Symantec fires CEO Steve Bennett

After less than two years in the top job at Symantec, Steve Bennett has been fired.

The security software firm announced Thursday that Bennett had been terminated as the company's president and CEO, and he has resigned from the company's board of directors. Board member Michael Brown will take over as interim president and CEO, effective immediately.

"Our priority is now to identify a leader who can leverage our company's assets and leadership team to drive the next stage of Symantec's product innovation and growth," said Daniel Schulman, chairman of Symantec's board, in … Read more

Symantec takes on one of largest botnets in history

Symantec has seized part of the 1.9 million-computer strong ZeroAccess, one of the largest botnets in existence.

In a blog post Monday, the security firm said the ZeroAccess botnet is primarily used to deliver payloads to infected computers, which is aimed at two illegal, revenue-generating activities: click fraud and bitcoin mining.

One type of payload often associated with ZeroAccess is a click fraud Trojan. Once installed on a compromised computer, the Trojan downloads online advertisements and then generates artificial clicks, which can pay out dividends through pay-per-click (PPC) affiliate schemes. The bots running fraud operations generated around 42 false … Read more

Google confirms Android flaw that led to Bitcoin theft

Google has confirmed a flaw in Android's operating system, which could make Bitcoin digital wallets vulnerable to theft.

Android security engineer Alex Klyubin penned a blog post on Wednesday outlining the root cause of the vulnerability.

"We have now determined that applications which use the Java Cryptography Architecture (JCA) for key generation, signing, or random number generation may not receive cryptographically strong values on Android devices due to improper initialization of the underlying PRNG," Klyubin wrote. "Applications that directly invoke the system-provided OpenSSL PRNG without explicit initialization on Android are also affected."

The flaw was … Read more

Targeted cyberattacks jump 42 percent in 2012, Symantec says

Internet users are seeing less spam but more targeted attacks, according to security software company Symantec.

Looking at last year's security landscape, Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report 2013 found that traditional spam accounted for 69 percent of all e-mail in 2012, down from 75 percent in 2011. Yet, 30 billion spam messages are still sent on a daily basis.

Junk e-mails that hawk sex or dating products and services now account for 55 percent of all spam, taking the top spot away from pharmaceutical spam.

Malware is also part of one out of every 291 e-mail messages, with … Read more

Intellectual Ventures sues Symantec over patents, again

Intellectual Ventures, the controversial patent and technology firm founded by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, has sued security company Symantec once again.

In a new complaint (PDF), filed in the U.S. District Court of Delaware, Intellectual Ventures accused Symantec of infringing on three of its patents in some of its products.

The complaint targets Symantec's Replicator, Veritas Volume Replicator, and ApplicationHA products specifically, and claims the company "actively, knowingly, and intentionally" infringed on IV's patents with those products.

"We have been unable to reach an agreement with Symantec, and, in addition to their infringement … Read more

Microsoft, Symantec shutter another botnet

Microsoft and security software maker Symantec have revealed that they collaborated on the take-down of a botnet that had infected hundreds of thousands of computers.

By stopping the botnet, infected computers were reportedly unable to search the Internet. According to the story as first reported by Reuters, this is the first time that the companies which stopped the botnet directly warned people who had infected computers and offered them clean-up tools.

The botnet, called Bamital, is the sixth one that that Microsoft has received a court order to stop since 2010 and the second that it has worked with Symantec … Read more

Crave giveaway: Symantec's Norton 360 Multi-Device suite

Congrats to Jonathan P. of Lawton, Okla., for winning an Element Case Sector 5 for the iPhone and a Joule II for the iPad in last week's giveaway. Now, some good news and some bad news. First, the bad: It's getting to be that time of year when online holiday-related scams proliferate faster than big-box deals. The good? This week's giveaway is here to help.

We're giving away a copy of Symantec's new Norton 360 Multi-Device security suite. A couple of months back, CNET highly recommended Norton 360. The Multi-Device version of the software simultaneously … Read more

Norton Mobile pushes security as a service

Norton Mobile Security has taken the unusual step today of merging its mobile licensing so that you pay once and can use the mobile security suite on either Android or iOS. It's an effort to make Norton's security more accessible, and parent company Symantec wants to turn Norton accessibility into a security service.

The change isn't drastic, said Con Mallon, senior director of Norton mobile product management, but natural. "The new Norton Mobile Security is both a Web service and a mobile service," he said in a phone interview with CNET. "We're going … Read more

Ransomware a growing menace, says Symantec

Cybercriminals gangs are creating a surge in ransomware, says a new report from Symantec.

Ransomware is a type of malware best described as an online extortion racket. Malware locks or disables your PC in some way and then demands payment in the form of a "fine" to render your PC usable again. Like most scams, the ransomware message claims to come from a legitimate organization, such as the government or a public corporation, to try to convince victims that they did something wrong to incur the fine.

But paying the fine does nothing since the initial malware remains … Read more

Anonymous hacking spree hits PayPal, Symantec

The press arm for Anonymous has announced that it has begun its hacking spree for the 5th of November -- Guy Fawkes Day -- and claims to have dumped user and employee account information on accounts from PayPal, Symantec, Australian government Web sites and much more.

Monday's main focus seems to be an anti-surveillance protest -- as with the recent Anonymous October 20 protest -- with November 5th intent aimed at surveillance systems such as TrapWire and INDECT.

Trapwire and INDECT's opponents believe that the surveillance systems to be direct threats to privacy and certain civil … Read more