Symantec launches new version of Net security suite

Internet security company Symantec Corp. unveiled a consumer security suite that lets users know if someone else pokes around their computers, screens outgoing data for personal information and can operate in a 'stealth mode' to hide from hackers.

Norton Internet Security 2001 Version 3.0 (US$69.95) combines the company's personal firewall and antivirus software, and includes privacy controls to prevent personal data from being sent online to Web sites without the user's knowledge. It also contains a feature for blocking banner advertisements for faster web page download speeds.

The antivirus software in NIS 3.0 can defeat script-based viruses arriving by e-mail, without using virus definitions. Recent notable viruses such as "I Love You" and "Anna Kournikova" are script-based viruses, which execute commands using Visual Basic programming language. Script blocking monitors scripts, halting those which display virus-like behavior, such as raiding e-mail address files.

Additionally, it can intelligently detect common hacker intrusion attempts such as port scans and Trojan horse e-mail access attempts. Once detected, it alerts the user, and can automatically configure the firewall to block all traffic from the attacker for a period of time. It can also put a user's computer in 'stealth mode,' hiding the system from hackers.

NIS 3.0 provides continuous notification of security events. The software monitors programs attempting to access the Internet, screening the data sent or blocking it entirely. Symantec said it re-designed the security alerts to provide the severity level of the specific intrusion attempt and quick access to more detailed information about the attack.

Users can set the security level from a casual defense which only reports serious intrusion attempts to a figurative DefCon 5 with reports on penetration attempts of a lower threat level or lower likelihood, as well as all Internet access events. Users can also specifically designate the applications permitted to access the Internet.

Norton Internet Security Family Edition Version 3.0 ($79.95) adds Norton Parental Control, allowing parents to limit children's access to objectionable Web sites.

Symantec, in Cupertino, California, can be reached at +1-408-253-9600 or via the Web at http://www.symantec.com.

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