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Symantec Hopes To Deliver Anti-Virus Online

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the no-more-delivery-media dept.

Security 148

daria42 writes "Symantec today said it will slowly move towards supplying its consumer applications online as services." From the article: "Sykes also said there was the possibility that tiny pieces of an application or a single virus scan could be resold by organisations such as online banks, which may choose to ensure their customers are not infected with a virus or spyware before they log on to their account ... This could be paid for by the customer using their credit card or by adding it to their mobile phone bill by sending a text message, said Sykes, who warned that banks could decide not to provide access to anyone with an infected computer."

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Broken Internet (5, Interesting)

theRiallatar (584902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211265)

What happens when a virus or spyware cripples your ability to launch the service via the web? What happens when you want to boot into a safe, standalone environment (no web access) and scan?

Re:Broken Internet (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211324)

Well, in the former case, I guess you're going to have to get someone tech-savvy to sort things out, and in the latter, you're going to have to have the full-pop version.

Re:Broken Internet (1)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211326)

It sounds to me like the perfect place for a two fronted attack. 1) An online virus scan at your bank/credit card/stock trading website and 2) A virus scan that runs in a 'safe, standalone environment'. It would be best if the two scanners worked on different algorithms so that if one was tricked odds are the other would not be.

Thats why I use AVG at home and still scan with varous online AV programs.

Re:Broken Internet (2, Interesting)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211813)

An online virus scan at your bank/credit card/stock trading website

So... does that mean I have to install an ActiveX component on my browser? Or perhaps enable a JAVA applet? Do I have to wait for the bank to scan my entire HD every time I want to check my balance? Does this require me to use IE? Can I still check my balance using Linux or OSX computers?

Don't get me wrong. I certainly understand that safety is important, and I support the idea of an ISP dropping a customer off of the net if their computer is infected / a spam bot until corrective action is taken. But really, websites requiring scans? Hmm...

Re:Broken Internet (2, Insightful)

exclusive_lock (922744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211414)

Additionally, I guess we might expect a whole slew of bogus "Symantec Anti-Virus check online! Click here!" that actually propagate trojans and whatnot to unsuspecting users.
You could get really paranoid and wonder if they are keeping a record of all you filenames, folders, etc. And if you're a repeating offender, will the bank ban you or (OMG!) even file a lawsuit against you?

Re:Broken Internet (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211553)

> Additionally, I guess we might expect a whole slew of bogus "Symantec Anti-Virus check online! Click here!" that actually propagate trojans and whatnot to unsuspecting users.

And after that, since the "software as a service" business model relies on the software always phoning home to what it assumes is a "trusted" source, and immediately executing whatever it's sent (or worse, listening on all ports for "update" requests :), all the worm authors need to do is make it download the next trusted update from trustme.synnantec.cn instead of trusted.symantec.com.

Re:Broken Internet (1)

Shisha (145964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211913)

I'm worried for the opposite reason. On Linux or Mac, the antivirus probably won't run, simply because it'll be a windows only thing. Would the bank ban me from using their website, because it couldn't confirm that my computer was "clean"?

And even if they let me log in, but increase the banking charges to cover their payments to Symantec, what should I, as a Mac user do? Or as Windows user who trust AVG more and has thus payed for an AVG license? Or even worse as a Linux user, where I'm forced to pay Windows tax pretty much every time I buy a computer and now I would be forced to pay Symantec tax, becase Windows is so insecure? This is just getting ridiculous!

Re:Broken Internet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211437)

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Right, they can't even do it off-line.... (0, Flamebait)

MeBadMagic (619592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211272)

Why would you even try to force a user to use and infected IE to fix itself. Sounds like a loosing battle to me.....

Re:Right, they can't even do it off-line.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211697)

Windoz is a virus!!!!
Everybody has IT! IT IS A VIREUS!!111
LUINIX Is thE FufTErE!11111

Fleecing gits (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211279)

And what if I want to scan my machine using other, free AV solutions? And what if I am on (gulp) Linux, or a Mac? Punished for the actions of the majority? Tch-oh.

Virusscan on Mac OSX? (0)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211343)

Why would you scan a Mac for viruses? To my knowledge, there are some trojan horses, but there aren't any OSX viruses. Now, Mac OS9 and earlier is a different story (there were viruses aplenty) but the old OS was quite different it its design.

Macs can pass Windows viruses on to other Windows machines if a virus-laden attachment is forwarded from a Mac to a Windows box. But that's their problem.

Re:Virusscan on Mac OSX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14212083)

"Why would you scan a Mac for viruses? To my knowledge, there are some trojan horses, but there aren't any OSX viruses."

HeHe... Hey boss, they still think there aren't any viruses for the Mac. Just wait until we...
*smack* SHUT UP YOU IDIOT!

Re:Fleecing gits (1)

griffjon (14945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212058)

Or if you opt not to pay for the "service" ?

