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Symantec, Makers of Norton, Faces Claims They Aren’t as “Industry Leading” as They Report

Symantec Claims to be Industry Leading — But Are They Really?

According to a federal ruling, Symantec Corporation will have to continue defending against class claims that its Norton and Enterprise products failed to protect its users against the latest online cyber threats.

Edward Chen of the U.S District Court ruled Symantec’s statement that its software is “industry-leading” may create consumer belief that the company is adhering to industry best practices.  However, an investigation by Google’s cyber security team uncovered software vulnerabilities within the Antivirus Decomposer Engine held within Symantec software.  Not only were there vulnerabilities noted, but Symantec allegedly failed to notify customers that it did not implement patches on particular third-party source code.

Montgomery Beyer, the individual who brought claims against Symantec, is alleging the defects within the Symantec software exposed his entire computer operating systems to multiple security vulnerabilities.

Surprised? You Shouldn’t Be…

Recently, PC Matic has been requesting public records on antivirus solutions used at the time of ransomware infections for public municipalities, school systems, and law enforcement agencies.  Due to the time it takes to process each public record request, only a small percentage have been returned.  However, of those which did respond disclosing which antivirus they were using, 34% reported a Symantec product.  Those respondents include:

  • Department of Mineral Resources in Bismarck, North Dakota
  • City of Yuba City in California 
  • City of Farmington in New Mexico
  • Monroe County School District in Key West, Florida
  • Grant County Education Service District in John Day, Oregon

Moving Forward

The cyber security industry is going to be held accountable for their marketing language.  Different terms like “exceptional” or “outstanding” are still permitted, without necessarily having to “back up” those terms.  However, if a company is going to use language like “industry-leading” — they must have data to back that up.

This may include disclosing independent third-party testing and scoring really well, or various third-party awards, or making product enhancements to address the latest attack methods used by cyber criminals.

As a consumer, MSP, or reseller, it is important you understand the marketing language security solutions are using.  They can’t make big claims, unless they have ways to back it up.  If you ever question the legitimacy of the claim — contact the company and ask for evidence to support it.

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25 thoughts on “Symantec, Makers of Norton, Faces Claims They Aren’t as “Industry Leading” as They Report

  1. Hackers won’t even use Norton. I have stumbled upon bitdefender after finding Kaspersky in bed with Putin. The bitdefender box 2 has so far, been outstanding! All my internet traffic has to go through the box before it gets to any other Internet device. Yes, it has told me about unsuccessful attacks on my computers, not sure I would trust it if it never caught anything.

  2. The only AV that has a White List protection for Zero Day infection is PC Matic!
    If it is not on the White List, it does NOT get on my computers!
    Even if it requires an internet connection, how often are you not on the internet?
    And, the internet is where the majority of malware attacks originate.

    I use PC Matic and recommend it to all my customers.


  4. I use Vipre products. When I install it on any computer, it immediately appears on MY deshboard with regular reports of how it is working on each computer, with graphs. Renewing is easy. It’s the best. Across more than 50 computers, NEVER ONE VIRUS in 1.5 years. It’s the new Vipre Cloud that is the best. And yes, the program is computer resident, and works with no Internet.

  5. I dumped Norton five years ago and switched to AVG on my laptop. I also added Webroot SecureAnywhere and dumped Malwarebytes in favor of IObit Malware Fighter in protest of Malwarebytes’ repeated flagging of IObit’s Advanced SystemCare as a PUP (potentially unwanted program) as part of Malwarebytes’ ongoing war with IObit.

    AVG caught and quarantined far more viruses and malware than Norton did — and, much to my surprise, Webroot caught and quarantined more viruses and malware than AVG and IMF combined. I have both AVG and Webroot on my smartphone (IMF doesn’t have a mobile version).

    Tech experts have for years discouraged users fro having more than one AV or AM product on their devices, but I’ve never accepted their advice, on the grounds that no single AV program can catch every baddie out there. To the contrary, you’re a fool to rely on only one AV or AM program.

  6. I’ve actually had better luck with the free Anti Virus software than Norton or Symantec! Since I switched to PC Matic I have had no issues with Viruses at all! You may use my information if you wish.

