Symantec fixes Norton email flaw

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Symantec has fixed an embarrassing flaw in its Norton Internet Security 2003 suite that wrongly deleted email before it hit a user's inbox.

When email was deleted, users received a message that read "Symantec Email Proxy Deleted Message". The flaw was first detected 14 October and Symantec began issuing a patch for the problem last week, said Symantec UK company spokesperson Katherine James.

"We had a small number of users of Norton Internet Security 2003 who reported that the product was inadvertently deleting e-mails," said Jones.

The flaw was attributed to the suite's anti-spam software. "If a user was running the computer continuously and was receiving a large volume of e-mail, or they had configured their e-mail client to check the mail server frequently, the Norton Spam Alert could cause memory allocation errors, which could cause the e-mail deletion," James said.

Symantec will not reveal how many users were affected by the problem, or where they were located.

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