OTOH, if this were M$ doing this, I'd be much more concerned, but there's still some competition among the AV vendors, and enough Mac and *nix users that the banks probably won't block them all out for not being able to run some activeX virus control.

Plus, who relies on a web service to check their system for virii? That seems... uh.... mildly stupid, giving admin rights to a web app. I'd presume it'd be signed and whatnot, but still...

a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211291)

meanwhile, huge numbers of people save the annual $40 cost of antivirus software or whatever and put that money toward a Macintosh.

Re:a waste of money (2, Funny)

Rialtus (569868) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211734)

...where they go and buy Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh [symantec.com] .

Re:a waste of money (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212043)

Which is pretty much pointless, as there are no viruses that can affect Mac OS X.

Of course, there's this scenario: a Mac user receives a virus-infected file from a PC user; it won't harm his computer at all; but if he sends the same file to another PC user, then that PC will probably be infected. That is the only use for an anti-virus on Mac OS X; the Mac is safe, the weakest link is always Windows.

The day when people quit using Windows is the day when anti-malware developers will go bankrupt.

Re:a waste of money (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212162)

Symantec *IS* a virus.

In communist Russia... (1, Funny)

spazmolytic666 (549909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211292)

the viruses scan you!

Re:In communist Russia... (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211841)

In communist Russia, everything does it to you - get over it or move.

Linux? (4, Interesting)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211294)

So, uh... what about those of us that run just linux? Will banks assume we're clean, or will they just lock us out because Symantec's stuff returns an error? That's a pretty big concern.

Re:Linux? (1)

Criliric (879949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211321)

Wait... They make viruses for linux....
hmmmmm... haven't gotten one yet

Re:Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211565)

My wife puts all the viruses on the computers around my house. But you run Linux, so you probably don't have a girl.

Re:Linux? (2, Insightful)

MankyD (567984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211556)

Will banks assume we're clean...?
I hope not. Not for fear of linux viruses one way or the other, but because of browser (http header) spoofing. There's no sure fire way of knowing someone's browser and os. You need a plugin or extension that provides authentication (a feature I'm sure these AV services provide.)

Re:Linux? (1)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211789)

they will keep operating like normal and won't integrate symantec's garbage. think of the number of clients a bank has times the cost of a license for this. besides that, it limits the number of customers that can use their service. i know guys that work for the IT dept. of banks and none of them are fans of Symantec's products.

Sometimes online isn't a good idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211305)

Thankfully I've already moved away from Symantec products. There are some situations where offering software as online services is not necessarily the best idea. I would put critical system utilities in that category.

Re:Sometimes online isn't a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14212104)

There are some situations where offering software as online services is not necessarily the best idea

Maybe we can all log in to some big Norton pcAnyWhere 11.x server and access the bank
via VNC-like remote control of Symantec's safer machine on the Internet?

Re:Sometimes online isn't a good idea (1)

Elixon (832904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212177)

I agree.

It will only confuse the customers. How can you trust to the anti-virus scanner taht is downloaded over the web? How will the user know that this is not the real virus pretending to be on-line anti-virus?

Download this plugin here to play flash, that plugin there to access e-bank, that plugin over there to be secured against viruses, download here the virus to have all your data deleted... download download download - it will make people used to click on every "ACCEPT" button that pops-up.

"Click here to download and scan your computer against the viruses!" - It reminds me something - isn't it the way how the malware tries to sneak in your PC already? :-))

I'm afraid that it will create just bigger security problem in hands of internet users who are not tech-savvy...!

I don't want to (4, Insightful)

NotoriousGOD (936922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211327)

What if I don't want to pay my bank for a stupid virus service. My bank should be a BANK. What, is Norton going to help me save money in a high interest bearing account now? Businesses should stick to what they do, so they do it best, instead of trying to be "user friendly".

Re:I don't want to (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211459)

Because everyone knows that banks get a lot of viruses from people checking their account balances online....it's like the easiest way to trasmit a virus into a bank's critical systems....by checking your account balance....yeah! /heavy sarcasm

Re:I don't want to (1)

NotoriousGOD (936922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211473)

I crashed B of A last week with the Cookie Monster Virus and checking my bank account at 11:11pm. I was pissed off because they gave me an overdraft charge.

Re:I don't want to (1)

donnyspi (701349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211980)

The banks won't be doing this to protect their end of things, they're doing it to protect the virus from capturing your login stuff and sending it to someone. That's my guess anyway.

Saves your bank time, money. (1)

massysett (910130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211861)

I don't think they're trying to be user friendly. They're just not interested in fielding calls from customers who have suffered fraud because some spyware keystroke logger ripped off the customer's online banking ID, which was then used to transfer money to some crook. The bank is trying to protect itself, which then in turn helps the customer. Seems like a good idea to me.

