or maybe a joint? Don't you like the idea of just being able to relax and have a smoke? You don't need to do it everyday.

Too late to the game (5, Insightful)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450747)

With all of the Spyware utilities out there, I am surprised that Symmantec would waste their time with this one. They ought to worry about what they are going to do with three backup products now that they own Veritas.

Re:Too late to the game (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450765)

It's not a separate product. They need it in their suite otherwise it loses value.

Re:Too late to the game (4, Insightful)

michael path (94586) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450799)

There still needs to be a major player in the spyware market. Microsoft's Antispyware is the closest we have, but it's hardly more than the Giant product they rebranded.

Names like "Lavasoft" and "Spybot" don't inspire corporate confidence, even if the products are very, very good at what they do.

Symantec makes sense, but I don't like their products. My experience is they create more problems than they solve.

Re:Too late to the game (1)

Airconditioning (639167) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450941)

Names like "Lavasoft" and "Spybot" don't inspire corporate confidence...


Re:Too late to the game (3, Interesting)

cuzality (696718) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450955)

Parent is right on. PHBs everywhere will glom onto the new Symentec product simply because it is Symantec. Meanwhile I have to suffer through parsing the entire Spybot Search and Destroy EULA every time someone else has a question about my using a "non-approved" piece of software on my machine. ("Freeware. It means I can use it for free. No restrictions. Even on a business machine. Read what it says!")

My experience is they create more problems than they solve.

I can't add to this from my own experience, but from what I hear from others, the Symantec suite can cause a lot of problems. My boss has had huge problems with it -- it dug itself in to the OS so deep that when it went, it took Windows with it, and even after multiple expensive calls to both Symantec and Microsoft his computer was still in tatters (so much for the "open source is no good because you must have commercial support!" argument -- haven't heard that one since). And I'm using separate free anti-virus and anti-spyware products (no suite!) and have never had a problem.

LOL (4, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450756)

What we are doing is reducing the complexity.

And what the rest of the industry is doing, is fixing the problem instead. I just love marketing BS... Consumer says fix it, company says we've reduced the complexity, customer still sitting waiting for fix.

LOL? WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450916)

LOL? On /.? Invasion of the AOLers!!! lol omg wtf!?!!

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451031)

If tinkering with your computer isn't your hobby, a reduction in complexity to a manageable scale is a necessary part of "fixing".

Missing the point (2, Insightful)

archen (447353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450758)

Just fix it. ... with baindaids.

Sorry to say, but most people seem to be missing the point. Most people have been brainwashed to think they need anti-virus programs, they need spyware removal apps... they really don't. They just need a secure enviornment - web browser, OS, etc. Even windows can be secured to the point where you don't need antivirus, it's just not set up that way by default and is of course "inconvinient"

Re:Missing the point (4, Insightful)

WD_40 (156877) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450836)

They also need to use their brain. A cow-irker of mine was baffled when I said that I don't run any antivirus or antispyware products on my home PC, and I don't have problems with said threats.

They said, "How do you keep from getting infected?"
To which I replied, "I don't use IE, I don't go places I shouldn't and I don't run suspicious programs."

Protection programs are all well and good, but users need to also learn proper usage techniques.

Re:Missing the point (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451005)

And that's the whole point right there. An integral part of malware protection has always been user education. All those warnings that Ad-Watch and ZoneAlarm are throwing at you don't mean diddly if the user just shrugs and clicks 'allow'.

It sounds like Symantec is saying they're working toward a model requiring less user interaction/education. I'll believe it when I see it.

Torture Inc (1)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450859)

My gaming box has worked admirably under Win2K Pro for almost three years now. No antivirus, no antispycrap, no antianything. No problems either.

I feel exactly as the parent poster: People are brainwashed into thinking that viruses, spyware and crashes are something usual in computer environment, and every PC magazine out there fanfares in EVERY SINGLE "computer security"-related article that people should "keep their anti-virus software up to date."

10 years from now Windows PC's will emit random electrical shocks via keyboard or finglonger or whatever interface we use then. And the users have to lease antishock software. Gzus christ, I just don't get it - it's as if people voluntarily used torture devices on themselves and regularly paid the manufacturer more money in hope the pain went away, or at least lessened.

