Symantec upgrades Norton security products

Symantec has unveiled new versions of its Norton security products--beefing up some of the real-time and automated features--and will release them in the next few weeks.

Being updated are Norton AntiVirus, Personal Firewall, and AntiSpam, all of which will be bundled in the upcoming Norton Internet Security 2005. Norton AntiVirus will ship separately in August, with the remaining applications and the suite to follow in mid-September.

Norton AntiVirus 2005 will be priced at US$49.95. Norton Personal Firewall 2005 will be available with Norton AntiSpam 2005 for US$49.95. The entire Norton Internet Security 2005 suite will cost US$69.95.

Product Specs

Norton AntiVirus 2005 now includes a 30-second QuickScan, which runs during AntiVirus's LiveUpdate automatic software update and checks for active viruses in system memory and other critical areas. More significantly, perhaps, Norton AntiVirus 2005 supplements traditional e-mail virus protection with new Internet Worm Protection to combat threats that automatically scan IP addresses for open ports.

"It's a very targeted solution to stop the Blasters and Code Reds," says Kelly Martin, senior product manager of the Norton AntiVirus product line, of the port-locking technology that Norton AntiVirus adopts from Symantec's major security suite, Norton Personal Firewall.

The new version of Norton Personal Firewall includes new privacy controls that let users seamlessly send personal data to trusted sites while interrupting data transmissions to nontrusted ones. This combats the more sophisticated types of online phishing--hoaxes designed to lure users into divulging sensitive information to sites that mimic legitimate sites such as eBay, AOL, and financial services sites.

Antispam Weapons

The third security suite application, Norton AntiSpam 2005, aims to protect users against fraudulent or "spoofed" e-mail messages, which do not reflect the return address of the actual sender. It can also filter messages by foreign language.

The full Norton Internet Security 2005 suite includes the AntiVirus, Personal Firewall, and AntiSpam products plus parental Web controls and a new Outbreak Alert window. The Outbreak Alert utility runs in the background to alert users if they have inadvertently turned off virus protection (during software installation, for example). The window also displays the number of critical-level active viruses.

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