Re:Saves your bank time, money. (1)

NotoriousGOD (936922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211907)

But this means that the bank would have a right to stop you from accessing your online bankaccount and then force you to pay for a service that's not even delivered by the bank, but a third party. And secondly, how in the world is anyone going to transfer a virus or keystroke logger by logging into their bank account. Maybe the banks should get a better web programmer and look up the definition of 'security' in a standard dictionary.

This is news? (4, Informative)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211333)

McAfee's been doing this for years and when I was doing tech support, I frequently recommended my customers use Trend Micro HouseCall [trendmicro.com] , a free online virus scan, whenever their current virus scanner wasn't working or wasn't installed.

Re:This is news? (1)

madman101 (571954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211381)

Didn't read the article, did you? Symantec has also been doing what you're talking about for a long time, but that's not what the article is about.

Re:This is news? (1)

the chao goes mu (700713) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211708)

Responding without reading the article? On slashdot? I am shocked.

No guaranties (3, Insightful)

BentSorenDahl (879286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211346)

"... which may choose to ensure their customers are not infected with a virus or spyware before they log on to their account."

Just because the antivirus scanner doesn't find anything doesn't nessesarily need to mean that there are none.

Uh, no thanks... (5, Insightful)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211351)

Every time I see a pop-up advertisement that says:

"YOUR COMPUTER COULD BE INFECTED WITH SPYWARE - CLICK HERE"

It sends up huge red flags for me, and I always shut them down without clicking. I've seen so many of them (wanting to optimize my Windows, etc.) that I'm now gun shy of any such remote scanning application.

I'll be thinking long and hard about letting anything scan my system through my firewall.

Steve

Re:Uh, no thanks... (3, Funny)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211510)

"Your registry has 42 errors!"

Yikes, I'm on a Mac, I'm suprised it's only 42 :)

Whoa there nellie... not such a hot idea... (4, Insightful)

Akardam (186995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211352)

Maybe I'm a bit jaded at having been in the computer support industry for too long, but with the proliferation of nasties these days that disrupt internet connectivity in one form or another, I'm skeptical as to whether this is going to actually work. Hell, a good percentage of infections these days, be they viruses or malware, require manual cleaning, often from safe mode or self contained non-volatile bootable media. Even Symantec overwhelmingly recommends booting to safe mode to clean infections in most of their AV DB articles.

eh... (1)

FooMasterZero (515781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211355)

Well not likley because someone is likely to scream discrimination of sorts. As in the real world everyone is *supposed* to be treated fairly even if you can't control yourself ('severely handicapped').

I would imagine that if anything comes of this idea, is that just a server side detection mechanisim that sells ads to vistors saying something similar to spam ads like your computer is infected blah blah blah. However if that ad came from my bank and I was aware that they had this kind of service i would be more inclined to investigate further.

Let me add another concern... (4, Interesting)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211378)

If I were a credit institute/bank/whatever, I'd:

Step 1: Offer virus scanning for a charge
Step 2: Require my customers to be virus-free
Step 3: Since I can only be sure they are virus-free after they have been checked (With my scanner, since I can't be bothered to support other peoples solutions): PROFIT!

Add to this the legitimate question about other OSes and AV-solutions and you have a bona fide extortion scheme.
But then, I'm a computer scientist, so I don't do "online banking" anyway...

Re:Let me add another concern... (1)

knight37 (864173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211413)

I don't think that's a big concern. Any bank that tries this will watch their tech-savy customers flee to other banks, leaving their online services a deserted wasteland.

Re:Let me add another concern... (2, Insightful)

nuremon (791801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211546)

Yes, look at how effective the tech-savvy population has been in affecting other online institution's practices... Oh wait, the average dumb computer-user still outpopulates (and breeds quicker)

Re:Let me add another concern... (1)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211605)

Where have I implied otherwise? Did I say "Let's all <whatever>, so they don't try this scheme!"?

I speak for mayself and myself only. And for me it is a concern, based on prior experience with "business practices". That doesn't mean I think there's anything I (or even some metaphysical "we") could or should do about it.

Web Based Scanning Won't Cut It (3, Insightful)

knight37 (864173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211382)

Who cares? Who even uses this crap? If you don't have an active virus-shield style app scanning all the time you're just asking to get infected these days. I can't count the number of times that AntiVir Personal Edition [free-av.com] virus shield (free for individual home use) has saved me from a virus or trojan while browsing. If I had to rely on a web-based scanner I'd be infected FIRST before I knew about it later.

Re:Web Based Scanning Won't Cut It (0, Troll)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211550)

Frankly, if you're open to getting a virus or trojan WHILE BROWSING, you're using the wrong browser/OS.

There are plenty of options where this just isn't a possibility. Use one, any one.

Re:Web Based Scanning Won't Cut It (1)

bloo9298 (258454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211575)

Really? I have never been infected with a virus, and I don't bother with anti-virus software. Yes, I do use Windows, but I monitor the system myself and run code in sandboxes when I deem it necessary.

