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Symantec Labels Vicars' Software as Spyware 268

Posted by timothy
from the should-fight-back-with-the-vicars'-machine-gun dept.
ukhackster writes "The curse of Norton Antivirus has struck again. This time, Britain's vicars have been hit. Norton mistook a legitimate file for a piece of spyware, and those who followed the instructions found that their sermon-writing application no longer worked. Norton was once an essential application. Is it turning into a joke?"
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Symantec Labels Vicars' Software as Spyware

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  • well... yes? (Score:5, Informative)

    by User 956 (568564) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:20PM (#15840897) Homepage
    Given that they're also reporting that 80% of viruses defeat Norton [zdnet.com.au] and the other big AV programs, I'd say yes, it is a joke.
    • Re:well... yes? (Score:5, Informative)

      by rizzo420 (136707) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:23PM (#15840941) Homepage Journal
      norton is a bigger joke than the others though. i do tech support for students for a living (ok, more than just students, but i am more hands on with them). i have found in my experience that norton misses a lot of viruses mcafee picks up and mcafee tends to do the better job of the 2. mcafee also seems a bit lighter on resources and doesn't stick its nose everywhere. i can't tell you how many mucked up network stacks i've seen because of norton's personal firewall program. once it's uninstalled the networking magically works. go figure. even disabling it does nothing.

      so yes, norton is a joke and i would not recommend anyone purchase anything from symantec until they get their act together.

      that being said, this is simply a mistake. it happens. mcafee had one that detected excel.exe as a virus.
      • Although not directly connected to the NAV problems, my favorite thing about Norton is how Norton Internet Security refuses to allow Live Update connections to other software. It is considered too much of a threat.

        Guess what Norton Uses to update Norton Security? You guessed it!

      • Re:well... yes? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pete6677 (681676) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:42PM (#15841098)
        Norton has become the AOL of antivirus. Living off a brand. Too bad Symantec destroyed what was once a great product.
        • by TClevenger (252206) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:26PM (#15841467)
          Symantec is where programs go to die. They buy up software and let it stagnate (for instance, under Symantec, several version of ACT! had the same easily fixable bug, even though it was in their knowledge base several times), getting as much money out of the software with as little work as possible. (When's the last time you saw a great new feature in any Symantec product? Our current corporate "Symantec Antivirus" is exactly the same as the old versions of Norton Antivirus, but with a new tray icon. Oooooooh.)
      • by Ruie (30480) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:04PM (#15841281) Homepage
        that being said, this is simply a mistake. it happens. mcafee had one that detected excel.exe as a virus.
        Yes, mcafee should have labeled it a trojan instead..
      • Re:well... yes? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DavidD_CA (750156) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:36PM (#15841575) Homepage
        That's assuming you're lucky enough to uninstall it.

        A client of mine had Norton 2003 on one of her machines and I attepted to get that sucker off so I could install Norton 2005. Hell no. Followed the crazy instructions on their website to the letter.

        To this day, whenever they reboot the machine Norton 2003 asks them to register (which it then errors out on). Then Norton 2005 takes over.

        (I would format the machine and reinstall, but there's a number of issues there that I won't get into, and the computer is only used a few hours a week.)
      • by Rix (54095) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @04:59PM (#15842698)
        I bet you're more hands on with the students...
    • Re:well... yes? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:38PM (#15841064)
      That's actually not what the article says. It says that 80% of 'malware' slips by Norton Anti-Virus. That is viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, etc. Last I checked, Norton Anti-Virus didn't check for adware or spyware, just viruses and trojans.

      Notice in the article they only talk about anti-spyware in that people should have it and don't. They don't say they tested it.

      Norton and McAfee's AV have been jokes for years. But malware isn't why.
  • turning into? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Phil246 (803464) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:21PM (#15840911)
    I think you're a bit behind the times mate.
    Its been a joke for quite a while now.
  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by codeshack (753630) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:22PM (#15840930)
    A sermon-writing application? Word doesn't have a Insert->Scripture option?
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Funny)

      by just_another_sean (919159) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:37PM (#15841056) Homepage Journal
      Nope. Emacs on the other hand...
      • Nope. Emacs on the other hand...

