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Symantec's Genesis to Usher in a New Age of Trust?

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the grand-designs dept.

Security 275

eldavojohn writes "Symantec has announced that they will be creating a massive security package called Genesis. Semantec has set their goal to 'Security 2.0' which is proposed to be 'a new age of trust on the Internet.' From the article: 'Symantec plans a one-stop software service tying together anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall and a host of other PC optimization technologies...' This is certainly something the common computer user could buy instead of having to fork over cash for every component. I don't think I'll be purchasing it though."

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Genesis? (5, Insightful)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632886)

Let's hope it was designed intelligently then...

But seriously, I'd rather have the security problems fixed at the source, instead of having to add layers and layers of so called "security software".

Re:Genesis? (5, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632968)

I'm wondering if all these layers will slow my computer down even more then thier existing software does. It is pretty bad when i upgrade from a athlon XP 2200 to an 3200 processor and after installing nortan AV 2005 it apears to run slower then the XP2200 did.

I havn't been fond of thier products since thier 2003 versions. I asked thier tech support several times (after having to reinstal one of thier products and reactivating it because of an upgrade or it just stoped working) why all the systems I install thier AV or internet securities sweet on run so slow and they told me it was because "it is a complicated program","thats how you know it is working" and get this "microsoft slows it down because microsoft is coming out with an antivirus soon".

Re:Genesis? (2, Informative)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632979)

"But seriously, I'd rather have the security problems fixed at the source, instead of having to add layers and layers of so called "security software"."

The only solution here is to use a different operating system. Preferably one that was developed by people that have some idea of what they're doing (ie. MacOS X, GNU/Linux, Solaris etc.). With Windows all you're ever going to get is a nice Fisher Price interface with layer upon layer of extra crap piled on top trying to make up for the ridiculously poor quality of the base system and its architecture. The shell alone speaks volumes about Windows.

Re:Genesis? (5, Insightful)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633079)

There have been plenty of buffer overrun vulnerabilities allowing potential arbitrary code execution on all major operating systems. There have been plenty of priviledge escalation vulnerabilities on all major operating systems. All you need to get from there to a real exploit is either (a) a vulnerable server listening on some port or (b) some user to click on the wrong link or open the wrong attachment.

90s Outlook had lots of problems. 90s IE had lots of problems. There's a big problem with user accounts on Windows and how difficult it is to run as non-admin. And Windows doesn't have effective tools like sudo to grant occasional privledges beyond the usual. These tools can be built onto Windows. Third-party developers can be pressured to release software that works with the security model. Exploits can be patched, and quality control can be improved. And there are a lot of people working for Microsoft on these very things.

Microsoft may never fully win the battle against hackers. But then again, I don't know if anyone ever can. Even OpenBSD has had security holes in its default install a few times, and it's fighting a much less malicious group of hackers than Windows is. I love using GNU/Linux; it's cool that Unix has had sudo since 1980 and a tradition of sane security practices. That doesn't mean we should get arrogant about security.

Re:Genesis? (2, Interesting)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633137)

I'm well aware that other operating systems also have security flaws and I concede that there is no operating system that is completely safe. However, the architecture and coding practices of the other operating systems I mentioned make it much easier to avoid flaws altogether and also make it much easier to locate the flaws and correct them. Being required to run Windows as administrator for many applications to work is just one simple example of extreme neglect for security. And yes this is partially the fault of Windows developers, however it's also largely Microsoft's fault for not teaching or enforcing developers using their platform to use sane security practices since day one.

I completely agree that all systems have flaws, but some have a lot more than others and also have an architecture and development process that make it much harder to find and eliminate these flaws.

Re:Genesis? (3, Interesting)

lifeisgreat (947143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633052)

Indeed - from the sounds of things, all the API hooks and extra levels they've had to add for such security systems sound like a proto-operating system in itself.

I think there's a real need for extending the Windows ACL system even further than it already is to encompass programs as well as users - that way the built-in security subsystem could be utilized instead of ever-more hacks. I want to be able to bring up a property sheet and say:

- process x can't write to directory tree y, even if the running user z has write access there (so only, say, MS Word can write to /My Documents/Word Stuff/)
- process x can't be controlled via automated means (so that if only Explorer.exe has the ability to delete your files, it can't be scripted to do so by a shell script, SendInput() API calls, etc.)
- default setting of processes being unable to access the networking subsystem, or processes having access to TCP ports on a per-port basis (ACL subsystem becomes a firewall)
- only process x can alter ACL information
- etc.