Re:Missing the point (2, Insightful)

Daedala (819156) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451089)

I work in security. I have heard far, far too many of my coworkers joke about how much spyware they have on their computers. They are in the field; some of them are brain dead, but some of them are quite good. If security wonks can't keep Windows clean, I don't think normal users should be expected to.

Get a Mac! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450761)

The average individual is saying I don't want this anymore. Just fix it.

This is exactly where the Mac fits in. You don't have to worry about it, it works without fear of these problems.

Antivirus Corporate scans for Spyware. (0, Redundant)

Kewjoe (307612) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450762)

The release of Symantec Antivirus Corporate 9.0 (and possibly earlier versions?) has included spyware checking, and it came out late last year. It's built into the antivirus scanner as opposed to being a standalone utility.

Another product reduces complexity??? (1)

Rooktoven (263454) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450763)

Adding to the bloated Symantec suite...

If you want a simpler system that resists spyware (and viruses) by a mac or run linux.

(and yes, my kid's grandmother gets around just fine with KDE...)

Re:Another product reduces complexity??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450819)

errr, mother-in law or mother would have been fine to say :)

Re:Another product reduces complexity??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451028)

he wanted to make sure we all know he has had sex with a woman at least once.

Re:Another product reduces complexity??? (1)

kc8tbe (772879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450969)

Symantec is overly bloated, and this is a problem. A lot of time I spent in part-time IT went into cleaning pre-9.0 versions of Symantec corporate off the hard drives of Win98-XP machines because the Symantec uninstaller doesn't work very well and, wouldn't you know, you can't upgrade to 9.0 corporate without first uninstalling previous versions. Most of the time I didn't spend doing this went into reinstalling Windows on machines that got infected despite having Symantec installed. And now the saga continues at my University.

All those broadcast packets on UDP port 137? That's an improperly configured Symantec corporate looking for servers to manage it. Only for some reason, properly configured Symantec installations start doing this ~a month after being installed anyway. Get 200 of these computers on the same subnet and it's enough to kill a Netgear home router (Linksys home routers seem to handle it, though).

I agree that Symantec is too bloated/complicated and too complacent to be effective, and that the ideal solution is to use a GNU environment of some sort. However for those user who aren't willing to part with Windows, Sophos and F-Protector are far superior to Symantec when it comes to virus removal. BitDefender isn't bad at virus+spyware+firewall. McAfee, of course, is a complete joke.

Whatever happened to Norton? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450764)

The man, not the company. I saw him on TV when I was a kid, probably about 15-20 years ago, and he seemed like a real nerd's nerd. Now he's like Betty Crocker, just a brand name.

Re:Whatever happened to Norton? (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451021)

I used to have this Peter Norton's Assembly book. He was posing by a machine on the cover, and manages to look nerdier than Bill Gates (but not as scary as Bill laying down by the machine.) Actually, I bet I still have that book floating around somewhere. When I bought it 10 or 15 years ago, it's was already a bit dated, so it cost next to nothing and was a useful reference for school.

Re:Whatever happened to Norton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451056)


Peter Norton 0w3nz the man is rad as shit.

Re:Whatever happened to Norton? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451101)

Yeah, I found a copy of "Inside the IBM PC" in the storage room here at work. With Peter Norton posing on the spine of it. It's right here on the bookshelf behind me, and it actually looks to be a decent read.

Reminds me a lot of "upgrading and repairing PCs", except obviously limited to what was around in 1986. :)

Effectiveness? (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450767)

Just how effective is anti-spyware software made by anti-virus companies, anyway? It seems to me that 'malware' (spyware, adware, etc.) is much more sophisticated than their viral counterparts, especially when they enlist user interaction as part of their process. After all, all a user need do is click on a link, open an attachment, look an an email or a webpage, etc., and they have implicitly given their permission for this malware to do its thing. The only way for software to protect you against such things is to either warn you that what you are doing may be dangerous (most users just click past that anyway) or flat-out stop the user from doing certain things, which reduces utility. It seems to me that any attempt to tackle the malware problem from a viral viewpoint is doomed to fail. Our company recently installed the McAfee anti-spyware add-on to our corporate anti-virus solution. My recommendation: don't waste your's worthless.