        Why am I afraid it really can?

        Back in the day when total system memory was measured in single-digit/low two-digit MB ranges, there was a reason why emacs was known to stand for "Eight Megs And Constantly Swapping". :-P

        Cheers
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jtheletter (686279) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:46PM (#15841128)
      A sermon-writing application? Word doesn't have a Insert->Scripture option?

      I heard they tried to add that feature once but blood started pouring out of the PC speakers and all the text kept getting rewritten in demonic sanskrit. Apparently some incompatibility between the word of God and a Pure Evil OS. Works just fine in OpenOffice though! ;)
      • "Works just fine in OpenOffice though! ;)"

        But not under BSD. Something to do with Daemons.
      • all the text kept getting rewritten in demonic sanskrit.

        You joke, but my parents, who recently updated from Works 2.x to Word whatever certainly didn't laugh when they realized that all their documents had indeed become incomprehensible.

        I guess it says something about Microsoft when jokes like these bring back memories of actual events...

      • by abb3w (696381)

        Works just fine in OpenOffice though! ;)

        OpenOffice's equanimity is similarly unchanged if you do inserts from the Necronomicon. (User sanity is appreciably affected if you do, but not so much as merely caused by using MSWord.)

        Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn....

    • Re:Really? (Score:3, Informative)

      A sermon-writing application? Word doesn't have a Insert->Scripture option?

      Actually, on OS X you can add a Word->Services->Insert Scripture option by adding a service, and it should work in most of your other applications as well.

    • Microsoft tried, but they couldn't get the Auto-Replace option to provide strong enough imagery of fire and brimstone. It's important these passages really drive their meaning home right before asking for a hand out in the collection plate, and Word just didn't cut it.
    • Re:Really? (Score:3, Funny)

      by andphi (899406)
      I think they might have tried it once. Then they integrated Clippy.
      Word->Insert->Scripture->John->Chapter 3->Verse 16
      Clippy:
      "I'm sorry, I can't find that file. Would you like to:"
      Cite the Koran
      Cite the Book of Mormon
      Cite the Rig Veda
      Cite the Watchtower Bible
      Cite the Book of Common Prayer

      No matter what the user does next:
      You have chosen The Road Ahead by Bill Gates
    • "Hi, I see you're writing a sermon!" .... naw, just too easy
  • If vicars, imams, priests, friars, clerics, and rabbis were the only things Norton was blocking, I'd say it's time to reevaluate my longstand hatred of them in favor of an uneasy alliance.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:25PM (#15840957) Journal

    An anecdotal Norton lifetime experience:

    At one time I considered Norton an essential application/utility because I couldn't explain sufficiently to new computer owners why Norton (and McAffee, etc.) were unnecessary, evil, and just wrong for them. So, I'd always get their credit card number, hold my nose, and ante up their money for their peace of mind.

    But after years of being called back and finding computer disarray on these "happy" users caused directly or indirectly by the intrusive "anti-virus" software suites such as Norton, I've switched tactics and now the very first thing I do when working on others' computer (with their permission of course) is uninstall any of the mainstream virus protection programs, download AVG free version and am done with it.

    I've found since taking this approach virtually no call backs where any problems were created by AVG, with much happier friends and family who have at the same time saved themselves a couple of bucks.

    Once an essential application Norton? Only in as much as Norton had been able to (and continues to) convince the world they are essential, not a hard task in the FUD universe that is Windows.

    • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:47PM (#15841140)
      Once an essential application Norton? Only in as much as Norton had been able to (and continues to) convince the world they are essential, not a hard task in the FUD universe that is Windows.

      Man, is this the truth. My dad runs Norton and I told him once that I thought that Norton caused more problems than it solves, but he trusts (sigh) Norton. Long story short, just last night as a personal favor I went over to help a retired guy I know who was having trouble with his PC. He also runs Norton and it sucks! He has some crazy Norton program running to warn him about "unsafe" web pages. I was trying to help him with access problems to an online account he had and all this program did was pop up a box on every single account page saying that "This page is unrated." and making him check off one of three boxes (basically - continue, don't go there, go there this time only) AND then enter a password. This is a retired guy who is 73 years old. I can't imagine living like this where you have to click on a box and give a password just to surf the web, but that's how he lives. He doesn't even question the logic of this. I really don't know if he is maybe protecting the PC for his 5 year old granddaughter (why not just not let the kid use it?) or if he thinks it will save him from accidentally going to a "bad" site (he is very religious, by the way).

