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Symantec Upgrades Consumer Security Titles

New anti-phishing tools rely on black lists of known phony sites, as well as heuristic technologies that sniff out potentially dangerous sites.

Symantec on Tuesday announced 2007 editions of its flagship consumer security products, Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security, by touting new features and smaller PC footprints.

Norton Internet Security 2007, which will ship later this month, now includes anti-phishing tools that rely on black lists of known phony sites as well as on heuristic technologies that sniff out potentially dangerous sites. Other enhancements to the security suite -- the Cupertino, Calif. company's biggest consumer seller -- include a new intrusion prevention feature that Symantec claims will protect Windows PCs from developing threats even if they're not fully patched against Microsoft-disclosed vulnerabilities.

Like Internet Security, Norton AntiVirus 2007 sports a revamped interface. It also uses newly-added technology that Symantec says will block attacks from entire worm and virus families without requiring separate signature definitions for each.

"We also separated the core system [security] technologies from all other protection features," added Laura Garcia-Manrique, Symantec's director of product development. The move toward modularization -- as well as an accompanying code rewrite of several areas of Internet Security and changes to the malware scanning engines -- has reduced the suite's memory consumption to 10-15MB and shortened scanning times by 30-35 percent.

"There's a general need for simplicity, and for streamlined installs," Garcia-Manrique said. "We've also modularized the product so that anti-spam and parental controls that have traditionally been part of the automatic install are now optional."

Norton AntiVirus 2007 will list for $39.99, while Norton Internet Security will sell for $69.99; both prices include a one-year's subscription to product and signature updates.

The Norton products run under Windows XP, but are eligible for a free update to a Windows Vista version after the new Microsoft operating system ships.

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