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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 18 January 2022

Use these antivirus products? Then you need to update them asap

The latest update to Symantec and Norton antivirus products fixes a number of serious security flaws.

Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

HAVING ANTIVIRUS PROTECTION is pretty much a given at this point, and keeping it updated is just as important but if you use any Symantec products, you’ll need to update it as soon as you can.

A Google researcher discovered a number of vulnerabilities in both Symantec and Norton antivirus products, saying the flaws were “as bad as it gets”.

The issues have been fixed but Tavis Ormandy, a Project Zero member who discovered the vulnerabilities, says the flaws were found in the core engine it uses in all of its products, meaning all of its products were affected by this.

“These vulnerabilities are as bad as it gets. They don’t require any user interaction, they affect the default configuration, and the software runs at the highest privilege levels possible,” he said in a post.

As Symantec uses the same core engine across their entire product line, all Symantec and Norton branded antivirus products are affected by these vulnerabilities.

One of the flaws would allow a person to take over a Windows device by just emailing a file or sending a link to an exploit. The victim wouldn’t need to open the file for it to activate.

Symantec published a list of all the products affected and the best way to update them. While many of them update automatically, a small number don’t so it’s best to check the about section (usually found under help) to see if you’re using the latest version.

Even if you’re not affected by this, it’s a good idea to keep your antivirus protection updated regularly. The easiest way to do this is to schedule it for a regular time when you’re not using your PC or laptop so it doesn’t interrupt you while you’re working.

Read: Those pushy Windows 10 upgrade alerts are getting a necessary change >

Read: Google wants to expand how it tracks you for ads – and it’s giving you a choice >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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