Re:Web Based Scanning Won't Cut It (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211673)

I used to agree with this sentiment. But I no longer do with the appearance of "zero day" viruses with malicious code. Add to that most virus scanners do not detect all virus' and many windows users are in a precarious position.

You are most likely infected and just do not know it it yet. I bet 90% of Windows users are in this boat.

I would qualify that this applies to those that are connected to the internet. And since you are posting to slashdot, I do believe you are connected to the internet.

An "I can't be affected by a virus" is a very arrogant attitude to have these days.

Re:Web Based Scanning Won't Cut It (1)

pebs (654334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212268)

I would qualify that this applies to those that are connected to the internet. And since you are posting to slashdot, I do believe you are connected to the internet.
An "I can't be affected by a virus" is a very arrogant attitude to have these days.


How about an "I'm not very likely to be affected by a virus" attitude?
$ uname -a
Linux pebs 2.6.12-10-k7 #1 Fri Nov 18 12:46:18 UTC 2005 i686 GNU/Linux
or
$ uname -a
Darwin pebsmac-Computer.local 8.3.0 Darwin Kernel Version 8.3.0: Mon Oct 3 20:04:04 PDT 2005; root:xnu-792.6.22.obj~2/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc
But seriously, on a Windows PC I don't bother with realtime scanners (of any kind, virus or spyware). If a zero-day exploit is gonna get past it, what is the point in taking the performance penalty anyway? I only run a nightly ClamAV scan, that's it. It's a slight risk, but one I'm willing to accept considering how I use my PC. Most exploits happen through Internet Explorer, official IM clients like AIM, and mail trojans and other kinds of trojans; and none of those affect me.

Re:Web Based Scanning Won't Cut It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14212094)

If I relied on a virus scanner for online security instead of common sense, I'd be infected too.

Reporting to the bank ? (1)

duplo1 (719988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211403)

I must admit that I didn't read TFA but the summary suggests that banks could reject logins from infected computers. Clearly the scan result would have to be submitted to the bank server, or a client-side script could verify the negative scan result. This would be much cheaper than using server/agent solution that many corporations employ for corporate desktops and applications. Of course this would force viruses to spoof these results, thus negating any benefit until the information is cryptographically protected. Not a bad idea.

I've got a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211427)

Why don't you just sell this to the banks and other online services so they can now offer it to their customers for free as being part of a featured advertisement. I can see a ton of people being inclined to choose the online banking service that offers free online anti-virus rather than the one without it. Plus, it can then be controlled and updated by people actually knowing what they're doing rather than leaving it in the hands of Joe Schmoe. It's a win win for everybody. Customers get more security and for free, banks get more security and more customers.

Punk Buster (5, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211444)

This model for killing viruses sounds very much like the code gamers are getting used to seeing.

Its down to trust.

Before you can come on MY website, you have to run MY code. If you run my code and it gives the wrong result, then your fucked.

Problems, OS dependence, other people have mentioned already, but another is security - what kind of permissions do I have to give to allow arbitary code to be run which can access the running list of applications and OS internals, how do I know the code being run is safe?

Would you really feel safe opening up so much of your machine for a general internet site?

We are moving away from internet explorer and the nightmare of activeX, lets not go back to it.

After thought, if the banks implimented this as a standalone application and it did this scan as part of its initial authentication (like the gaming world), I would be less bothered than expecting this kind of code to be run in a browser. strange isn't it.

Bad idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211454)

So, in order to access my bank account, I have to agree to let the bank install software on my computer that will examine all the files and programs running on my computer and report back to the bank. If I don't agree with their policy, I don't get to have a bank account? Whatever happend to unreasonable search an seasure laws?

Re:Bad idea (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211974)

Whatever happend to unreasonable search an seasure laws?

Online banking is an option. Use the physical bank if you are paranoid.

-everphilski-

Linux ? (1)

siropel (802188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211456)

how about a linux live cd that is configured to automaticly get on the net via DHCP and with a webbrowser? ...and no open ports
oh ...wait ...we already have that [ubuntulinux.org] ..

4 hours to do online banking? (3, Insightful)

sckeener (137243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211463)

Are they only going to scan active processes running? My virus scans take forever.

I can imagine trying to connect to my bank and waiting for the virus scan. I will getting bored and wander off. Then the bank would kick me off due to inactivity because it finished the scan while I wasn't looking.

Re:4 hours to do online banking? (1)

Avohir (889832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211816)

it will most likely be a "stinger" style scan, only checking for major known threats. And since the threats Symantec knows about could fit onto a postage stamp, my guess is scan time wont be an issue

ActiveX loveliness? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211484)

So lets get this straight:

I log into my online banking site.
It downloads (perhaps w/o my permission) and ActiveX component that scans my system.
It says I'm ok, so I can log in.