Complexity (0, Redundant)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450775)

"What we are doing is reducing the complexity."

By adding another product? Wha?

Article. (0, Redundant)

Kewjoe (307612) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450779)

For those that don't want to click the link.

Symantec has launched the beta test version of its anti-spyware application, which will be sold from June as part of its Norton Internet Security 2005 application.

Symantec has in the past faced heavy criticism for security vulnerabilities and usability issues with its Internet security products, especially those applications targeted at the consumer and small business market.

Norman Kohlberger, senior regional product manager for Symantec Asia Pacific, said the main aim of the new product, which will be called Symantec Internet Security AntiSpyware Edition, was to make PC security as easy as possible for the end user.

"Users are saying, 'I don't want to know all the nitty gritty details, I don't want to know the technical stuff, just let me do what I need to do on the Web'. They just want it to work," said Kohlberger, who believes that PCs are becoming a part of everyday life and thought of as domestic appliances.

"The computer is not a toy anymore. It has turned into a toaster and microwave -- it has become an integral part of the home environment. We have to reduce the complexity. People do not want privacy software, firewall, antivirus, spyware, adware and blended threats. The average individual is saying I don't want this anymore. Just fix it. What we are doing is reducing the complexity," said Kohlberger.

He said the new edition was an improvement on its predecessor because it not only protected the users' personal data, but included real-time spyware and adware scanning.

"The challenge we had in earlier products is that we did not have real-time detection and did not remove [spyware] if it was on your system. Now we are going to take the next step," said Kohlberger.

Kohlberger said security vendors had to keep improving their products because the next generation of malware is being developed by organised criminals intent on making money from their victims.

"They are being driven by well funded, highly organised groups of individuals. Call them what you want - mafia, criminal elements -- but it pays. Our research shows they are getting on average a response rate of between three and six percent, which is something any marketing company would be happy with," said Kohlberger.

The beta version of the AntiSpyware application can be downloaded from Symantec's Web site. The full version will only be sold as part of the Norton Internet Security application from June and will cost AU$150.

Re:Article. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450827)

I hope you don't get modded up for copying and pasting...

Re:Article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451103)

Hope is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

convenient for Symantec, too (4, Interesting)

bodrell (665409) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450790)

I briefly worked for a Symantec call center in the anti-virus division, and very often the call would consist of me telling people: "Go to lavasoft and download AdAware" because we refused to try and fix a computer loaded with spyware. Now, the call center people (relocated to India since two years ago) can tell the customers to buy Norton Anti-Spyware instead.

Re:convenient for Symantec, too (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451092)

GOD!!! Not to sound racist or anything, but I will NOT do business with companies that outsource their helpdesks to India. That's the most irritating thing in the world for me.

Symantec ain't all that.... (4, Interesting)

Himring (646324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450791)

I'm rather confused by their claims of anti-spyware incorporation. They stated to have it in SAV9.x and indeed I saw it finding spyware on machines -- and it did a poor job. Adaware and spybot always found more. Now, their marketing is like, "now with anti-spyware!" Uh huh, you've said that already.

Also, their installs are some of the worst to deal with. Their auto-uninstalls of their old products -- which occurs prior to upgrading -- is horrible. We had to spend tons of time writing our own scripts. We finally tried out Trend Micro and found that it did a better job of auto-uninstalling Symantec's products than Symantec did.

I'm still talking enterprise here, but Trend has a far better admin console than Symantec. Trend gives tons of information on each system. Symantec is childish by comparison. Trend reporting is far better too. Trend has more of a "build your own wheel" feel to it, but for sys admins it rocks. Symantec's roots are from the single, desktop computer and that's the feel you get for it as an admin. Administration is an afterthought. Trend seems to be built by administrators for administrators and I like it.

