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Norton 360 did not catch virus while googling

by gerrieaustin / September 12, 2009 8:49 AM PDT

I have Norton 360 and thought my computer was safe but it wasn't. I was in the middle of googling when the virus hit me. Before I knew it, the virus was updating me every 2 to 3 minutes telling me that I had multiple virus' and needed to download this new anti-virus software. (As in more than one virus). My Norton 360 did not catch it at all and Norton was running at the time of the virus. When I scanned my computer a second time, using Norton, again, it acted like everything was ok, meaning everything passed like I wasn't hit at all.
I contacted a Norton 360 rep, and still, the virus was updating me every 2 to 3 mintues, and the rep acted like he already
knew of the virus but proceeded to get $99 or $140 before he would fix it. I want to know why this virus was not caught by the anti-virus software, ovbiously inherent in Norton 360? Was it the first time this virus had hit? There wasn't anybody else that had the same problem as me?

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Two things
by Jimmy Greystone / September 12, 2009 9:10 AM PDT

Two things... Well, three really, but...

1: What you have isn't a virus, it's malware

2: Norton is crap, replace it with anything that isn't McAfee

3: The following are some tips to help prevent this from happening again, but they won't deal with the immediate problem. Someone else will have to help you with that.


The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. They won't solve any existing problems you have, but if you follow them all you should be able to avoid virtually all problems in the future.

Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer (1)
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer (e.g. Maxathon and MSN Explorer)
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express (2)
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet (3)
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser (4)
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running (5)
3: Always have a firewall running (6)
4: Install all the latest security updates (7)(8)(9)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address
9: Establish a regular backup regimen (10)(11)
10: Make regular checks of your backup media to ensure it is still good (12)

Being a considerate Internet user & other misc tips
1: Do not send attachments in emails (13)(14)
2: Do not use stationary or any other kind of special formatting in emails (13)
3: Do not TYPE IN ALL CAPS (15)
4: Avoid texting speak or "l33t speak" (16)
5: Do not poke the sleeping bear (17)


(1) Sadly sometimes this is unavoidable, so only use IE when the site absolutely will not work with any other browser and you cannot get that information/service anywhere else, and only use IE for that one specific site.
(2) Outlook and Outlook Express are very insecure, and basically invite spam. The jury is still out on Vista's Windows Mail, but given Microsoft's history with email programs, extreme caution is advised. Possible replacements include Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, The Bat, and dozens of others.
(3) When it doubt over whether or not to allow some program, use Google to find out what it is and whether or not it needs access to the Internet. Otherwise, denying access is the safest course of action, since you can always change the rule later.
(4) On Windows your options include: Mozilla Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, Flock, Chrome, and Safari. I would personally recommend Firefox with the NoScript extension for added security, but it the important thing is to pick one and use it instead of IE.
(5) AVG Free and Avast are available if you need a decent free virus scanner
(6) XP/Vista's firewall is probably good enough for 99% of all Windows users, but other options include ZoneAlarm, Outpost Firewall, and Comodo. If you have a router with a firewall built into it, there is no need for any of the aforementioned firewalls to be running.
(7) Microsoft's usual system is to release security updates every second Tuesday of the month.
(8) Use of Windows Update on Windows operating systems prior to Windows Vista requires Internet Explorer, and is thus a valid exception to the "No IE" rule.
(9) Service packs should ALWAYS be installed. They frequently contain security updates that will ONLY be found in that service pack.
(10) You can go with a full fledged backup program, or simply copying important files onto a CD/DVD/Flash drive.
(11) I'd recommend a tiered backup system. For example, you might have 5 rewritable DVDs, and every day you burn your backup onto a new disc. On the 6th day, you erase the disc for Day #1 for your backup, and so on so that you have multiple backups should one disc ever go bad.
(12) Replace rewritable CDs and DVDs approximately every 3-6 months.
(13) These dramatically increase the size of email messages (2-3X minimum) and clog up email servers already straining to cope with the flood of spam pouring in daily.
(14) If you want to share photos with friends/family, upload them to some photo sharing site like Flickr or Google's Picasa Web and then send people a link to that particular photo gallery.
(15) This is considered to be the same as SHOUTING and many people find it to be hard to read along with highly annoying.
(16) Unless the goal is to make yourself look like a pre-adolescent girl, or someone overcompensating for their gross inadequacies, and you don't want people to take you seriously.
(17) Most REAL hackers are quite content to leave you alone unless you make them take notice of you. No dinky little software firewall or consumer grade router is going to keep them out of your system. So do not go to some hacker website or chat room and start shooting your mouth off unless you're prepared to accept the consequences