Except what if I have ActiveX disabled?
What happens if I use a Mac/Linux/BSD?
What happens if my native language isn't English?
What happens if I'm not running WinXP2000Plus?
What happens if I am running IE version 5.5.0123456 with HotFix 7890?

This sounds like a "hey we need money, and our traditional channels aren't making enough, so lets create a ficticious need, and then offer a solution to it!" move.

Re:ActiveX loveliness? (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211552)

Oh, oh, and:

What happens if I haven't set my computer up in such a dumb way as to delibrately allow web sites to scan my HD.

I'm twitchy enough about letting Javascript run on my system, I avoid Active X like the plague...

Re:ActiveX loveliness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14212284)

Except what if I have ActiveX disabled?

You'll be asked to upgrade your browser.

What happens if I use a Mac/Linux/BSD?

You'll be asked to upgrade your browser.

What happens if I'm not running WinXP2000Plus?

You'll be asked to upgrade your browser.

What happens if I am running IE version 5.5.0123456 with HotFix 7890?

You'll be asked to upgrade your browser.

I think your missing the point people.. (2, Insightful)

msimm (580077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211528)

What interest is it of the banks to purchase such a product? Everything comes down to the bottom line, hows this going to help?

Just because some exec comes up with a snassy (new?) idea and starts talking it up doesn't mean it will find its home in the marketplace.

To me this sounds annoying, plain and simple. As a bank exec I'd really be scratching my head trying to figure out how my customers win (which makes me win).

Let your voice be heard BEFORE it happens (1)

jacobcaz (91509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211536)

Maybe it's time to start a letter writing campaign? Make your voice heard before this happens. Banks like you keeping your money there, if they start getting letters from members letting them know accounts will be closed before this becomes defacto for online banking it will carry more weight.

You do not run your code on my computer (1)

techmuse (160085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211551)

Any bank that tried this would loose my business that day. You do not blackmail me into running your code on my computer. Why should I trust your code, or even allow it on my machine? Why should I pay for the privilege of accessing my own money through the bank? And why would a bank care what I check my balance with anyway? I'm not uploading files to the bank, I'm sending HTTP requests over SSL to its web server. If I can somehow infect its servers from my computer, the bank has a HUGE problem (there is no reason why this should be possible.) Plus, I have my own virus scanning software, and no interest in purchasing theirs too. So try to pull that one, you loose a customer immediately.

Re:You do not run your code on my computer (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211838)

Loose customers are good, they can catch all the loose business.

Re:You do not run your code on my computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211961)

I'm not uploading files to the bank, I'm sending HTTP requests over SSL to its web server. If I can somehow infect its servers from my computer, the bank has a HUGE problem (there is no reason why this should be possible.)

Unless they're running an unpatched IIS [cert.org] .

Norton used to be decent. (3, Informative)

beeswax (65749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211586)

Norton was decent when Peter Norton used to run the show. When he sold his company to Symantec, I have noticed the software turn into bloated crap. People seem to believe Norton is the best still, it used to be great in the mid-90s, but now it is garbage.

For anyone that buys Norton, I would try Nod32 instead, I think it is the best one out there if you're willing to spend money.

For those of you who prefer a free antivirus, I would try Antivir, it is much better than AVG.

Re:Norton used to be decent. (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211653)

Symantec is a great example of what happens when PHBs make important product decisions. Bloated crapware is an inevitable result of so many 'marketing initiatives'.

Trend Micro already does this... (1)

MI_Siberian (937272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211592)

Nice of Symantec to decide to catch up. TrendMicro's House Call [trendmicro.com] site offers an free online virus scan that is able to detect and remove any virus that can be removed with their other products. It's an ActiveX control based scanner though so it's not cross platform, though the biggest need for this service is by far windows. Very useful site, has saved me a ton of headaches with remote users who have been infected by viruses that have taken down their local virus scanner (usually symantec) by killing it's process.

Re:Trend Micro already does this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211866)