The issue I have with assigning rights on a per-user granularity is that once you're running under a user's credentials, you can do *anything* they can surreptitiously. Running as an unprivileged user, an exploit in Firefox will still let it hose your profile, start up trojans under the user's login and anything else. If the Firefox process itself is prevented from spawning read/write/delete/execute actions anywhere but a set of temporary and incoming directories, it's almost bullet-proof.

Are there any operating systems out there with per-user AND per-process ACLs? If not why not? Are there glaring issues I'm missing? I don't want to have to make a "firefoxuser" login that has everything disabled apart from read-only access to Firefox.exe and write-only to a temp directory somewhere, then do something similar for EVERY other program, I want to be able to constrain a program itself regardless of the user running it.

Re:Genesis? (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633135)

Are there any operating systems out there with per-user AND per-process ACLs?

Couldn't that be achieved by running program P with setuid, having an own user named PU and an own group named PG for program P. Now as user U, you could set the UID of directory /home/U/foo/bar/files_of_P to PU (or add PU to the ACL for that directory).

Now, no matter whether user U or V runs P, P only has access to the directories of a user which have UID PU. For users U and V to have full access to these directories, they could simply join group PG.

Re:Genesis? (2, Interesting)

lifeisgreat (947143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633192)

You can hack it in by making a user for every program, but I don't think that should be necessary. Besides, who'd want to do that? And also, there's still a lot of privileges that existing security models don't support - i.e. what if I don't want program P to be able to access the network apart from port 80? Then I need an additional tool to the existing OS security subsystem, whereas there's no reason that the networking stack shouldn't be considered an object with an ACL, like a registry key or a directory.

I believe the OS should automatically treat every process as a privilege-less user (that is, can access and do nothing). a standard for delimiting access rights should be stored as a manifest for the program for easy setup from trusted distributors, such that you'd get say iexplore.exe, right-click iexplore.acl, "Assign Rights", and you'd have a browser configured that can only do those actions set out in iexplore.acl. Such as, read only access to itself and its own directory, write access to an incoming files directory, read/write to its own registry key and the temp folder, outgoing network access to tcp port 80, and that's it. It shouldn't be allowed to spawn child processes, read system information like hostname, username, usergroup, OS version, and it can't because all those permissions were absent from iexplore.acl (but can of course be assigned).

I just can't stand the idea of a process having all the abilities of its running user with no way to limit them. The only workaround is creating more users and groups, numbering in the hundreds for any usable installation.

Re:Genesis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633068)

or as it is refered to internally "Bullshit 2.0"

Re:Genesis? (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633092)

It was designed intelligently, but it can't dance, and it can't talk.

Re:Genesis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633134)

> It was designed intelligently, but it can't dance, and it can't talk.

It'll suck unless they get Peter Gabriel to return!

Re:Genesis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633139)

It'll probably still be a land of confusion ...

Now if they can get their cpu use down... (4, Informative)

ChaoticLimbs (597275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632887)

Symantec and Norton antivirus and security packages (on machines I have experience with) use an absurd amount of memory and processor resources. Any hope that this will change someday?

Re:Now if they can get their cpu use down... (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632912)

I can't think of one major software package that has reduced bloat over the years.

I also hate the trend towards dumbing down the user interface. Some virus scan progs & firewalls practically hide all the settings from you.

Very few major anti-virus companies these days will put out a consumer (not the corporate or institutional package) piece of software that is stripped down. Feature bloat is the name of the game.

I'd rather have 3 or 4 small efficient programs than one big POS to replace them.

Re:Now if they can get their cpu use down... (5, Informative)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632938)

I can't think of one major software package that has reduced bloat over the years.

OS X, for one.

KDE, during major versions, for two. 3.2 was faster than 3.1, 3.5 is way faster than 3.4, or 3.2

There's a school of software development that involves making your software leaner and meaner as it "ages".

New versions are more bloated. New revisions are LESS bloated.

Re:Now if they can get their cpu use down... (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633045)

and Mozilla / Firefox

Re:Now if they can get their cpu use down... (1)

Bluesy21 (840772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632978)

I hate the trend towards dumbing down the user interface of these programs as well, but the problem is the users. I don't mind hiding the settings either...hiding is fine as long as its accessable. These new security software packages don't just hide settings - they remove them.
I'm 'doing my time' in tech support right now and these programs need to be dumbed down for the users, but when it is impossible to even turn them off without uninstalling them that is taking it a little too far. Some of the newer versions of these programs already have no way to grant or deny specific access to programs except when it first runs.
For once anyways MS got it partially right. Their firewall may not be great, but it at least stops the majority of crap flung at a windows machine constantly without asking the user who can barley type whether they want to grant or deny access to don't_you_wish_this_was_more_descriptive.exe.