Besides all that, the answer to spyware isn't what Symantec would have you think -- namely, *them*. The answer is first: install Firefox (install it fool!) and ban IE. Second, make patch management a priority. After that, you can put gravy on it by removing root off workstations for users, but FF and PM are key. As a matter of fact, I argue that if you do those two things you just about don't even need AV -- especially doing Firefox. Hey, can you tell I like Firefox?...

Re:Symantec ain't all that.... (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451045)

Also, their installs are some of the worst to deal with. Their auto-uninstalls of their old products -- which occurs prior to upgrading -- is horrible. We had to spend tons of time writing our own scripts. We finally tried out Trend Micro and found that it did a better job of auto-uninstalling Symantec's products than Symantec did.

I used Norton's uninstaller app one time to remove the rest of the Norton's suite and it worked great, considering the uninstaller for the actual programs just crashed after removing enough to make the machine spit out 30 errors on boot.

If it runs as slow as ... (5, Funny)

LemonFire (514342) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450792)

If it runs as slow as their dog-slow antivirus solution, then their anti-spyware solution bundled together with their existing antivirus software would create one of the best anti-spyware/antivirus solutions out on the market.

You don't believe me?

Running both tools on the same box would lead to absolutely no CPU cycles left over for either virus or spyware to run...

How long willl Symantic Go ? (1)

AT-SkyWalker (610033) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450816)

Symantec had always filled the gap for M$ from you average home user stand point. Given M$'s "Embrace and Extend" policy which we all know what it did to companies in the past,
How long do you think M$ is going to spare Symantec with M$'s "new focus" on security ?

Symantec Effectiveness (5, Interesting)

wcitech (798381) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450817)

When I got into the computer repair business, I installed Symantec products on almost every machine that came through my doors (if they weren't already equipped already). Now I am a strong advocate of AVG antivirus. I can't tell you how many times I've seen computers with Norton Antivirus that had a) up to date subscriptions b) up to date definitions and c) reported that the system was clean after scanning. Then, I'd uninstall Norton and install AVG, bamf, 6 viruses found.

If their spyware removal is as effective as their virus removal (lately), you'll equal luck trying to remove those rogue search toolbars with a blender.

Are you kidding, or just stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450980)

There are more than 20,000 Windows known viruses and worms in the world with new ones being added every day. Do you really think that it is unreasonable for a particular anti-virus product to miss a few at any particular moment? This is why people who are serious about virus protection have ALWAYS run at least two different vendor's products. The easiest way is to run one vendor on the servers and another on the workstations but, some people go so far as to run the two different vendors concurrently on the same system.

Now I am a strong advocate of AVG antivirus.

That's wonderful! Do you really believe that AVG is 100% effective? Have you tried sacnning an AVG scanned machine with another vendor's product to be sure that AVG is getting everything? Have you scanned that machine with CA eTrust, Symantec, F-Prot, Kaspersky or McAfee?

You actually think AVG is 100% effective? Are you kidding, or just stupid?

Re:Symantec Effectiveness (3, Insightful)

DanoTime (677061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450988)

I agree, the marketing and "household name" aspect is carrying them. The tools are ineffective and bloated, in addition you actually need to use a separate tool to completely uninstall the product. This should not be allowed to continue, but people still buy the products because that's the first name they know.

I make sure every friend I help out, and every user I work with, hears the simple command
"Don't use Symantec products!"

Re:Symantec Effectiveness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451087)

I make sure every friend I help out, and every user I work with, hears the simple command
"Don't use Symantec products!"

You 1337 h4x0r dude, you! You are teh r0x0r! Don't you tell them to run only Linux?

And I suppose that you think the ever dwindling number of calls from "friends" is due to your excellent advice being followed right? It hasn't yet occurred to you that the dwindling number of calls from friends is actually due to the fact that you are an ass and no one wants you around!

Anti-Spyware spyware? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450818)

I can see it now, you run this application in the background, possibly with a little icon in your system tray. It monitors all your activity, and every time it thinks that you need to be notified of something related to spyware, it phones home to Symantec, opens up a window, steals focus, and you get to read about how something you just did can increase your penis size^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H likelihood of having spyware.
Since most users tolerate this type of behavior already, especially after installing that helpful little Bonzi Buddy program, Symantec should be laughing all the way to the bank.
3. Profit?!