bah. didnt work on my win2k box.
2005-12-08 12:46:42.550 SEVERE [java:hc.impl.lib.activeupdate.UpdateImpl#Native] Update error=47, The downloaded zip file is corrupt. The downloaded file size is different from the one on the server. Please retry downloading or contact Trend Micro technical support.
VM::Memory:3792
2005-12-08 12:46:58.81 SEVERE [java:hc.impl.lib.activeupdate.UpdateImpl#Native] Update error=47, The downloaded zip file is corrupt. The downloaded file size is different from the one on the server. Please retry downloading or contact Trend Micro technical support.
2005-12-08 12:47:02.878 SEVERE [java:hc.impl.lib.activeupdate.UpdateImpl#Native] Update error=47, The downloaded zip file is corrupt. The downloaded file size is different from the one on the server. Please retry downloading or contact Trend Micro technical support.
2005-12-08 12:47:04.706 SEVERE [java:hc.applet.process.UpdateActiveUpdate] Failed to update:updating-pattern-grayware
com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.pattern.Pattern NotFoundException: com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.pattern.Pattern NotFoundException: The Pattern was not found under:C:\Documents and Settings\.\.housecall\Pattern\tmadce.ptn
        at com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.engine.Engine.g etPattern(Engine.java:358)
        at hc.applet.process.ScanSystemGrayware.run(Unknown Source)
        at hc.applet.process.ProcessQueue$Worker.run(Unknown Source)
2005-12-08 12:47:04.737 SEVERE [java:hc.applet.process.UpdateActiveUpdate] Failed to store pattern version for pattern 'malware', caused by ; com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.pattern.Pattern NotFoundException: The Pattern was not found under:C:\Documents and Settings\.\.housecall\Pattern
2005-12-08 12:47:04.737 SEVERE [java:hc.applet.process.UpdateActiveUpdate] Failed to store pattern version for pattern 'grayware', caused by ; com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.pattern.Pattern NotFoundException: The Pattern was not found under:C:\Documents and Settings\.\.housecall\Pattern
2005-12-08 12:47:04.737 SEVERE [java:hc.applet.process.UpdateActiveUpdate] Failed to store pattern version for pattern 'system-malware', caused by ; com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.pattern.Pattern NotFoundException: The Pattern was not found under:C:\Documents and Settings\.\.housecall\Pattern\tsc.ptn
2005-12-08 12:47:04.737 SEVERE [java:hc.applet.process.UpdateActiveUpdate] Failed to store pattern version for pattern 'system-grayware', caused by ; com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.pattern.Pattern NotFoundException: The Pattern was not found under:C:\Documents and Settings\.\.housecall\Pattern\tmadce.ptn
com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.pattern.Pattern NotFoundException: com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.pattern.Pattern NotFoundException: The Pattern was not found under:C:\Documents and Settings\.\.housecall\Pattern
        at com.trendmicro.web.housecall.share.engine.Engine.g etPattern(Engine.java:358)
        at hc.applet.process.ScanStorage.run(Unknown Source)
        at hc.applet.process.ProcessQueue$Worker.run(Unknown Source)

Re:Trend Micro already does this... (1)

femoric (917986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212160)

symantec also has had a similar free online scan for quite some time now.

Re:Trend Micro already does this... (1)

MI_Siberian (937272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212246)

Last time I tried to Symantec's wouldn't disinfect though, it just pointed and the virus and went "OMG Go buy our product now!"

Before offering it for sale to service providers.. (1)

cecil36 (104730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211596)

I would tell Symantec that their product must be able to run as advertised on additional hardware and software platforms. If poorly designed and implemented, there will be a huge detrimental impact to consumers who will get angry with their online banks, merchants, or even their ISP and could very well stick it to these companies and Symantec where it counts...the pocketbook.

Symantec and Norton nearly as bad as the viruses (1)

DulcetTone (601692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211607)

The clumsy, bloated feel to the leading AV "solutions" always seem pretty much like spyware to me.

Long processes running at startup.
Little do-nothing-of-value icons in the task tray.
Pop-up windows artlessly trying to sell me a subscription renewal, and referring me to a web page with so many links and visual clutter than I don't even know which product thereon is MINE.

I do all the computing I can these days on my Powerbook, and try to restrict the types of computing on the XP box to those which reduce my risk to the utmost. When I even think of viruses, I run one of the vastly more considerately crafted second-tier players such as Grisoft -- ones that run on a "when you invoke them" basis, and don't sit there trying to secure the many vulnerabilities of day-to-day WIndows use.

There are so many threats these days that the best defense, I feel, has to center on avoiding the most attacked platform or your computing time is largely spent actively offsetting risk. Don't want to get wet? Come in out of the rain.

tone

A new level of technological advancement... (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211615)

...to the rear! Now NAV can bone your PC over the Internet without having to do it the old fashioned way by installing it!

Oh joy. All we need is a BHO that leeches onto ports 25 and 110 in IE just waiting for an IE weakness to be exploited turning every open browser into an open relay, never mind is bogged down by system processes causing it to pause long enough to timeout connections to your mail server.

Call Me Crazy... (1)

Avohir (889832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211622)

but shouldn't they put effort into making their anti-virus work locally before they try to put it on the web?


show of hands, how many of you have seen Norton stop being enabled at startup for no apparent reason? How many of you have found a virus norton either A. cant remove, or B. cant find. Ever noticed how much memory it takes up even when you're not running a scan? How many friends and family do you know who have just let their protection expire because their subscription renewal service was too laborious to slog through?