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Please provide me with more information
by Michael_York / September 16, 2009 6:49 AM PDT

Hi gerrieaustin,

This is Mike from the Norton Authorized Support Team.

As to why Norton 360 may have not have caught the infection on your system, please read the following document from Symantec.

Spyware & Virus FAQ

What version of Norton 360 do you currently have installed and which version of Windows are you using?

If you are using Norton 360 version 3,manually run LiveUpdate to ensure that you have the latest updates applied. When the updates have been installed, restart your computer into Windows Safe Mode and then launch Norton 360 and a Comprehensive Scan will begin. Let me know if any infections were detected, and if so, the name of the infection.

Thank you,

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norton 360 and malware coming through anyway
by gerrieaustin / October 5, 2009 6:00 AM PDT

I just spent $140 to have one of your tech guy fix the first malware I received and it worked, only to have another malware hit my system again a week later and again, norton didn't find it. I had to go and get another computer so I could finish my taxes before the 15th oct deadline without getting more virus'. so far, my new system is clean, virus free. But I still have my older laptop to contend with this new malware. I'm going to try and fix it by myself but may need help if this doesn't work. Why am i getting hit with malware or virus' when norton 360 checks my system every 60 minutes? i know what to do regarding opening up attachments and the like, and normally i'll can the emails that I don't know about right away. I'm definitely thinking of switching from norton all together when my subscription runs out in early january. This has got to be the worst Norton I've ever seen in the more than 10 years I've been computing and to tell you the truth, I'm not happy at all.

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norton 360 not working -
by gerrieaustin / October 6, 2009 7:23 AM PDT

I tried to do what you suggested. I manually reran "live update". it was taking over 24 hours to complete, and because i was scared about this process taking so long, i had to quit it. This makes me very suspicious. Why would it take so long first of all...
I'll try running live update again and see what happens this time. well let you know the outcome.

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Please reinstall Norton 360
by Michael_York / October 6, 2009 7:40 AM PDT

Hi gerrieaustin,

It should not take more than a few moments to run LiveUpdate on your system, so I suspect that something else is going on with your computer or your internet connection. The easiest way to resolve the issue is to properly remove and then reinstall the latest version of Norton 360. Please carefully follow the instructions below.

1. Click on the following link to download the Norton Removal Tool:

Norton Removal Tool and Instructions

2. After you run the tool, please restart your computer. Then log in to Windows again and run the removal tool again. Restart your computer after it is finished running the second time as well.

3. Click on the link below and then choose the "Download" button under Norton 360 to download the latest installer.

Download the latest Norton 360 installer

4. When the installation is complete, launch Norton and manually run LiveUpdate to check for updates. If any updates are installed, restart your computer. Open Norton 360, select the "Help & Support" link and choose "About". The version number should be "".

5. Mouse-over the "PC Security" bubble and choose "Run Scans" and choose "Comprehensive Scan".

Let me know if any infections were found during the scan.