How about fixing Norton Firewall first (2, Funny)

deaddrunk (443038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450821)

I was shocked to find out that it doesn't drop ICMP requests. Every other firewall I've ever used can do that even the Windows XP one.

I'm sorry, the computer is *NOT* a Toaster! (4, Insightful)

ShinSugoi (783392) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450824)

It just isn't. Computers are complex things, and it is both logical and more importantly, reasonable to expect people to do a minor amount of work to maintain them, the same way you do a automobile. Surely, any motorist knows how to check his tire pressure, oil, and can replace a flat when necessary. A car is an investment, and people who do not treat one as such do so to their detriment. A computer is no different.

Similarly, anyone using a computer should be able to understand and implement basic security practices and do minor OS and hardware maintenance and repairs. The fundamental problem is that people are just too damn lazy to learn how to do these simple things, and Symantec is capitalizing on that.

Re:I'm sorry, the computer is *NOT* a Toaster! (3, Insightful)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450926)

Actually, I flinch any time I see computers becoming more like cars.

I'm not going to claim that the automobile used to be an "open standard", but look at what's happened to them over the last century. They've gotten more complicated, but that complexity is hidden from the end user. It's created this culture that one shouldn't understand how their car works, and the knee-jerk reaction when something goes wrong is to take it to the dealership. As a result, dealerships get to charge hundreds of dollars for a bit of labour and $20 worth of metal in replacement parts. Want to fix it yourself? You still need their parts. Should have gotten an "open-source" car. Oh wait...

Whenever I see something like this, I worry that the same thing will eventually happen to the computing world. I don't think it's likely, I don't think it's impossible either.

Re:I'm sorry, the computer is *NOT* a Toaster! (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451033)

Not that I want to condone this use of a car analogy in a computing thread, but cars used to require far more work and knowledge to use than they do currently: starter crank, manual choke, spark timing adjustment etc. On modern cars these things are done automatically.

The trend in most devices is to gradually reduce the knowledge and work required of the user: Records -> CDs -> Solid state players, for example.

The fact that you think "users/drivers ought to know about these things" doesn't change the fact that they don't want to, and therefore the market will provide ways to automate the things they don't want to do.

Or buy an OS that isn't subject to this bullshit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451086)

The fundamental problem is that people are just too damn lazy to learn how to do these simple things

No, the problem is that the computer geek world in corporate America continues to support an OS that is a vast pile of diseased, steaming monkey shit. The poor home users want something that matches what is at work or is most popular, so they get stuck with this shitpile.

And then asshole I.T. folks pick on the home users when the home user, who just want to read a damned web page or send some email, is confronted with this huge array of invasive code. Home users with lives that, sorry geek-fucks, don't revolve around computers. I know hard working people in complicated careers who just don't have the time to maintain a Windows box to the level of care that the braindead broken thing needs. Many of them have gone to Macs where this bullshit is not required.

I can operate and maintain a car without having to install a patch every goddamned day. The whole car analogy just shows how bugfuck stupid most geeks are outside of computer knowledge.

FUCK YOU, I.T. ASSHOLES! Fuck your miserable hides to hell. You made the world this way by buying Microsoft SHIT over and over again. I KNOW former IT people who admit to me (now that they are out of the industry) they picked Windows because it justified their jobs.

So shut the fuck up with your criticism and blaming of the victim bullshit.

Yeah, mod this down, but many of you out there know this is true.

Tradeoff (4, Insightful)

British (51765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450826)

What would you rather have your Windows box devote most of its resources doing?

1. spyware/malware/adaware
2. Excessive amount of utilities from various vendors to prevent spyware/malware/adaware.

Oh that's how it works! The anti-spyware TSRs take up so much memory there's no room left for teh evil sofwtare to get a foot in!

Re:Tradeoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450899)

> What would you rather have your Windows box devote most of its resources doing?

Why, what it does now: holding a door open.