They've got the cart several miles ahead of the horse, and its sad because way back in the day, Norton was truly a great product. Unfortunately it has become a Frankenstein's monster of bloated ineffectiveness, and it shows no hint of reversing the trend. I'll stick with http://www.nod32.com/ [nod32.com] for now.

Re:Call Me Crazy... (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211773)

Norton was truly a great product

Yep, but not anymore. When I removed NAV from one of my customer's computers, it saved over 3 minutes in bootup time. Unfortunately, he had already bought the product before asking me first.

Recently, I saw a deal for Norton, where after rebate you could get the product for free. I just kept on walking.

Re:Call Me Crazy... (1)

BFaucet (635036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211804)

So true!

What's really sad is the unwashed masses don't realize their little Norton programs don't protect them from crap! They aren't the least bit cautious of opening that unexpected zip archive their friend sent them.

Whenever a friend/family member asks me to get rid of a virus I uninstal Norton before even trying to get rid of the virus and install AVG Free.

So now they want us to pay twice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211626)

"This could be paid for by the customer"

Um I don't think so. How about the cost could be absorbed by the bank. Any bank that tried to pass this cost onto me would lose my custom. I already have antivirus protection on my PC... why the hell should I pay for it again?

Quite worrying... (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211642)

If consumers get used to allowing their banks to execute code on their systems, then they become even more vulnerable to phishing scams... Phishing sites will have their own "virus checking" tools, just like the real banks, except these tools will install malware instead of trying to remove it..

Also virus checkers will be useless against more targetted attacks which are being seen more often nowadays, small attacks against customers of a particular organisation which don`t become widespread enough to get noticed by antivirus vendors..

And finally those of us not using windows systems or not using ie may get turned away since we're not able to run the virus checker (and most likely wouldn`t need to in any case).. I don`t think firefox provides a way to execute code with access to your local filesystem (for obvious security reasons) in the same way that activex does.

Said it before and I'll say it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211645)

Anti Virus is a racket [wikipedia.org]

And drive a car powered by propetual motion (1)

qray (805206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211723)

By delivering security features such as virus scanning online, Sykes believes the footprint of its applications will no longer be an issue: "Once you move to the service situation then the footprint becomes almost irrelevant.

So by this reasoning, if we made the OS, word processors, spreadsheets all services, we could all go back to the orignal 64k PC's with 8088's running at 4mhz? I think I still have my Timex Sinclair with 16k at home, maybe I'll be able to put that to some use now.
--
Q

Oh brother. (1)

Chr0nik (928538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211768)

What happens to all this talent and product they are absorbing by sucking up all these small (and large)companies? Surely someone at symantec knew this was silly.

Why doesn't symantec sell any of @stakes products? What are those guys doing now?

Seems like a lot of things they acquire just stagnate or simply cease to exist alltogether.

I'm actually afraid that that might happen with the veritas purchase.

Don't get me wrong they are on the ball with a lot of stuff, but this kind of thing really gets you scratching your head.

crapware and misleading advertising (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211798)

Once Norton Utilies was good, Partition Magic was good, and NAV wasn't annoying. Now NAV significantly slows down performance, and for the personal edition, requires it revalidate itself over the internet all the time REQUIRING user input. So... I removed NAV from most of my computers; NAV is supposed to be seamless. And some of us STILL want to check for viruses offline.

Personally, I think this is an attempt by Symantec to grab an opportunity for advertising revenue.

And Symantec already has TOTALLY BOGUS REBATE OFFERS. I bought All of the above products (though NAV was an OEM bundle). When I upgraded every one of them with the promise of rebate, I got 3 rejection letters. First, they said they couldn't find my previous registration for PM or accept my s/n (though I religiously register, cause it was PQ, so they didn't move over support etc.) Next, they didn't allow my OEM as an "upgrade". The only reason I bought the software was because of the rebate; and the processing (3 months) meant that it was way too late to return. Not to mention that Symantec's PM handily corrupted every volume I merged.

Anyway... crapware... liars... don't buy the products...

Re:crapware and misleading advertising (1)

amrust (686727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212015)

I wish I could mod this up, for the rebate info. That's just sad.

What about the wait (1)

chrisjwray (717883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211810)

A typical norton scan of my PC takes about 40mins. Does this mean I cant log into my online banking until the scan is finished and the results sent back. I could walk to my branch quicker than that!!

What about the poor people on dial up connections.

Yes sir, (1)

eheldreth (751767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211820)

we can fix this weak gate guarding your fort, all we need to do is cut hole from this part of the wall and plaster it into place at the gate. I mean using an internet service to scan for a virus is just aking for problems. It can, will, and is probably as we speak being hacked and exploited to the whims of the black hat masses. If its not on your computer how can you trust it will not be used as the method of infection for some virus.

