Norton ranks riskiest cities for cybercrime

You may want to start keeping a closer eye on where you click if you live in Seattle.

Among 50 U.S. cities studied for their vulnerability to cybercrime, Seattle came out on top as the riskiest place, followed by Boston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, according to the report "Norton's Top 10 Riskiest Online Cities," released Monday.

In an effort to study and rank the nation's riskiest cities for cybercrime, Symantec partnered with research firm Sperling's BestPlaces. The two companies used their own internal research and also checked out key facts and figures … Read more

Symantec exhibit makes cybercrime tangible

SAN FRANCISCO--For many people, the concepts of botnets, software exploits, and underground marketplaces are fairly abstract. To solve that problem, Symantec has created a Black Market exhibit that attempts to make these virtual ideas more tangible.

The security company gave tours of its Black Market at the RSA security conference here this week.

"We really wanted to create a sensory experience so that everyone would realize that cybercrime is happening to us all the time. We tried to portray the view that you are being scammed and defrauded $20 at a time," Rhonda Shantz, vice president of consumer … Read more

Botnets cause surge in February spam

Spam now accounts for close to 90 percent of all e-mail worldwide due to a surge in February, according to Symantec.

Two botnets named Grum and Rustock helped push spam levels up 5.5 percent in February over the prior month, according to the security firm's report (PDF). After doing business as usual over the past year, Grum suddenly sprang to life in February, increasing the amount of spam it generated by 51 percent. As a result, the botnet is now to blame for 26 percent of all global spam.

Rustock also surged last month, pushing up global spam … Read more

Symantec to play host to health care companies

Symantec on Monday announced the launch of a hosting service designed to let health care providers store, archive, and share their medical records.

The company's new Symantec Health service is designed to help hospitals and health care companies offload the costs and internal resources used to house medical records. As health care firms are forced to keep more image-based files, such as lab tests, for longer retention times, their storage costs have soared, said Symantec. The Symantec Health service will offer an alternative cloud-based storage environment where companies can budget and pay only for what they need.

The service … Read more

Symantec confirms zero-day Acrobat, Reader attack

Symantec on Tuesday confirmed a vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat and Reader and said it was being exploited by a Trojan hidden in e-mail attachments.

The malicious Adobe Acrobat PDF file is distributed via an e-mail attachment that "drops and executes when opened on a fully patched system with either Adobe Acrobat or Reader installed," Symantec said in a statement.

Symantec identified the file as Trojan Pidief.H, which targets Windows 98, 95, XP, Windows Me, Vista, NT, 2000 and Server 2003.

The rate of infection is extremely limited and the risk assessment level is very low, according to … Read more

Norton Online Backup 2.0 hits the Web

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post running down the best places to store your files online. Of the six that I covered, two have since closed up shop and one has changed its name.

It's a constantly changing space. Since then, we have seen a lot of new entrants into the online file storage and backup game. Norton Online Backup is a fairly new product that is getting a very strong upgrade Wednesday with version 2.0 of its product. The new version includes support for Mac and Windows, 90-day file versioning, and the ability to … Read more

Mac Game: Art project or malware?

As part of his Master of Fine Arts thesis project, Zach Gage wrote a game to run on Macintosh computers that resembles Space Invaders but with a digital roulette twist--for every alien space ship the player destroys a random file on the computer is deleted.

"Lose/Lose is a video-game with real life consequences. Each alien in the game is created based on a random file on the player's computer. If the player kills the alien, the file it is based on is deleted. If the player's ship is destroyed, the application itself is deleted," the … Read more

Podcast: Symantec says beware of rogue security software

If you've ever gotten a pop-up message warning that your PC is infected, it could very well be an advertisement for rogue software that can do a lot of harm and absolutely no good.

Symantec has just issued a report saying that the company has "detected over 250 distinct rogue security software programs." These scams try to convince users that their machine is infected and offer software for purchase that will take care of the problem. But instead of removing security threats, it can create them by installing malicious code that can allow criminals to take over … Read more

Podcast: Symantec researcher on biggest Patch Tuesday ever

Tuesday was the biggest Patch Tuesday ever as Microsoft released 13 bulletins for 34 vulnerabilities. But just because Microsoft issues patches, does that mean that users should apply them? Yes, says Ben Greenbaum, senior research manager for Symantec Security.

Greenbaum said that these patches impacted many Microsoft products, including Windows 7 that isn't even out yet.

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Podcast: Symantec exec on how to avoid being a phishing victim

Phishing attacks have been around for a while and you might think that most people are savvy enough to avoid them. But, as CNET's Elinor Mills discovered, even FBI Director Robert Mueller finds it hard to distinguish a rogue phishing site from a legitimate bank website.

This week there have been two major phishing stories. One involved e-mail account names and passwords of Hotmail and Gmail users being compromised through a phishing attack and posted on a website. The other (which Mills also wrote about in the story linked above) involved the indictment of 100 people in the U.… Read more