I don't like this (1)

3770 (560838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450832)

I don't like the fact that we have to run all these scanners to look for viruses and worms and spyware and what have you.

It is because of a flawed operating system design being operated by, in general, the computer morons out there that is 90% of our society. Most of the computer users will always be clueless, and that is why we need a safe operating system.

Although Windows is flawed in this respect I must admit that I'm a computer professional that has been around for a while, and I didn't foresee that we would get these massive problems. I used Windows 95 and although I complained about lots of stuff it never entered my mind to say "this is going to be vulnerable to worms and spyware".

So that is a bit of an excuse for Microsoft.

But that doesn't change the fact that this situation pi**es me off.

Re:I don't like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450967)

No it's not, microsoft has no excuse.

Any competent admin could have told you that running servers that you don't need is just begging for trouble.

All Microsoft had to do was disable all or most deamons by default, and then we wouldn't have had sasser or blaster spread so rapidly or to so many people. People rarely need the services that come with windows. And even if they do, they should only have to enable file sharing and remote control.

Windows is a piece of crap, and only now are the people at Microsoft beginning to realise what needs to be fixed.

so.. (0, Flamebait)

SQLz (564901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450833)

So I guess symantec is into writing virii and spyware now.

Two questions (1)

mollog (841386) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450849)

Two questions; Why should we have to buy a pro
Why is the major software vendor offering an add-on to protect its operating system?

That chaps my ass, Microsoft is making an operating system that makes the entire internet vulnerable and they're getting rich doing it.

For as long as Norton has been in business, its business has been propping up Microsofts POS OS.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450953)

It's called capitalism. Creating a first-class OS is not necessarily conducive to long-term cash flow.

They have to leave enough vulnerabilities to maintain relevance on an on-going basis.

Hmm, an advert masquerading as news... (4, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450857)

There are lots of spyware detection and removal applications out there for Windows. They're even pretty simple to install, use and are even fairly effective. This is product placement, not news.

Re:Hmm, an advert masquerading as news... (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451062)

Get the hammer out and break the submitter's fingers.

Why Did It Take Them So Long (1)

theManInTheYellowHat (451261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450885)

To get into this game? Their product line seems like it covers everything from virus protection to speed improvments to firewall stuff. And now very late (even after Microsoft) they release a "beta" version?

It's all a con (0, Flamebait)

Electric Eye (5518) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450894)

Anyone else convinced Symantec has a secret room somewhere with a bunch of Russian nerds developing new vriuses and spyware every day? This business is wayyyy too convenient for them.

On the other hand, M$ needs to integrate FREE spyware protection into its swiss cheese OSes.

Re:It's all a con (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451082)


The virus-developing nerds aren't actually Russian...the whole 'Russian hax0rz are so 1337' thing is propaganda disseminated by Symatec and other 'anti-virus' companies.


Simplicity is not always good (2, Informative)

Max_Abernethy (750192) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450951)

Their idea of simplicity was in my case just deleting my entire thunderbird mail archive because there was a viral attachment in some piece of mail it had junked. This was after I told it -not- to look at my mail because I was sick of getting notified about the 50 or so of those I receive daily. After that incident, I just uninstalled the damn thing - I've yet to catch any virii as far as I know.

Does it catch this piece of spyware? (1, Insightful)

bbzzdd (769894) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450963)

Computer as toaster (1)

mwood (25379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450977)

Funny, I never saw a toaster with gigs of removable storage, a 19" display, FireWire, and a state space of quadrillions of points. I think that the computer is, *of necessity*, a leeetle more complex than a toaster, and always will be. It's long past time for people who wish it weren't to get over it and join the rest of us in the real world.

Turn it around if you prefer: I never saw a word processor whose only preference was Light...Dark.

Einstein had it right: as simple as possible, but not simpler.

symantec is worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12450984)

if I actually used any symantec products, I think I might hate them more than Microsoft; all they do is leech off the weaknesses of the Windows OS. perhaps what pisses me off the most it that a long time ago, in times of great ignorance, I actually thought it was cool to use their version of Defrag.

