Symantec layoffs coming

Symantec will lay off an undetermined number of workers before the end of the year as part of a cost-cutting move in the economic downturn, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

The company, which gave guidance on Wednesday that was short of analyst expectations, plans a 4.5 percent cost savings in its workforce budget and will reduce the headcount enough to accomplish that, said spokesman Cris Paden.

Paden said he did not know how many employees would be laid off as a result, but said the layoffs will be global, will vary across geographies, and that no specific business … Read more

Microsoft RPC exploit could be a packaged deal

While Microsoft has labeled Thursday's emergency patch MS08-067 as "critical" and provided a rareout-of-cycle fix because its exploit could easily be used as worm on a compromised network, one security researcher doesn't think it will happen that way.

"It's likely we're going to see this packaged with some other attack." said Ben Greenbaum, senior research manager at Symantec. "A Web-based attack, for example. We're looking out for are exploits of this being bundled with client-side exploits or Trojans so that the worm can get past corporate firewalls and get … Read more

Symantec's work behind the cloud-based services curtain

Back in the late 1970s, communications provider MCI was on the verge of bankruptcy when suddenly it received a visit from Lady Luck. First, MCI won the right to provide long-distance services in opposition to AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission. In March 1980, MCI then became the first company to compete with AT&T in the residential long-distance market. By 1981, MCI had pulled a complete turnaround. Rather than teetering on the financial precipice, MCI sales approach $1 billion.

The MCI story has many components, but the company's early success went beyond litigation, legislation, and … Read more

Google, eBay up, but indexes down

Despite a down day for the broader markets Friday, a handful of tech stocks swam against the tide, posting modest single-digit gains.

Google, Symantec, and eBay were just some of the tech companies to finish the day in the black. The CNET Tech Index was down a modest 1.59 points to end the day at 1,185.55.

Google closed up 5.53 percent to $372.54 a share, which comes as little surprise considering the tech titan posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings results on Thursday. And on Friday, a number of analysts released largely positive comments on the quarter, … Read more

Secunia exploits security suites flaws

A new report (PDF) from Secunia is raising awareness about the need to patch vulnerabilities and block malware from desktops.

The report found that "security vendors do not focus on vulnerabilities." And while Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 bests the 11 other suites tested, Secunia found that Symantec "detected a mere 64 out of 300 exploits, or less than one-fourth, leaving 236 exploits undetected." Overall the dozen products all received an "F" on the report.

The Secunia test departed from the traditional testing done by organizations such as and, which … Read more

Symantec launches online PC tech support services

Symantec on Tuesday announced two premium online services that help tweak the performance of PC desktops through remote access by qualified technicians.

Both services are only available to customers using Windows XP and Vista, and are open to customers not currently using any Norton products.

One is a diagnostic service called PC Checkup for $29.99. "Think of it like taking your car to the auto dealership service," said Lenny Alugas, vice president of Norton Premium Services. The technician will perform a series of tests then inform the customer if additional services are necessary. The second premium service, … Read more

Symantec eyes pay-per-use software

Virtualization could end expensive long-term software licensing in favor of a pay-per-use model, according to Symantec.

Executives at the company said that years- or months-long licenses covering multiple machines could be slashed using virtualized applications to licensing deals structured as pay per day, per hour, or even per second.

Virtualized or streaming applications, where software is run on a central machine and streamed to computers over a network, allows monitoring of precisely how long each instance of the software is used.

"You can detect application usage so you can cut the number of licenses down to what is being … Read more

Symantec to buy MessageLabs for $695M

Symantec is acquiring MessageLabs, a maker of online messaging and Web security services, the company said Monday.

The deal is valued at approximately $695 million in cash, with Symantec paying 310 million pounds sterling and $154 million.

Symantec said the deal will help it strengthen its position in the software-as-a-service market. Symantec will focus on cross-selling and up-selling its existing SaaS offerings of backup, storage, and online remote access into the MessageLabs customer base.

MessageLabs generated approximately $145 million in revenue during fiscal year 2008, ended July 31, the companies said. The deal is expected to close by the end … Read more

Study: Uptick in spam-sending zombie PCs in September

Compromised computers that send spam as part of their regular botnet activity increased dramatically in September, according to a Symantec study (PDF) released Monday.

The Symantec report follows a study from MessageLabs also illustrating the increased use of automated spam relays.

After seeing a 37 percent drop in botnet-related spam for August, Symantec reported a 101 percent increase in September. The growth appears to be focused in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, with South Korea experiencing the largest increase at 4,236 percent. It was followed by Kazakhstan (761 percent), Romania (607 percent), Saudi Arabia (555 percent), and Vietnam (… Read more

Symantec to buy PC Tools

Symantec is buying PC Tools, which sells PC utilities software designed to boost the security and privacy of Windows-based computers, Symantec said on Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

The purchase will allow Symantec to expand its reach in emerging regional markets, the company said in a statement.

PC Tools, an Australia company, will continue to offer products under the PC Tools brand and will maintain separate operations within Symantec's consumer business unit.