Norton AntiVirus 2009 beta

Last month I got an email from someone who works with Symantec, the company that produces Norton AntiVirus, inviting me to be involved in their beta programme for Norton AntiVirus 2009.

No way! I thought initially. The reason that I moved away from Norton AntiVirus to AVG Free was due to the relatively massive hit on system resources that Norton imposed on my PC system.  It definitely slowed things down.

So I did a bit of reading and was delighted to read that Symantec have

The 2009 releases of Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus were engineered to be fast, and light on system resources.

Reading on:

Norton AntiVirus 2009 provides fast and up-to-the-minute defence against all types of malicious software. It keeps your system protected without slowing it down.

New in 2009!

  • Innovative new architecture dramatically reduces the boot time impact, the scan time, the memory usage as well as the system footprint and the install time
  • Smart Idle Time Scheduler runs quietly in the background to let you work and play without disruption
  • Silent-Mode ensures your games and movies are never interrupted by alerts and security updates

It looks like Symantec have been listening to their users.  I’m going to give the beta a go and see what it’s like. I am very hopeful to be honest; other than the performance hit of previous versions I did like Norton AV.

What will be interesting is to compare the update file sizes compared with AVG Free, which is normally < 200-300 KB, so fabulously lightweight.

Update

Unfortunately … as soon as I tried to download the beta I got this message:

Thank you ... A system error has occurred.
Thank you … A system error has occurred.

Update 2

It took me about an hour but I was able to download the installation file.

Well, technically it wasn’t me.  It was Symantec Technical Support who connected to my PC via Remote Desktop and downloaded it from a different location, which was pretty poor show to be honest.

Tech support were okay — not very chatty, it must be said, and didn’t really keep me informed very well about what they were doing, but we got there in the end. Even if the whole process from looking up their tech support details to finishing the call took about an hour.

What he did was open the download page in my browser, asked me to enter my details, then he clicked the “Continue” button and watched the same error message that I’d got.

The conversation then went like this:

Mr Gareth Saunders: In good technical support tradition it would appear that the fault is at your end. 😉
Tech Support: Please wait

Viewers of BBC Scotland’s Chewin’ the Fat will likely be making some kind of “oooh!” sound while wiggling their fingers underneath their chin at this point!

So now I have the beta downloaded … it’s time for bed.

Seemingly it lasts for 7 days after which you have to install the latest build, I was told.

But from where?! Wasn’t the whole issue to do with the fact that I couldn’t download the latest build?

Mr Gareth Saunders: What else will I require to install it?  Do I require a licence key for this?
Tech Support: you can use it for 7 days and then you can install the latest build
Mr Gareth Saunders: Ok — and will it tell me where I can download the latest build?
Tech Support: You can contact us from the support option from the program and we will do that for you

I hope that part doesn’t involve Remote Desktop because I’m not happy giving control of my PC to software company tech support teams more than once a year!

My earlier feeling of hopefulness about Norton AntiVirus 2009 Beta is slowly draining away, I’m sorry to report.  Perhaps that’s my exhaustion speaking.

Hacked again (pt.2)

I got back from Cellardyke tonight to discover that my site had been hacked once again. This time I didn’t delete the files they’d dumped on my server; I’ve zipped them and sent them to my webhost for examination.

I’m now wondering if they’ve used a Linux kernel exploit to gain root access to the server. That’s pretty serious stuff, and if that is the case then I do hope my webhost get the kernel patched asap. If it’s not, then I hope they help me get to the root of this problem.

I got hacked!

I’ve just sent an email to my webhost, HostEurope/Pipex, to ask if they can shed any light on how/why my website got hacked. This morning I received this email, written at 19:42 last night:

Check this address – some one has invaded your site
Kathryn
https://www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk/index.html

and sure enough, my website front page had been replaced with a two word plain text file that read “F*ck .uk” (but with no asterisk).

I’ve now replaced the offending/offensive page with my original page and will await to see if Pipex can shed any light on how or why it was hacked, and what I (or they) can do to prevent this in the future.