Damn, sam! (1)

IdJit (78604) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450994)

Every damn body is coming out with anti-spyware!! Pretty soon, we'll be downloading anti-anti-spyware-ware.

Norton is useless (4, Interesting)

Sonar (70854) | more than 9 years ago | (#12450997)

Norton is not even that good at detecting Viruses on a computer, how are we supposed to think that it will actually detect Adware also? I highly doubt it. I, like many others on this forum have found that AVG and Trendmicro do a much better job at finding viruses than Norton. I will also stick with Lavasoft's adaware and Microsoft's (Giant) Antispyware to tackle my customer's computer problems.

I work at a "mom and pop" type computer store. 80% of these computers that come in had Norton Systemworks installed, with the latest definitions. Yet still they are full of viruses that both AVG and Trendmicro's Housecall detects. The sad part is, the sales of Symantec's products are driven by the need for Best Buy employees to sell more product. So with every new PC they are telling customers to spend money on useless virus scanning software.

The fact is, the best virus scanning and adware scanning software is completely free. Without any hitches. So why would I want to pay for anything when the free product is better in almost every way?

I have also found that Norton fails to uninstall properly in many comptuers. They even have removal utilities to remove their software. I think that this is completely rediculous. If software can't be removed properly from a machine, I dictate that this is no better than Malware. So in essence, installing Norton on your computer is no better than installing Bargian Buddy.

Re:Norton is useless (2, Informative)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451099)

When Peter Norton ran it, it was the best there was. Unfortunately it has been on a down hill slide since Symantec bought it. I clean more virii off computers that have Norton installed than any other AV product.

What I use in the white box store I work in is Ad-Aware & Spybot for ad/spy/malware and Trend for virus cleanups. I have found that McAfee is also very good at clean up. Fprot seems to be the best at prevention, we have used it on everything in the store for over 3 years and I have had it at home for 2+ years and no virus has ever made it in. I switched at home when Norton let one in. It was the only one ever to get in one of my boxes in 15 years, I was seriously pissed.

What the average user needs. (1)

Skraut (545247) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451055)

People do not want privacy software, firewall, antivirus, spyware, adware and blended threats. The average individual is saying I don't want this anymore. Just fix it.

Then the average user needs this [] I hate to sound like an Apple fanboy because I've only had mine for the past few months. But after spending all day fixing spyware/adware/viruses on PC's it is nice to come home to the Mini and USE the computer.

Sorry about the AC, but the whole damn problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451059)

Is this toaster/microwave mentality. If you want a toaster on the internet, buy a msnTV, or some other "dumb" terminal. More game consoles should work on making functional browsers for them. Sega had the right idea with the dreamcast, but just horrible execution. Computers are not appliances. They are tools. Tools require proper maintanance and use for them to be safe and work properly. An appliance just does what its supposed to do with minimal oversight and maintanance. Symantec is just further contributing to the problem if they inject this type of mentality and false sense of security into the market place, and does not deserve our funding. As one of the "front line" soldiers on the internet, I see on a daily basis that these products do very little to keep the pox off peoples computers, regardless of how often they are upgraded.

Best software to remove spyware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12451065)

Click here [] for the best software to remove spyware for free. ;D

Company Issues Press Release (3, Funny)

Proteus (1926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12451068)


According to popular Internet news/blog site Slashdot ( [] ), well-known companty Symantec has, in an unprecedented act, issued a press release in order to promote its products.

"This is truly a breakthrough in marketing approaches," said a Slashdot employee who asked not to be identified, "never before has a company gone to such lengths to promote a product. Slashdot is proud to break the news of this historic event." While some believe that this was an inevitable extension of current marketing approaches, many more are stunned by the sudden change in tactics.

Mary Weatherspoon, a seasoned marketing consultant, is one of those surprised by Symantec's sudden release. "The whole industry has been turned upside-down. We'd heard inklings of using mass-media to promote products, but none of us had ever thought about treating new products -- especially products that aren't really groundbreaking -- as actual, hand-to-god news," she said.

Slashdot management did not respond to requests for comment before deadline.

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