Re:Now if they can get their cpu use down... (5, Funny)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632948)

Symantec and Norton antivirus and security packages (on machines I have experience with) use an absurd amount of memory and processor resources. Any hope that this will change someday?

Why yes, you can solve this problem today! Simply get a dual-core system, and voila! One core for the all-in-one anti-virus, firewall, automated secure dohicky, bloated security suite; and the other core for the rest of your stuff! It will feel as if you aren't running it at all!

Re:Now if they can get their cpu use down... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632984)

Some how i suspect symantec will find a way of making that slow to a crawl too.

It is sad when i have to clean infections form a computer not because they didn't have an AV but because they fequently turned it off to make thier new ocmputer usable at certain things like playing games.

Re:Now if they can get their cpu use down... (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633184)

I see the parent modded "funny", but in reality this doesn't sound so implausible.

Average user: so, what's this whole "dual-core" mumbo jumbo?
You: well, think of each core like a separate computer. One core for the all-in-one anti-virus, firewall, automated secure dohicky, bloated security suite; and the other core for the rest of your stuff! It will feel as if you aren't running it at all!
Average user: that's awesome, thanks!

Not so funny now, eh?

I just want to shout... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633023)

NOD32... Believe me it just works. The day before I installed this nice little program on a pentium III 700... It just worked, and without crippling it I might add. They also update often, sometimes several times in a day. Well i don't want to sound like advertisement, but it just works.

Re:Now if they can get their cpu use down... (1)

lifeisgreat (947143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633098)

To be fair, what they're being asked to accomplish isn't exactly computationally cheap.

Think about it - you have to intercept any possibly-dangerous API call that any program makes (i.e. any file or registry access, and a whole host of basic win32 calls), sanity-check the arguments of all those API calls, analyze programs at runtime for polymorphic virus behaviour, and all on top of the OS's own checking it does anyway. Hooking isn't free, and double-checking everything the kernel and shell are being requested to do is going to kick performance in the pants.

That's why I'd rather the OS had the ability to perform these checks as part of its own security subsystem. The most important thing that most 3rd party tools do is set up jails around processes - say Internet Explorer can't write to %SYSTEMDIR% or execute child processes. I've always thought that belonged in any sane security system - I don't want my web browser having read OR write access to my Excel files, even though the user executing it DOES have that access. Short of creating new restricted users for every program and runas'ing them all, I think it's the OS's job to facilitate easy control of what processes can do, regardless of who's running them.

Even when notepad.exe's being ran by Administrator, it shouldn't have the right to listen on TCP ports. Programs should have their rights limited, just as users do.

...Any hope that this will change someday? (0, Troll)

acornboy (920113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633136)

Uhm, yeah... its called a Mac and it was "been there done that" like, twenty some years ago

Internet Security (5, Insightful)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632888)

Really, this doesn't seem all that revolutionary -- Symantec, like McAfee, like any other company serious in the business, ALREADY offers an integrated suite of tools (Internet Security) and no matter the advancement of interplay and integration I have a hard time believing that Genesis will come across to the average user as being so much more. Wait and see, I guess.

Re:Internet Security (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633140)

What would be revolutionary is eliminating the need for all that crap anyway. I can't imagine diapering my computer from the big bad Internet with anti-spyware, anti-virus, firewall, etc. Then again, I use a Mac...

SECURITY 2.0!!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14632889)

For the love of god.

"_____ 2.0" is going to be the "______ killer" of 2006

I prefer Exodus. (5, Funny)

dcapel (913969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632891)

I have already left slavery for the promised land. Lots of those strange penguins around though...

On Symantec's new software (3, Insightful)

Haiku 4 U (580059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632892)

Genesis? Sounds good.
Secure from malware at last!
So, is it Linux?

Re:On Symantec's new software (2, Insightful)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632980)

Hey Haiku 4 U
Do you always write comments
As haiku poems?

Re:On Symantec's new software (1)

Haiku 4 U (580059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633160)

Yes, indeed I do.
It was the only way to
stop posting so much.

Not yet. (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633054)

One more generation of crapware filters should just about bring Vista to its knees.

with vista (2, Interesting)

Evilhomer2300 (900004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632893)

They may try and bring this in along with vista. The new age of windows OS is supposed to be better, faster, stronger, and more secure. With Microsofts deep pockets, do you think they may help syman. try and make things even more secure? Or maybe try to make it seem like it, give people a better hope of security. just an idea

Re:with vista (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632981)

The conspiracy theorist in me has always thought that Microsoft and the Virus guys are in cahoots. MS gets a kickback in order to be a little less secure, so the Virus companies will survive. The other part is that I wonder if the Virus companies re;lease their own trojans every so often. That way they guaratee the sales. Almost like Kevlar Jacket guys seling armor-piercing bullets out the back. ;)

Re:with vista (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633003)

Thats a good question. But we must remeber, Microsoft is releasing thier own antivirus so it would be benefitial for them to have a need to sell Anti virus software.

