Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced Norton Confidential, a comprehensive online transaction security solution that will allow consumers to transact on the Internet with confidence that their personal information will remain safe. Designed to restore consumers´ trust in the online world, Norton Confidential protects consumers at the moment they are transacting and provides unprecedented zero-hour protection against fraudulent Web sites and crimeware. Separate versions of Norton Confidential are scheduled to be available for users of the Windows operating system in September and the Macintosh operating system in October.
´Today´s increasingly sophisticated Internet threats target passwords, account numbers and other confidential information,´ said Jonathan Singer, analyst, Yankee Group. ´Consumers are looking for protection from identity theft and fraud so they can transact safely online. ´
´As the Internet landscape has become more crowded with phishing sites and threats designed to steal information for financial gain, consumer confidence in conducting business online has eroded,´ said Enrique Salem, Group President, Consumer Products and Solutions, for Symantec. ´To help restore confidence in doing business over the Internet, Symantec is introducing Norton Confidential-the first solution that offers consumers both fraud site and crimeware protection for their personal information at the point of greatest risk-during a transaction, login or other submission of confidential data to a Web site.´
To further help consumers protect themselves from online fraud, Symantec today launched the TransactSafely Web site, located at www.symantec.com/transactsafely. This new site helps consumers understand today´s sophisticated online threats in simple terms and offers practical tips on security measures users can take to protect themselves while browsing, shopping or banking online. When Norton Confidential´s beta program launches later this summer, consumers will be able to visit the TransactSafely Web site to download an early version of the product and provide feedback on the new solution.
Over the past 12 months, attacks designed to steal confidential information have grown at an alarming pace. This recent surge in financially motivated attacks is reflected in Symantec´s latest Internet Security Threat Report, which indicates that during the second half of 2005, 80 percent of the top 50 malicious software threats had the potential to expose confidential data. This represents a significant increase over the 54 percent of confidential information exposure threats during the same six-month period in 2004. Although consumers continue to embrace the convenience of the Internet for banking and shopping, the growth in these fraudulent attacks has impacted their confidence. According to a November 2005 Symantec research study conducted by Harris Interactive, 71 percent of respondents were uncomfortable about providing personal information online and more than half were concerned about online identity theft.
Norton Confidential addresses these pressing security concerns by focusing its innovative technologies on the moment that consumers are most vulnerable-while they are banking or shopping online or on any site where they submit passwords, account numbers or other personal information. When a consumer is communicating or transacting with a Web site, Norton Confidential transparently scans both the PC and the current Web page for known or suspected fraudulent activity, providing immediate feedback so the consumer knows whether or not it is safe to proceed.
Fraud Site Protection
The majority of today´s existing antiphishing solutions rely solely on block lists to identify known fraud sites. Norton Confidential combines traditional block lists with advanced heuristic technology to protect consumers from previously undiscovered phishing attacks. This zero-hour protection is critical since phishing attacks are purposely short-lived to evade detection. In fact, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the average phishing site is online for only five days before it is taken down and replaced by a new fraudulent Web site.
Norton Confidential also uses a combination of definition-based and advanced heuristic technologies to protect users from both known and unknown crimeware. This extra layer of security stops programs like keystroke loggers and screen capture Trojan horse applications that target consumers´ passwords and other confidential information. When known crimeware is detected, it is removed immediately. When the heuristic analysis detects suspiciously behaving software, it prevents the suspected application from capturing the consumer´s personal information.
Web Site Authentication
Norton Confidential´s Web site authentication component helps restore consumers´ trust in transacting online by verifying the authenticity of many popular banking and shopping Web sites. By displaying a special visual cue when the user visits a genuine Secure Socket Layer (SSL) site, Norton Confidential assures the consumer that they can proceed safely.
Confidential Information Management Protection
Norton Confidential rounds out its defenses with password security capabilities that store and encrypt login information. For extra protection, Norton Confidential alerts users when they send their credentials to unknown or unauthorized sites and even provides feedback on password strength.
Norton Confidential for the Macintosh
Norton Confidential will also be available for the Macintosh operating system and will include many of the same security features found in the Windows XP version. The Macintosh product offers users protection from fraudulent Web sites and provides confidential data management as well as crimeware protection and tamper protection for critical files.