Symantec launches anti-spyware beta

Symantec launches anti-spyware beta

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Symantec, Malware, Security, Software

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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2 comments
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  • You must be joking right? NIS sucks, how they even p**** the VB100 makes me wonder about the qaulity of the vb100 test. It's a huge drain on resources, and it's not even a very effective tool. If you go look at one of the sister sites to zdnet Norton gets a 1 on a 10 point scale! And deservedly so. Do I need a dual core EM64T to be able to run this?

    What boggles me is Symantec 8/9 aren't that bad, but NIS? Ugh I tremble in fear each time I see the product wondering what kind of devastation it will cause.

    Micrsoft is giving away there product and although it falls down occasionally it's really hard to compete with free.

    Oh and at $70.00 for full retail I can buy a couple of licenses for eastern european antivirus vendors and they're better to boot.
    anonymous
  • I applaud Symantec on their attempt to get some kind of anti-spyware application to market, but integrating it with Internet Security doesn't give people much of a choice if they already use a firewall from another vendor. Wouldn't surprise me if they bought out Webroot and sold their spysweeper app as a standalone. That would be great.
    anonymous