Symantec Antivirus security problems

An independent research team has discovered a security flaw in Symantec Antivirus which could be used by hackers to gain complete control of affected computers without any user intervention. This presents a significant security threat, as there are currently more then 200 million installations of Symantec Anti-virus software worldwide.

Other security flaws have also shown up in the Symantec Product line. In January, Symantec admitted to using a rootkit-type feature in Norton SystemWorks which basically hid a certain folder of the hard drive from Windows. Their intent was to stop their customers from accidentally deleting files, but a nasty side effect is that it also provided an ideal location for hackers to stash malicious programs where they can not be detected by the operating system or by other 3rd party security tools. After some urging from security experts, Symantec released a software update to eliminate this risk.

This is not to say other software vendors do not have their problems as well. A few months ago McAfee Antivirus suddenly decided the several Microsoft Office components (including Excel) were allegedly infected with viruses. The problem was quickly rectified; however not before a number of customers suddenly found that Microsoft Excel was sitting in their quarantine for no reason.

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