      I feel pretty strongly that friends don't let friends use Norton. I work in IT and I don't know anybody in my field who uses Norton at home. I agree that AVG is better than Norton AV. The only Norton product I like is Ghost.
    • Dunno if Norton AV was ever essential. I used macafee very early on. Now, some Norton software was, indeed, essential, back in the DOS days. No serious geek left home without a floppy containing the early Norton Utilties (undelete files, hex edit files or even the disk - there were some seriously useful tools). Norton Guides were pretty helpful, too. I can remember using the Guides for assembler and for DOS interrupts. They were the first practical on-line guides for DOS, because they were plugged in on a T
    • I completely agree (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Von Rex (114907)
      I've found that Norton and McAfee are the source of more computer problems than any other software, including Windows itself. They are bug-ridden, invasive, and wasteful of resources. About 50% of the "service calls" I do consist of replacing Norton/McAfee with AVG and then typing "msconfig" to turn off all the other garbage they've got installed in their tray. Then they say "You fixed my computer! It's like brand-new! You must be some kind of god damn genius!"
    • I agree 100% (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ZincFinger (982714)
      I used to use Norton a lot. Over the last 4 years or so, I have come to realize that Norton causes so many more problems that the very few it actually solves that I too remove Norton when setting up a new computer. Symantec products are now way too buggy to be trusted IMHO, the better proof: unistalling them is sometimes as painfull as removing malware.
  • Maybe this is a sign that relig... err I mean magic and technology can't coexist.... oh, wait..

    *ducks behind cliched fantasy story*
  • by bunions (970377) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:28PM (#15840978)
    Just for completeness, I'll mention that it's the 'Vickers' machine gun, not 'Vicars.'

    http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/mgun_vickers.htm [firstworldwar.com]

    Yes, I realize it's a pun, but it would have worked either way, really.
  • Antivirus (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DownWithTheMan (797237) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:28PM (#15840981)
    I think on a corporate level, anti-virus is a *must*, you're dealing with 100s of millions of dollars in transactions and any downtime is money lost... For the tech-savvy home user though, I really don't think anti-virus is essential. I run an iMac with OSX 10.4.7, and an IBM (Lenovo) Thinkpad with Windows XP SP2 and all the latest updates and hot-fixes. I refuse to put anti-virus on it because I think it sucks up too many of my resources. Since switching from IE to Firefox (back in the 0.4 Fire phoenix days) I have no had 1 single issue of spyware, malware, or virus problems on my machine. I keep everything up-to-date and I know who, what, when, and where I'm downloading all my files from the internet. I'll be honest, I pirate plenty and still haven't had any problems... The more I see these anti-virus solutions, it seems that they are designed to keep dumb people from from doing dumb things...
    • Dear DownWithTheMan,

      We'd like to thank you for your "If I don't know it's there, it must not be" attitude. We'll be seizing your assets now.

      Sincerely,
      Black Hat Pirates
      • Dear Black Hat Pirates,

        We'd like to thank you for your "I'm sure my antivirus software will warn me about EVERYTHING bad on my machine, like the advertisements tell me it will" attitude. It demonstrates that you apparently place waaaaay too much trust in antivirus software, especially the latest and not-so-greatest. Hopefully you'll get infected by something written by your own associates when Norton doesn't catch it, and that will get you off our backs.

        Sincerely,
        The Rest of Us
    • I have no had 1 single issue of spyware, malware, or virus problems on my machine. I keep everything up-to-date and I know who, what, when, and where I'm downloading all my files from the internet.

      An up-to-date Windows install running Firefox and anything but Outlook will protect you from the lion's share of what is out there. There have, however, been several zero day worms that do not involve user interaction that can quietly have their wicked way with your Windows box while it is sitting idle but con

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:29PM (#15840983)
    Well, accoring to Dawkins [umich.edu], sermon generators would be explicit tools for the carrying of a viral message.

