Symantec declares PCAnywhere safe with latest security patch

PCAnywhere customers' computers are apparently safe again, as long as they apply the latest security patch to the software.

PCAnywhere customers' computers are apparently safe again, as long as they apply the latest security patch to the software.

(Credit: Symantec)

Following news of the theft of the product's source code, Symantec last week advised customers to disable the software to guard against cyber attacks.

But a round of free upgrades released last week were aimed at cleaning up the vulnerabilities.

On 23 January, Symantec released a patch to secure PCAnywhere 12.5. And then, on 27 January, the company rolled out another patch directed towards PCAnywhere versions 12.0 and 12.1.

Posting the latest information about the security updates and the source-code theft, Symantec is advising users to apply all of the relevant patches as they come out, and follow best practices (PDF) when it comes to security. Customers who don't have the latest version with the new patches can contact Symantec at for further help.

Responding to hackers who boasted that they had stolen the code for various products, Symantec earlier this month initially blamed the incident on a third-party server, and said that the theft was limited to two older enterprise products — Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Symantec Antivirus 10.2.

However, the security vendor later admitted that someone had actually hacked into its own network in 2006, and grabbed the source code for several different products, including Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition, Norton Internet Security, Norton SystemWorks and PCAnywhere.

Customers of most of the products in question are safe, said Symantec, because those applications have since been updated. But PCAnywhere is apparently still at risk, forcing the company to scramble to release the new security patches.

Aimed towards business users, PCAnywhere is remote-control software that lets users take control of another computer. The information on the patches was directed towards version 12 and higher, with no mention of version 11.5, which was released in 2004, or prior versions. However, a Symantec spokesman told CNET that if requested, the company will honour an update to version 12.5 for customers using previous versions of the product.


About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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