Symantec, McAfee Offer New Versions of Virus Protection

With the worms of August — Blaster and SoBig.F — having brought millions of Windows PCs, or at least thousands of IT managers and e-mail administrators, to their knees, the need for antivirus software has never been more obvious. Coincidentally, the two best-known retail antivirus vendors have released new updated versions of their popular packages, promising easier operation and stronger protection against malicious code and online threats.

Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus 2004, scheduled for wide availability early this month, offers new threat detection-capabilities including scans for spyware and keystroke-logging programs. In addition to detecting these programs during scans of e-mail and instant-message attachments, Norton AntiVirus 2004 adds real-time scanning of compressed file archives.

Symantec’s LiveUpdate now checks for new antivirus updates whenever the user is online, automatically and unobtrusively downloading updates in the background just as NAV automatically scans files for malicious code and removes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses without user intervention.

The $50 ($30 upgrade) program now includes Microsoft Windows- or Office-style product activation, locking each copy of Norton AntiVirus to one computer’s hardware configuration. The $70 ($40 upgrade) Professional version includes a two-PC license as well as additional tools to help restore damaged or accidentally deleted files and digitally shred as well as delete sensitive ones. Symantec has also introduced a $40 annual AntiVirus for Handhelds service offering both real-time and on-demand scanning and wireless-Internet-connection updates and virus-definition downloads to Palm OS and Pocket PC handhelds.

Saving You from Becoming an Unwitting Spammer
Meanwhile, the McAfee Security, a division of Network Associates, has unveiled a new version of McAfee VirusScan that includes enhanced WormStopper technology. The latter automatically alerts users when their systems attempt to send e-mail to an unusually large number of addresses or send too many messages within a 30-second period, checking for repetitive e-mail content and blocking any suspicious outgoing mail to stop the spread of mass-mailing worms. McAfee VirusScan also offers easy scanning of e-mail folders from within Microsoft Outlook any time.

In addition, VirusScan detects and helps users remove unwanted applications like spyware, adware, and Web dialers; automatically scans attachments sent through instant messaging as well as both inbound and outbound e-mail attachments; offers silent updating of virus definitions; and uses ScriptStopper technology to prevent malicious script actions initiated without user consent. It’s available as a download for $35.

Adapted from

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