How Safe Is Your PC from the Latest Norton Security Hack?

This is a guest post by Kimberly Reynolds. If you are interested to guest post in this blog, just head over to the Guest Post Guidelines.


Symantec, the world’s largest security software vendor, admits hackers stole some Norton Antivirus source code.

Symantec previously blamed a third party for the hack, but after further investigation, took back their statement and admitted the hackers had infiltrated their own networks. Symantec specified that the hackers obtained 2006-era source code for Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition, Norton SystemWorks (Norton Utilities and Norton GoBack), Norton Internet Security, and PCAnywhere.

Earlier this week, the hacking group responsible for the infiltration called “YamaTough” threatened to release 1.7 Gigabytes of source code for Norton Anti-Virus. The group later Tweeted, “We’ve decided not to release code to the public until we get full of it.”

Why is this security breach a threat? Source code contains instructions that are written in computer programming languages. It also contains comments shared by engineers to explain their software design. Companies tend to safeguard their source code out of fear that rivals could decipher their code and figure out the undisclosed tricks behind their technology. Not to mention, if hackers could crack their source code, they could use it to plan attacks against not only the company, but also users of their security products.

Although Symantec claimed the hack presented no threat of cyber attacks to customers using the most recent versions of their software, they did say, despite the age of the software, users of its PCAnywhere software faced a “slightly increased security risk.” Symantec claims they are taking the necessary steps to make their PCAnywhere customers aware of the situation in order to maintain the protection of their information.

Many are saying that despite Symantec’s downplay of the possibility of attacks, unless they wrote all new code from scratch, there will be elements of their source code that are still relevant today. Virus scanning on Windows machines has not changed much in several years, meaning this hack could have an effect on current security products.

People are fearful of hackers being able to gain access to their personal and confidential information such as bank accounts, credit cards, or top trade secrets. Online security is becoming more and more of an issue. This is why a degree in cyber security is becoming more and more valuable. Cyber criminals are very smart. They find ways to hack into our personal and confidential information without us even knowing. This type of problem will always exist. Having the knowledge that comes along with a cyber security degree can lead to a great career, but it might also be useful in your daily life.


About the AuthorKimberly Reynolds has always had a passion for computers. She decided to take her passion one step further by getting a degree in cyber security. Now, she works with computers everyday, making sure they are secure and safe. When an online security threat takes place, she feels it is my obligation to write about it and educate others.  

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  1. Anna says:

    I was just about to update my Norton… So what’s your opinion – just wait till everything is solved?

  2. Tan from yahoo pipes

    This is serious, next time virus/hacker will be even smart to escape from track or catch by antivirus.
    Tan recently posted..Bonus: How I Learnt Yahoo Pipes And Turned It Into A WebsiteMy Profile

  3. Neo from HackerNews says:

    It is very critical situation for symantec users. I think updating the norton won’t help in this case. Hacker has source code in his hands, he can do anything maliciously.
    Neo recently posted..Apple Supplier Foxconn hacked by group called SwaggSecMy Profile

    • Alan Tay says:

      I have not been following up the news. Not too sure what is the latest update now. Are you one of the pcAnywhere user?

  4. Peter Lee

    Degree in cyber security is becoming more and more valuable… hmm.., I always think that people took these courses to become a hacker later… hahaha 🙂
    Peter Lee recently posted..How to Incorporate Facebook Into Your Ecommerce Sales ProcessMy Profile

    • Alan Tay says:

      True Peter. People today took those ethical hacking course to be security experts on the good side, not the bad one 😉

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