TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Symantec Business Antivirus Software Is Badly Flawed

Symantec Business Antivirus Software Is Badly Flawed

Reuters News Wire (
Sun, 28 May 2006 15:15:51 -0500

Versions of Symantec Corp.'s anti-virus business security software
contain a flaw that could put millions of computers at risk of a
crippling worm attack, Internet experts warned on Friday.

Researchers at eEye Digital Security discovered the vulnerability,
which they said could allow an attacker to create a worm able to take
over a user's computer and destroy critical programs and files.

They rated the threat as high because a hacker could exploit the flaw
to get on a machine and edit, remove and delete programs and files
without a user doing anything, such as clicking on a link, eEye
spokesman Mike Puterbaugh said.

"This could potentially result in an Internet worm," he said. "It is a
flaw that can be triggered from another location and provides the
attacker with system-level access."

A worm is a computer virus that spreads by sending copies of itself
over a network. Most viruses these days are worms, since almost all
computers are now linked by networks.

Symantec, a leading maker of anti-virus software used by consumers and
businesses, said in a statement it was investigating and that the
issue does not affect its popular Norton consumer brand of products.

It confirmed eEye's finding that its Client Security 3.1 and AntiVirus
Corporate Edition 10.1 offerings contained the flaw that Symantec said
could allow a remote user to attack a machine.

"Fixes have been identified for all affected products and work on
these fixes is ongoing," the company said in a statement. "To date,
Symantec has not had any reports of any related exploits of this

The warning comes as Internet security experts say cyber criminals are
more interested in breaching systems for financial gain rather than
simply to win notoriety by unleashing a devastating worm.

In fact, the number of headline-grabbing viruses has slowed since the
Blaster worm outbreak in 2003, which targeted Microsoft software and
devastated hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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