    I think the program may be working properly as designed.

    Ryan Fenton
    • by demachina (71715)
      Amen :)

      I saw this article [alternet.org] on AlterNet today. There is a San Antonio, born again bible thumper, John Hagee, who is currently leading a national crusade to invade Iran because they think it will trigger the second coming of Christ, oh and the EU is the Antichrist. From the article:

      "Thanks to the viral marketing made possible by the hundreds of evangelical leaders who have signed on to his new organization, his warmongering has rippled through megachurches across America for months. Hagee calls pastors "th
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Bishop!
  • If people just list down what they do on their computers, most of them are going to find that a Linux box would do them just fine (If they don't want to pay the Apple premium). Getting rid of the vicious circle of the Virus scanners / Privacy tools / spyware blockers, their updates / fake warnings and worthless Microsoft security updates should be a very compelling reason, IMHO.
  • (AP Cupertino, CA) A mysterious fire is raging out of control at the Symantic HQ on 20330 Stevens Creek Blvd.
    • From Cupertino FD, Fire Chief Big McLargehuge was exhausted. "We just got the fire put out, and then all my guys started getting covered in locusts. And the frogs...so many frogs. However, we had some good water pressure and were able to handle them pretty well.

      "But when my oldest son just dropped dead right in front of me, I knew we had to get out of there."
    • Amazingly enough, Symantec headquarters are not getting burned up. Local church leaders are petitioning to declare the area "holy ground" and have removed their sandals.
  • To be fair.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 8127972 (73495) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:29PM (#15840994)
    ....we can replace the Norton name with any other vendor's name and still have the same discussion. The only reason that we're beating up on Norton is that they've shot themselves in the foot like this before.
  • by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent@NOsPAm.stonent.pointclark.net> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:30PM (#15841000) Journal
    "Usually it takes a lot to get a clergyman upset, but we have had a fair few on the phone. There's been no talk of smiting yet, but we'll wait and see," Green added.

    I love the Brits.
  • Essential? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pikakilla (775788)
    When has norton ever been an essential application? If a person is resonably cautious and knows the basics of computer security there is no need to have an antivirus program that clogs the system. Peridoic web checkups do just fine.

    On another note, now that this software has lost its credability with the clergy (as CHP has advised members to ignore threat warnings dealing with this software) im willing to wager that many clergy members would be willing to ignore many future threat warnings with the fear
  • by Viperion (569692) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:34PM (#15841040) Homepage
    ...is an Anti-Norton virus.

    After one of my users uttered that spoonerism the other day, I am more and more convinced it needs to happen.
    • I believe there are several virii out in the world that look for and try to shut down or erase NAV. And here we thought they were a bad thing! I haven't used it for years, ever since I had the devil's own time trying to get the corporate version off my computer after I changed jobs.

  • God uses a Mac. [cafepress.com]

    If a bumper sticker says, it must be true!
  • Did it only erase sermons bashing evolution? Isn't that a virus of sorts?

  • I don't recall Norton having this issue before, I thought the previous culprit was Mcafee. I had to do quite a few manual fixes to replace applications until Mcafee released the EPO update to correct this. It was a mess.

    http://www.forbes.com/facesinthenews/2006/03/13/mc afee-samenuk-microsoft-cx_cn_0313autofacescan11.ht ml [forbes.com]

  • by wfberg (24378) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:45PM (#15841120)
    Signature-based virus scanners have ALWAYS been a joke. Basically, it's a technology that was barely good enough when the first one was written, and all that time we've been using it until something better comes along.

    The real solution to virusses lies not in signature-based scanners, but in policing applications. The discontinued Thunderbyte AV (of DOS days) had the right idea. It scanned files for instructions that shouldn't be in normal programs, like an API call to format your hard disk. It had a list of exceptions (format.com etc.), but otherwise, it would complain loudly.

