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Computer Threats: Fake Updates from Symantec Products

February 21, 2012

One of the fastest-growing methods cybercriminals are using of disseminating malware is through fake antivirus software. Fake antivirus software can either be a program that claims to be antivirus software that does little or no work, or it can actually be a Trojan horse, disguised to actually implant malware onto a computer. The purpose of it is to scare a user and get the payment out.

The reason why fake antivirus software can get around powerful protection is because of social engineering. Social engineering is the term used to describe the act of tricking an unsuspecting person into giving up information or money. Specifically, this is done in the context in the digital world where the trick is done remotely.


I have Norton Internet Security on my computer, and heard that it was hacked. Now, I’m getting e-mail from Symantec saying that I need to update my security, and the e-mail provides a link. I know you say never click a link in an e-mail, but what do I do about my security?


You’re wise to question that e-mail. Hackers did indeed break into the network of security developer Symantec and stole the source code for multiple security programs, including your Norton Internet Security. While that happened back in 2006, the hackers just released new information related to that incident last week, so there is renewed concern.

Now other hackers are taking advantage of the situation and sending fake e-mail with malicious attachments and links. Remember, Symantec programs update themselves. The company will never send you update links or attachments via e-mail. Symantec will also never ask for your personal information.

That e-mail is a fake. If you use Symantec products, you’ll need to watch them carefully for available updates.

For more information on keeping your computer virus free, visit our site at and read our few simple and effective steps for proper security on your desktop/laptop system.

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