The flaw in Norton Internet Security 2003 was known to delete incoming e-mail messages from selected addresses. According to Norman Kohlberger, Symantec?s senior regional product manager, the bug stems from a memory-allocation problem with Norton Spam Alert, a feature within the company?s online security software.
He said the mail-deletion glitch, which affects users of Microsoft Outlook Express, can occur when one of three conditions are present--when the computer is on for prolonged periods without rebooting, when the Outlook user receives a large number of e-mail messages or when the e-mail client frequently checks the server for new messages.
Kohlberger declined to reveal the number of people affected, but said that the company has only received "a very small number of complaints." He added that someone first reported the problem on the company?s discussion group on Oct. 14.
"Because this is such an uncommon occurrence, it took the product-management team time to replicate the problem," Kohlberger told CNETAsia.
He confirmed that the software snag is present in the Asian version of Norton Internet Security and that the company is working on a localized patch for the region.
Symantec released a patch for English-language versions of the software via its Liveupdate service last week.
Winston Chai reported from Singapore.