    Nowadays, we can do much better. We have usernames, credentials, priviliges etc. Why don't programs run as separate users with separate priviliges? There is NO reason why Word (or openoffice for that matter) should be able to access every part of the registry or harddisk that the user running it can. Firefox should basically be restricted to making TCP connections and writing it's configuration, cache, and a download directory. The security model now allows it to write to c:\windows\system32 if you're logged in as administrator, even though it clearly has no business doing so.

    Newly downloaded applications should be granted permission only to write to registry keys they themselves created, and files likewise. And if an app overstretches its default permissions, the OS should complain loudly and ask permission (OS "professional" edition), lookup a policy file (OS "corporate/enterprise" edition) or simply disallow it and require some sort of wizzardry - e.g. editing an .ini file - to overrule it (OS "home" edition).

    This doesn't require rocket science to implement, though it will break some stuff and force users to copy files from My Documents\Microsoft Office to My Documents\Firefox if they want to upload a document. Small price to pay, I say.

    Of course Norton and McAfee suffer not just from being unreliable in detecting virusses, they also fuck up your OS so it won't work properly anymore, and are a bitch to uninstall. But the solution to that is simple; switch to another product. The fact that the other product would, again, be a signature based scanner is the lamentable part.
    • Why don't programs run as separate users with separate priviliges?

      You can do this today on Solaris using containers or on FreeBSD using jails, or obtain the functional equivelent. None of them are well integrated into the UI portion of the OS yet and I don't think there is a well established set of defaults and description of violations yet. I expect this to be the direction of the industry for security so expect it to be integrated into every OS except Windows within the next five years. I'm actually c

    • by honkycat (249849) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:26PM (#15841473) Homepage Journal
      While this is a more secure approach, I see two problems. First, although the inconvenience is objectively a small price to pay for the additional security, few people see security issues objectively. The thinking is "well it hasn't been hacked yet so it must be secure." As a result, a change that adds inconvenience with no benefit other than increased security will not be welcomed. I don't think this is insurmountable, though.

      The other problem is that a scheme like this requires that someone determine what privileges a particular application needs. You cannot trust the application to do this, obviously. I don't see a good way for the OS to know what privileges are needed. Really, I think this requires a technically sophisticated administrator for the machine. That may work well for businesses or high-security environments, but it's not going to fly at home, where most machines are administered by someone who knows enough to insert a CD and run install but not much else -- and that's the optimistic characterization.
      • The other problem is that a scheme like this requires that someone determine what privileges a particular application needs.

        The answer to this is good defaults, possibly based upon templates. First, provide an official service for licensing and registration, that is locked down. Next give all new (not factory installed) apps access to their own registry and source files, that licensing service, and the ability to write new files in the users docs, but not read or overwrite existing ones. If it wants inte

    • The security model now allows it to write to c:\windows\system32 if you're logged in as administrator, even though it clearly has no business doing so.

      The security model on my webhost allows my scripts to write to system32. But not to my own directories. There is something seriously wrong with either their sysadmin or Windows, and I believe it's the latter since we're just using the permissioning system that comes with Windows + IIS....
    • "Why don't programs run as separate users with separate priviliges? There is NO reason why Word (or openoffice for that matter) should be able to access every part of the registry or harddisk that the user running it can."

      I think you just basically described SELinux...

  • Hmmm... I don't seem to see any version of Norton on my Gentoo box. My Fedora and RedHat boxes never had it either. My BSD boxes never had it. Essential? Hardly. Probably more "reluctantly required" for most users of Windows and Classic Mac OS. But to be honest, I had a Windows XP box that I never patched and kept behind a Linux firewall for two years. I only used Mozilla and later Firefox as the browser. I never got one infection. Not one. However, as soon as I plugged said device directly into m
    • How do you know you never got hit with a virus, if you don't run anti-virus software? Some viruses are sneaky and steal personal information, avoiding detection at all cost and then package up and send such personal information out through a trusted application such as IE or FireFox.
      • I know because I intentionally ran a virus scan on the box just before I ditched it. Came up completely clean. Not only under Norton, and McAfee. But also under ClamAV and Grisoft's free AV scanner as well. It's easy to keep a Windows PC free of viruses if you know what you're doing. And you don't need AV to do it. I specifically did this two year experiment to prove a point to a co-worker.
  • by andrewzx1 (832134) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:48PM (#15841151) Homepage Journal
    What most amateur IT people don't understand is that there is a world of difference between Norton Antivirus, and Symantec Antivirus. As an IT professional who has helped neutralize viruses off of many computers, and who administers a Windows domain (don't hate me), I can say that Symantec Corporate Antivirus works great, is centrally managed, and does what it is supposed to and no more. I've used to for 5 years now and it has successfully prevented numerous virus outbreaks that would have greatly disrupted the Windows workstations I am paid to administer. If this were a Linux/Mac desktop environment, there would be no need to run an antovirus. But there is critical software that is available only for Windows. And this is what I am paid to keep running.
    • I can say that Symantec Corporate Antivirus works great, is centrally managed, and does what it is supposed to and no more.