  7. I too had a virus issue while using Norton 360. As another comment was made, I also had the tech go into my computer , fix the issue, then tell me that I was covered for the fix under the software agreement…….however the very next year I purchased the same software and got a second virus……at that point I got a new computer……….and pc matic evergreen.

  8. I agree the same thing happened to me when I had Norton and Kaspersky. I was charged extra when my system got a virus. Then I heard on the news that some anti-virus software deliberately effected the computer with a virus so they could charge more. I’m very pleased with Pit Stop I haven’t had a virus since I started using them. I agree it’s all a scam.

    • @Phyllis: why would you have two? and have you paid attention to what is happening with kaspersky lately? and did you tell the system to ignore the virus thinking it was a false positive which is your fault for opening the door to it?

    Antivirus is dead.

    So sayeth Brian Dye, Symantec’s senior vice president for information security, in a weekend interview with The Wall Street Journal. The words sound shocking—Symantec and its Norton antivirus suite have been at the forefront of PC security for years and years. But don’t let the stark claim fool you: Norton isn’t being retired, and Dye’s words merely reflect the new reality in computing protection.

    While detecting and protecting against malicious software installed on your computer still plays a very vital role, many of the sophisticated attacks of today still manage to penetrate PCs with antivirus programs installed. In fact, Dye told WSJ that he estimates traditional antivirus detects a mere 45 percent of all attacks. That’s not good.

  10. Industry leading in what areas? They could be leading in sales or marketing budget. This is the same type of claim that Trump makes kind of like saying your the greatest or that you are winning. MAGA…

  11. I switched to PCMatic from Norton BECAUSE I kept getting viruses. I have had PCMatic since and haven’t had ANY problems since. PCMatic clearly lives up to their claims as far as I am concerned. I recommend it highly to everyone.

    • @Anthony Pumilia: what exactly are you doing that keeps introducing the computer system to a virus? what have you told it to ignore as it’s bloodhound is very thorough at detecting issues before they are identified? I have been using Norton products since NAV4 with no issues, I have tried PC matic and it is reliant on a network connection, want to see an easy way to disable it watch something attack your network with a denial of service attack and it becomes useless.

  12. I was not happy about the announcement that Symantec
    was covering the Life Lock customers l told them so..
    I have never revevived alerts even though l have received Breach Notification Letters.
    Im changing service yet again
    So how vernable does that leave me with prior breaches because l felt l had to change service providers ..

  13. As I understand it Norton or Symantec owns a large company called Life Lock whereby millions of people trust their credit card numbers and other financial valuables to them–Correct:
    If not Life Lock then who has the best identity theft protection capabilities?
    Wayne Wright

  14. I can believe that Norton security system are not who they say were. I was with the company for over 6 years and during that time, my computer was infected with a virus at least three out of the six years. Each time upon contacting them in reference my problem, they were able to correct my computer issues, however it came with a charge. I was paying this company for a service that I was not receiving. They were supposed to be protecting my computer from virus and other cyber attacks, but failed to live up to their agreement. Instead, each time my computer developed an issue, I was charged a fee from the company to go into my computer system to correct the problem or problems. Each time I was told that my computer had contacted a virus. I thought that’s was what I was paying them for, to protect my system from what I was paying them to fix. And what made this scam so obvious, was that my computer would develop those issues soon after the renewal of my yearly contract. After about three years I realized that I was being played or was a victim of a scam.

    • As I understand it Norton or Symantec owns a large company called Life Lock whereby millions of people trust their credit card numbers and other financial valuables to them–Correct:
      If not Life Lock then who has the best identity theft protection capabilities?
      Wayne Wright @Rodney Dorsey:

    • @Rodney Dorsey: Rodney you are so right! I take care of my brothers computer , make certain his Norton antivirus is up to date and he suffered the same thing you have acknowledged. he paid for the Norton premium but got so many trojans that they fixed but he had to pay a charge. thank you for allowing me to find this out,

    • @Rodney Dorsey: I had the same problem immediately after renewing two accounts for a year. 7 instances of the same virus on two computers! I grudgingly agreed to the charged repair and then discovered that they removed only one of the viruses from one of the computers. i.e. $69 x 14 for a complete repair. Slow I may be but stupid I am not. I simply stopped using their service? and actually had to pay someone to remove all traces of Norton. They are harder to get rid of than the plague!

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