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McAfee unveils 2005 security suite

Security software maker has released updated versions of its offerings for home computer users.

Building on the notion of defense in depth, McAfee has bundled together its latest security applications into a single suite aimed at home users.

MIS 2005, announced Monday, includes upgrades to the company's VirusScan, Personal Firewall Plus, Privacy Service and SpamKiller packages, which are designed to protect computers from viruses, hackers, spam, phishing scams and other online dangers. It also is meant to act as a safeguard against threats targeting instant-messaging software from America Online, Yahoo and Microsoft.

In addition, McAfee has teamed up with Hackerwatch.org to let home users report and share data about cybercriminals.

Security software makers are hustling to add features to their line-ups as new threats such as phishing emerge and grow. Symantec, for instance, recently unveiled a security service designed for companies that want to protect sensitive business information from exposure and attack.

McAfee said its upgraded e-mail scanning is designed to handle large files such as digital photos or music files, while its spyware detector hunts down programs such as keystroke loggers, Web dialers and adware pop-ups. Text and image filters are in place to detect hidden codes that spammers use to evade antispam engines.

"The typical home user can no longer be a passive participant in today's home computing environment," Brent Lymer, senior director of product and partner management for McAfee's consumer operations, said in a statement.

The new offering is compatible with Microsoft's Windows XP operating system and with XP Service Pack 2. It is available for $69.99, the company said. The various pieces of the suite are also available separately.