      I would have agreed with you... until Symantec wiped out VNC earlier this week because the latest patterns have determined that it is a "Remote Access Trojan".

  • by drinkypoo (153816)
    Norton was once an essential application. Is it turning into a joke?"

    No. It has been a sad joke for years. The fact that so many IT professionals actually choose norton is a testament that a ton of IT professionals are complete idiots. Naturally, in most cases it is thrust upon them by a director of IT who couldn't find his ass with both hands, a map, a gps, and a sextant.

  • Norton was once an essential application. Is it turning into a joke?

    Ans: Yes.

    However, Norton seems to be playing catch up with its OSX counterpart. Norton Systemworks (Utilities) became a joke for Mac users years ago now at the start of OSX having been an essential app for OS7/8/9. In fact there is no surer way of guaranteeing an OSX 'nuke&pave' situation than running Nortons and getting it to fix something. It's kind of like a medecine that kills .... (AZT anyone?)
  • Remember when the name Peter Norton meant something (good)? Not any more. I've used NAV for years but finally got fed up with the increasing amount of bloat, the way it bogged everything down, and the occasional bluescreen. I was never hit with a virus that it missed, but it was just such a pig.

    I switched over to NOD32 which is tiny, fast, almost no system impact, and never takes down the entire machine. It's never even crashed as far as I can tell. It's supposed to detect better than Norton too, though I h
  • I have the beta of Microsoft Defender on my computer. I also have a copy of Norton Anti-Virus that I got a license to because I was in the Military (DOD pays for unlimited downloads for even personal computers). Now at least everyday I get a pop-up warning that Microsoft Defender is trying to change something that Norton doesn't want it to change and that Norton blocked it. I don't get an option to allow the change and I don't have an option to ignore the problem. I figured that they would fix this with upd
  • So how is labeling sermon-writing software as "bad" not a Good Thing (TM)?? Sounds like it is stamping out crappy SPAM to me....
  • crackmenot (Score:5, Funny)

    by spyrochaete (707033) <spyrochaete AT hyppy DOT zapto DOT org> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:08PM (#15841307) Homepage Journal
    I had my own run-in with a Norton false positive. For some reason, my newly acquired copy of NAV took exception to a file on my desktop called "Norton Antivirus 2003 keygen.exe". IIRC it labelled it as "malware\keygen". I checked the file with several web AV tools and it was clean. What could the problem have been?

    P.s., Avast [avast.com] FTW!
  • ...for the congregations.

    Every cloud has a silver lining, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:11PM (#15841341)
    I work for Symantec. I'm typing this on a Symantec computer. From a Symantec network. In the office. Surrounded by thought-deprived Symantedroids with little yellow swirlies tatooed on their foreheads.

    So listen very closely:

    Norton is shit. Shitty software shittily implemented on a shitty operating system. It used to be kind of kewl, but now it's a shit interface, with shit performance, and shit virus definitions that cost a shitload of money to update. Implemented on a shitbag platform because its missing some basic shit in the process controls. So we piled more shit on top of the shit that was already there, so now the shit attack surface still smells like shit, only it's bigger. The underlying pile of shit keeps getting bigger because Microsoft is apparently drilling and pumping to recycle old shit, so we have to keep making our pile of shit bigger to cover it, only some of the old shit keeps poking through. And our shit is updated only when the shit hits the fan. No one even knows their way around the pile of shit anymore because it's become an immense mountain of shit with rolling hills of shit versions, rivers of shit updates, shit swamps of shitty support and peaks of horseshit management tools that allow people to pretend that they understand all this shit.

