Tag Archives: Norton

Another reason that I don’t recommend Norton 360

Norton 360 screenshot
Malware infects a PC despite protection by Norton 360.


A couple of years ago, I discovered that Symantec’s Norton 360 prevented Windows’ critical System Restore function from working [Norton 360 has (at least one) fatal flaw]. This flaw placed it on my “Not recommended” list.

For the past few months, suspicious pop-up ads had been appearing on a client’s Windows XP laptop that was protected by a current copy of Norton 360. Recently, it nagged her to purchase disinfection “from Microsoft” for an annual fee. The offer’s many misspellings raised her suspicion that maybe the offer wasn’t actually from Microsoft. A full scan by Norton 360 found no infections, yet the obnoxious pop-ups clearly indicated that the computer was infected..

When I scanned the laptop with SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes’ Antimalware, they discovered 4 malware infections. Since Norton 360 had failed to do its job, I removed it (using Symantec’s software removal tool) and replaced it with Microsoft Security Essentials. Then Security Essentials found another malware infection.

I’m surprised that Norton 360 failed to defend against these infections. Symantec is a serious company and Norton 360 has an impressive user interface with many user-configurable parameters, but in this instance it didn’t work. Microsoft Security Essentials has a less impressive user interface, but it works pretty well.

Nobody (or computer program) is perfect.

I’m fond of saying, “There is no perfect anti-virus program”. All occasionally produce a false negative or a false positive, and relative performance varies from week to week. Av-comparatives.org publishes quarterly results of anti-virus program tests.

I’ve seen other big-name anti-virus programs fail before:


Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Norton / Symantec videos explain threats

Here are video guides to Internet threats.

Watch video
Click to play video in new window.
Screenshot: Symantec.com

Symantec (who own Norton) has done a good job of producing videos that discuss threats from the Internet. They’re entertaining and easy to follow. The animated Symantec Quick Guides to Scary Internet Stuff is just the thing for people who are new to the Internet. There are 9 video clips in this playlist.

There’s a little bit of advertising at the end of each clip, but it’s not objectionable.

Symantec has also produced a series of videos that discuss threats in more detail. There are 34 clips in this playlist. I’m especially flipped out by their excellent presentation on using Zeus for fun and profit. It is indeed Scary Internet stuff.

I applaud Symantec for producing these series of videos.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com

© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Norton 360 has (at least one) fatal flaw

Norton 360 breaks Windows’ critically important System Restore facility.

Symantec’s Norton 360 (the embodiment of the word "bloatware") has a fatal flaw: it prevents Windows XP from performing a system restore. Symantec admits it: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/norton2008.nsf/0/fa8500b78e0a207b6525738e006ca954?OpenDocument  Symantec’s workaround is unacceptable, because one of Windows XP’s better safety features is that it creates system restore points — typically, one per day — in the background, without user input. Symantec’s workaround won’t allow any of these system restore points to work.

More detail: http://community.norton.com/norton/board/message?board.id=Norton_360&message.id=11383

What does this mean to you? If your Windows installation is damaged and you try to use the "Restart / F8  / Restore last known good configuration" procedure, it will NOT work, ever. Nor will you be able to restore from any system restore points. Norton 360 prevents you from having any Windows registry backups on your disk. It’s hard to believe that this seriously flawed product was released to production.

(Detail: Norton 360’s Tamper Protection damages the System file component of the backed-up registry when Windows’ Create System Restore point is executed.)

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com