Thank you,

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Norton 360 did not catch virus while googling
by divingdeep / January 31, 2010 11:15 PM PST

I also had my computer infected twice in as many months while simply Googling. The first time was last month when attempting to open a Canon website to register a product and the second time was just last evening while I was attempting to open a page for a recipe for crab cakes! I was not downloading anything!! I, too had to pay Norton $140 the first time and $100 yesterday. They told me these things just happen and Norton cannot be expected to catch all viruses. Their excuses are lame. Needless to say I am extremely upset that the very thing I'm paying them for it the very thing they tell me they cannot protect me from. Since September, I've paid Norton a total of $320 to protect me from viruses. I am switching back to McAfee. I never once had a problem like this while using them. I AM DEFINITELY NOT GETTING MY MONEY'S WORTH FROM

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That's not the problem
by Jimmy Greystone / February 1, 2010 1:51 AM PST

That's not the problem. The problem is that you, and the original poster, are expecting the virus scanner to be a catch-all safety net so you can do whatever you choose on the Internet without any regards as to potential consequences.

McAfee will likely not fare any better at catching these issues, nor would any other AV package. None of them will protect you from yourself. If you choose to use insecure programs like Internet Explorer, you have to expect that sooner or later things like this will happen. AV programs are REACTIONARY. There is always going to be a window of opportunity between the time someone releases a new attack into the wild, and the time someone in the AV community takes notice of it, can collect a sample, dissect it, analyze it, and come up with a countermeasure. I'm sorry to have to give you this facts of life talk about computers, but no AV program will catch everything.

All the major AV companies desperately need to revamp their scanning engines. Norton has been battling false-positives for years, and their parent company Symantec had the embarrassing year 2010 bug that took them a week or two to fix. McAfee's engine will suck your system dry of performance. Kaspersky's latest version has (or had as of the time I dumped it) an issue where it will cause random CPU spikes. AVG seems to be packing on the bloat lately, and it's link scanner was well intended, but had a number of unforeseen consequences. Avast did recently complete a time consuming (and no doubt expensive) overhaul of its scanning engine, so it's too early to tell how well it will pay off, but I guess we'll find out in time.

But if you ever look at test results for different virus scanner programs, you'll see none of them ever catch everything. The best results any of them tend to get is around 91%.

What you need to do is change your habits, and a few programs, not your virus scanner. Well, I might recommend dumping Norton, but not because it's detection rate is imperfect.

See my first post in this topic for some suggestions on how you might improve your system's security and help prevent repeats of this experience. You can switch to McAfee if you like, but don't be surprised if a month or two down the road you find yourself in exactly the same position if you don't change any habits.

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This is a baloney answer
by quilting-bee / January 18, 2012 10:52 AM PST
In reply to: That's not the problem

Norton 360 did not catch the 2-year old Win 7 Internet Security malware even though the definitions were just done today and the full scan was done yesterday.

There's no reason that a 2 year old piece of malware should get by 360. Sad

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 18, 2012 8:50 PM PST

This is what anti-virus scanners do;

When you open any file, be it an application or some word.doc, excel.xls, notepad file, image file, any file on your computer, the anti-virus scanner scans the file before it is opened looking for any viruses. If it finds nothing it then allows the file to be opened and forgets about it.

So, any application, or any file.

Your browser is an application. When you open it, the anti-virus scanner scans the files required to open the browser. If it finds no viruses it then allows the browser to open and display.

What you do then is up to you. The AV scanner considers this browser clean of viruses and safe. Whatever is downloaded 'into' the browser is not checked by the anti-virus scanner.

This is a common misconception and it seems you have misunderstood this as well. What you do with the browser and where you surf is entirely up to you and so if you visit a suspect web site that then delivers to your computer malware such as the Windows 7 Internet Security scam, that responsibility is yours.

So, not baloney at all and this is a hard lesson for everyone.


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by vett93 / January 19, 2012 1:28 AM PST
In reply to: Incorrect.

You are right with anti-virus software. But Norton's internet security software is supposed to protect one while surfing the internet. It is hard to protect internet surfing 100%. One still has to exercise proper judgement. But that is the function Norton internet security is supposed to provide.

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Many turn that off
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 19, 2012 3:40 AM PST
In reply to: Maybe

as they feel it interferes with browsing.

McAfee has a similar component, the McAfee Site Advisor, but that also caused problems for some and got disabled or removed.

But I agree. The first line of defense is us users.


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