06:58 PM

Symantec Unveils Anti-Phishing Suite

Norton Confidential, due to go into beta this summer and ship in the fall, is designed to be a safety suite for online transactions, blocking keyloggers and screengrabbers and offering other protection.

Symantec on Monday announced an online transaction safety suite scheduled to release for Windows and the Mac OS X operating system this fall.

Norton Confidential, which will enter beta testing sometime this summer, will include anti-phishing blacklists and heuristic-based detectors; what Symantec calls "crimeware protection, essentially keylogger and screen-grabbing Trojan horse sniffers; additional site authentication cues; and password encryption.

Symantec is scheduled to deploy many of these technologies in its Norton 360 security subscription software when that releases later this year or in early 2007, but the Cupertino security company is rolling out the separate Confidential for users who will stick with the traditional disk-based titles such as Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus.

The company considers Confidential a short-term solution, however, as it expects most of its consumer users to migrate to the all-in-one 360. "Confidential is a stop-gap [aimed at] our installed base," said Enrique Salem, the head of Symantec's consumer group, in a teleconference with financial analysts earlier this month.

Users can pre-register for the Norton Confidential beta at a new Symantec Web site, TransactSafely, which was also launched Monday. The site includes articles about online fraud, identity theft, and phishing and pharming scams.

Symantec didn't provide a release date for Confidential -- the Windows XP version will be unveiled in September, the Mac edition in October -- and only said that the beta would be available "shortly."

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