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Symantec declares PCAnywhere safe with latest security patch

A week after urging customers to disable PCAnywhere in light of the theft of the product's source code, Symantec is now dubbing the product safe as long as users apply the latest security patch.


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

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

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

On January 23, Symantec released a patch to secure PCAnywhere 12.5. And then January 27, the company rolled out another patch directed toward 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 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 the theft was limited to two older enterprise products--Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Symantec Antivirus 10.2.

But the security vendor later admitted that someone 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 were safe, said Symantec, because those applications have since been updated. But PCAnywhere was apparently still at risk, forcing the company to scramble to release the new security patches.

Aimed toward business users, PCAnywhere is remote-control software that lets users take control of another computer. The information on the patches was directed toward 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 honor an update to version 12.5 for customers using previous versions of the product.