Sorry... (1)

mymaxx (924704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211829)

I don't trust Symantec's junkware. Their software is slow and bloated. The day my bank requires this will be the day I find a new bank.

lol, stupid fuckers (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211863)

I bank with $sys$Sony, scan away

For security: customized version of Mozilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14211870)

Banks could make a version of Moz. (with custom interface even) that *only* connects to their system and breaks the web -- this would stop the trojans from snooping passwords, be free to users, be relatively small to use, and be an easy choice for people who are worried about viri on their machines.

I thought they already were... (1)

EWIPlayer (881908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211886)

I mean, last time i looked on my favourite torrent site, it was already there.

The banks should not charge you (1)

tscheez (71929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211896)

I would have a problem if my bank wanted to run some software on my computer. But that is me, and I am sure alot of the /. crowd. However, the basic user may not care about viruses. If their software finds a virus/spyware app it should remove it free of charge, it also should point the person to somewhere to get a good reliable AV software. It is in the bank's interest to keep the computer virus free, since if your account is accessed and used fraudulently, they are going to replace the money in your account. Anything to prevent a several hundred dollar loss if it costs them $.05 it would be worth it to them.

This is about their security (0, Flamebait)

Inaffect (862616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211905)

I'm willing to bet that this is an issue of software piracy prevention, and really has very little to do with better anti-virus protection. Symantec has been releasing the same product over and over for years with miniscule changes... Now if they move their subscription-based services strictly to online use, maybe they can get some of the people that are using the software illegally out of the picture.

Most people on a tight budget who are wising up are probably going towards AVG, Avast, and other free virus protection software for Windows anyway - is Norton Antivirus even useful anymore? (psst.. the answer is no)

Virus Scans Galore! (1)

WolfZombie (918513) | more than 8 years ago | (#14211927)

Nice, now when I do my online banking, I'll have to use their virus scan. When I go pay my credit cards online, I'll have to use their virus scan. When I go pay... well, you get the point. Leave ensuring my computer is clean up to me and whatever software I choose to use.

It's Stories like these.... (1)

megarich (773968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212000)

That makes me glad I don't partake in online banking :)

On that note I can see both sides of the issues. I can see the concern of those who use online banking but at the same time if your virus infected machine somehow infects the banks servers(shouldn't be an issue but you never know) or causes all of your money in your accounts wiped out, guess who has to spend valuable resources to clean up your mess?

Sigh-mantec Anti-Virus (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212103)

I just spent 45 minutes trying to figure out all the different things Norton AV put on my computer, then disabling them, and later uninstalling the thing altogether, why would I want to go through all that hassle again with my online banking?

Wow (1)

thesnarky1 (846799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212201)

Do I have problems with this. Lets begin:
  1. I have to get online to scan myself for virii. Ok, yea, that's not what the article is about, but it kinda seems like that's what they're moving towards.
  2. I have to use software that someone else chose, propriatary software probably, which I do not agree with, as opposed to something free, preferably open-source? Well, what about my Linux system, that I'm posting from, and I prefer for secure connections, as I trust it a lot more? WIll they support that? Or Mac? How about older, non-XP versions of Windows? I'm willing to bet no.
  3. I should rely on my "bank" telling me I have a virus, and believe them when they say "click here to fix it"? That's just begging to get exploited. Imagine a phishing trip where they get your info, AND get to install a few trojans/key loggers on your system in case you change it.
  4. "Once you move to the service situation then the footprint becomes almost irrelevant." Ok, true, but that's like putting a medic for our forces in Iraq in a bunker in Germany, then driving the medical supplies through enemy territory in an open-topped jeep! I would never trust such a system, though I do dislike Symantec's product due to it's size and speed (or lack thereof).
  5. This could be paid for by the customer using their credit card or by adding it to their mobile phone bill by sending a text message, said Sykes, who warned that banks could decide not to provide access to anyone with an infected computer.

    So, lemme get this part straight. I have to pay my bank to do all of the above which I have moral/sercurity problems with, or else I can't use their system?! What a joke! If my bank tried that I'd promptly find a new one.

Ok, so I focused a lot on the 'bank' aspect of this, which I probably shouldn't have, but it was the most obvious that came to mind. Same goes for an ISP, however, and they could screw you much worse. Imagine if you will, a world where you have to have your computer scanned daily in order to keep your internet connection. Or every time you attempt to logon to their network you had to do a "quick" five minute scan?
This whole idea is a joke, and I hope it never comes to pass as standard. I would much rather keep my computer protected myself, and am quite capable of that, then trust some unknown entity from the internet telling me to click here.

"Symantec Hopes" (2, Insightful)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14212224)

Symantec Hopes this, Symantec Hopes that..

Symantec has been *hoping* to deliver something worthwhile ever since they stopped developing for DOS-mode.

Face it, the Norton Utilities used to be *great*. Now they suck! Norton Anti-Virus has never been spectactular. Norton Ghost.. Well, Norton Ghost is pretty good; at least the version I have; it still runs under DOS4GW with a non-MS GUI.
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