Symantec Hacking Scandal: Hype Prevails Over Science

January 18, 2012 | By Editor

Symantec’s Norton Internet Security Software.

You can see their big-bucks commercials on your TV almost any night of the week. And find their full page ads in popular magazines everywhere. They’re all over the radio, Internet and trade show circuit. Making big claims, and even bigger promises.

No question about it. For years, Norton has spent millions on its marketing. Hyping the superiority of its Internet Security products loudly, lavishly and relentlessly.

All while failing to develop — it is now clear — the kind of cutting edge technology their ads claimed they had!

This is a cautionary tale about what happens when Hype prevails over Science.

On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, Symantec, the parent company of Norton, reluctantly announced that hackers had succeeded in stealing the software source code – or blueprint – for Norton Internet Security, Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition, Norton GoBack, Norton Utilities and pcAnywhere.

This earthquake of an announcement bears repeating: The biggest name and world’s most aggressively promoted Internet Security products admitted that its own computers were infiltrated by the very hackers they’ve told us all their top-notch technology stops cold!

And when did this theft occur? In 2006. Six years ago!

By Tuesday afternoon, Reuters Science and Technology Editor Jim Finkle had reported that, “Companies typically heavily guard their source code, which is considered the crown jewel of most software makers. The reason for all the secrecy is that companies fear rivals could use the code to figure out the secret sauce behind their technology, and that hackers could use it to plan attacks.”

Let’s consider the ramifications.

FIRST: If you are one of the millions of PC users who bought into the superiority of the Norton brand, you now know that your computer has actually been a poacher’s paradise for hackers for up to six years!

SECOND: If it took six years for Symantec and Norton to discover this breach, that reflects very badly on the quality of their Internet Security products. Yet, if Symantec and Norton have known about the breach for months, a year, or all six years, it reflects very badly on the integrity of those companies, their product claims, and their products’ quality.

Either way, consumers have every right to be appalled!

But THIRD, and most important of all: If hackers know how to infiltrate computers that use Norton Internet Security software, they will CONTINUE to know how to reign down havoc on your PC, your identity, your credit cards, your bank accounts and your life. UNTIL Norton announces the technological advances necessary to save their customers from on-going devastation!

We’re waiting.

In fact, we’ll do better than that. Give us a call Norton, and we’ll be glad to help!

Comodo. Science Not Hype.

– Glenn Scheuer

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    Comments

    Chris January 19, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Don’t you think it’s a bit rich to say “Science Not Hype” when your THIRD point is basically just one big IF statement, a hype statement you could say.

    What IF hackers know how to infiltrate computers that use Comodo Internet Security, or notepad.exe, the default background image?

    Reply
    Dude November 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Now let’s see a similar writeup of the “Comodo SSL Cert Scandal”

    Reply
      Kevin Judge November 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      Touche!
      We have addressed it many times, but in a nutshell we got high marks for being forthright about what happened.
      We were victimized by a third party, but that is no execuse, and took measures to make sure it didn’t happen again.

      Reply

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