Symantec breaks the seal on Norton 08

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Symantec breaks the seal on Norton 08

The latest version of the Norton security suite has officially hit the streets.

As with last year's release, Symantec said that it stressed performance for the 2008 incarnations of Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus, minimizing its impact on perfromance and memory usage.

The result was a slimmer version that scans 39 percent faster than its predecessor and an interface that runs 22 percent faster, according to Symantec.

Performance has been a common gripe among users, particularly with low-end systems that can be significantly slowed down by the constant background activity required by security scanning

Symantec claims to have overcome this hurdle. Citing internal performance tests, the firm claimed that the new software used 69 percent less memory while performing 12 percent faster than a group of unnamed competitors.

The company also hopes that the new software will provide extra protection against some emerging malware trends. A new Browser Defender component aims to reduce the risk of so-called zero-day flaws by preventing web pages from running jumbled Javascript and ActiveX code. Both are common methods for exploiting vulnerabilties in web browsers.

If malware succeeds in penetrating a system's defenses, Symantec is hoping that another new feature will minimise the damage.

An "Identity Safe" component in Norton Internet Security stores and encrypts confidential information, which is then used to fill in web forms at banking and e-commerce sites.

This will ideally thwart keylogger programs by entering not requiring the user to enter account or credit card information via keystrokes.

As with last year's release, Norton Internet Security 2008 retails at US$69.99, while the more limited Norton Antivirus costs US$39.99.
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