    Buy a Mac. Patch the OS. And don't install shitty antivirus software.
  • If you think Anti-Virus software is not essential, I'd like you to go to a large college campus and connect to their network. Without a firewall and AV software you will probably have some nasty worms, viruses and trojans in about 1 hour. I have my computer set to scan everyday while I am at class. It finds at least 2 viruses a week. I use firefox, zone alarm, and keep windows updated. I also turn the comp at night, but stuff still gets through. I just wish people on campus would get AV software, the s
    • ...you will probably have some nasty worms, viruses and trojans in about 1 hour. I have my computer set to scan everyday while I am at class. It finds at least 2 viruses a week...
      ...windows...
      Ah. I think I see where your problem is...
  • by skoda (211470) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:31PM (#15841529) Homepage
    (apologies to Monty Python)

    First Vicar: As I scan my computer for sinful programs...

    (Cut to bishop and vicars at doorway.)

    Bishop: The anti-virus, vic! Don't run the anti-virus!

    (Cut back to vicar.)

    First Vicar: (Scanning in process)

    (The computer explodes. Vicar's sermons disappear in smoke. Cut to close-up of the bishop.)

    Bishop: We was too late. The Reverend Norton's writings bit the ceiling.
  • I used to work for Veritas supporting NetBackup and still use the product on a day-to-day basis. Every time I here someone refer to it as Symantec NetBackup I cry a little. Have Symantec had *any* good press recently?
  • Read the article, folks. The software has the liturgy and the readings. (I'd assume it has all the Propers, meaning those parts of the worship service that change based on the day on the liturgical calendar.) That means it has nothing to do with sermon preparation, but instead with preparation of the liturgy (what most lay folks call "the service"). See http://www.vislit.com/articles/intro.html [vislit.com] for more info. Poor techie writer didn't understand his subject matter. (A liturgy, for instance, is not "de
  • regular crashes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stewwy (687854)
    At work I've disabled norton on my pc as if I don't nothing works, its set to update at 12 am (not pm)for some stupid reason so just before lunch everyones (except mine for some reason :) ) pc blue screens on update days

    I've tried explaining to my pointy haired boss that Norton crashes our pc's because of a conflict with our inventory SW and nortons update mechanism but he's got as much of a clue as dilberts cartoon boss
    He's supposed to be our IT guy, but usually makes it worse when he tries to 'fix'
  • 80% miss rate anyway (Score:3, Informative)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:36PM (#15842077) Homepage

    I'm not sure the false positives could do anything but further amplify that anti-virus is more of a false sense of security than real threat protection.

    80% miss rate [zdnet.com.au]

    Of course if you're still surfing with Windows you're at risk anyway.

  • by Admiral Burrito (11807) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @06:06PM (#15843141)
    Virus name: God
    Also known as: Jehovah, Allah, Yahweh, YHWH
    Spyware: Yes, omnicient.
    Damage potential: Armageddon
    Prevalence: Ubiquitous
    Stealth: Yes (even it's existence is debated)
    Threat level: Critical
    Notes: This omnipotent entity creates a world by force of will, and then waits until the end times to trigger the armageddon payload.
  • by poor_boi (548340) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:16PM (#15843721)
    I used to use Norton AntiVirus religiously. I recently uninstalled it and I won't be going back unless something drastic changes. Every new release lately has more and more popups which are seemingly impossible to disable. The thing basically spams you with messages and it's pretty clear they're intended to bring your attention on the program so you'll be more likely to pay for your yearly update. They're afraid antivirus has become something that sits in your tray and you ignore all year while it does its job silently ... and that software that behaves like that doesn't inspire users to shell out their yearly upgrade / subscription cash hastily enough. So they make all sorts of blinky popups to remind you that you're using Symantec Norton AntiVirus and it is Monitoring Your Computer and Status is Green and all sorts of shazz I really don't need to know. Tell me when there's a virus and shut up otherwise.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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