Security Bytes

Jun 8 2007   4:06PM GMT

Symantec unveils Norton AntiBot beta

David Schneier David Schneier Profile: David Schneier

While the financial analysts and customers are trying to figure out Symantec’s future direction, the company’s engineers have stayed busy building new products. Next week at its Vision customer conference, the company will be talking about its forthcoming all-in-one security suite, code-named Hamlet. The product comprises a base set of functionality, such as antivirus, firewall and anti-spyware, onto which customers can then add other options. Symantec executives see this as a way for the company to add incremental revenue as customers grow and need more functionality.

And just yesterday Big Yellow posted on its site a beta version of its new Norton AntiBot software. The free download is a small app that monitors inbound and outbound traffic on a host, looking for telltale signs of bot activity. It doesn’t scan your machine that way that antivirus or anti-spyware software does, but instead keeps tabs on the running processes and behaviors on a given PC. While anti-rootkit applications have been all the rage of late, Symantec’s offering is the first commercial anti-bot software I’ve seen. There are a number of bot-removal utilities available, but they scan for and remove specific bots and don’t do real-time monitoring.

I have the 15-day trial version of AntiBot running now, so I’ll report back in a couple of weeks and let you know how it works. Hopefully I won’t have reason to find out.

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