But as the GP(or someone) stated, It is in microsofts interest to have problems around the time a new operating system gets released so thye can tought the new OS as the fix. Faster, More reliable, more secure, this rings a little bell.

Re:with vista (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633019)

Yes the bell that rings is the same sort of market that Linux-Boxen brings. Better faster and more secure. (they are running fc as their kernel shhhH! ;)

FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14632894)


Optimization Technologies? (4, Interesting)

rminsk (831757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632895)

and a host of other PC optimization technologies...

So when did anti-virus, anti-spam, and a firewall become optimization technologies? My computer seems to run slower with these things installed.

Re:Optimization Technologies? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632914)

Really? I find having them uninstalled causes my computer to run even slower.

Re:Optimization Technologies? (1)

ManOfMidnight (937941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632959)

Your PC is probably slowed down by mal-ware allowed on your computer by a lack of anti-* software. This would unfortunatly mean that home PC users are forced to choose the lesser of two evils: slow, and slower...

Re:Optimization Technologies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633065)

So I guess you don't 'get' sarcasm.

Re:Optimization Technologies? (1)

geo_2677 (593590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632962)

It means they need your cash to keep their company servers and PCs running optimally :)

frist p0zt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14632897)

my post is the first.

Fuck you CMRtaco

PC optimization technologies? (1)

csplinter (734017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632900)

PC optimization technologies? I wonder what they mean? Security optimization?

Re:PC optimization technologies? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632922)

If Norton Systemworks provides any clue, your system will be optimized to be as bloated as possible. Seriously, these are mostly problems that should be resolved at the OS level, not bolted-on through third-party addons.

That's something that Apple definitely has going in their favor since they control the hardware and software as one integrated unit...they can change the whole damn thing around (68K-PPC-X86, OS=9 to OS X) to keep up with the times. Meanwhile, companies like Dell or Gateway are basically locked into X86 and Windows because they have no vertical integration of their own. Notice I didn't mention Microsoft here...because when you buy a computer, you're not buying it from Microsoft, they only make a component of the computer (OS).

Let's learn from history (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14632901)

Genesii (That's multiple Genesis to you and I) have a history of utter failure.

Genesis (Sega): Defeated by SNES
Genesis (STWoK): Stolen by Khan, and he damn dear destroyed the enterprise with it
Genesis (Band): Ushered in the era of HORRID 80's music

Please Symantec, can we call this something that has a history of goodness attached to it, like Campbells?

oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633071)


stupid lameness filter. stupid stupid lameness filter.

Re:Let's learn from history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633111)

Nah. The Genesis beat the crap out of the SNES for most of its lifespan. The SNES caught up later on in the 16-bit era mostly by exploiting the unforeseen (by Sega) rise in console RPGs' popularity. Nevetheless, for a long time the SNES was just plain uncool -- white and boxy with "slow games" for "kids" in the popular perception. Mario suddenly went from ruling the console roost to being that slow, fat plumber dude whose ass was handed to him by Sonic the Hedgehog on the sales charts.
  Mario recovered nicely, (and that is a good thing) but don't rewrite history, now. I was there, mocking the console fanboys from the lofty perch of my Amiga. *chuckle*

Re:Let's learn from history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633116)

I think that you forgot:
Genesis (Bible): Adam and Eve eat the fruit that God told them not to, and now we're all fucked as a result.

Re:Let's learn from history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633131)

Genesii (That's multiple Genesis to you and I)

Not to me. Since it's Greek rather than Latin, the plural of Genesis is Geneses.

bloatware (5, Interesting)

Jjeff1 (636051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632902)

If it's similar at all to any of the Symantec home all in one AV type packages it will be an enormous mess. The last time I worked on this, a 256MB machine used 270 MB of memory with nothing but Windows XP home and the Norton package running. Worse, when I disabled things they didn't need, like the firewall or spam scanner, it didn't actually unload them from memory.

I stopped using Symantec for AV a while ago. But home users will still buy this for the same reason they buy a dishwasher with 19 different settings when all they ever use is the pots and pans setting.

Re:bloatware (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633015)

Seems big companies like to make big bloatware. HP for example. Their "HP Image Zone" software is over 260 Mb... compressed! And all it does is manage photos and run their scanners. It's a pig.

So why do they do this? Whatever happened to lightweight and agile? Not sexy enough for the board room? Why not give the user the option to customize his install to fit his exact needs?

Too little, too late (1)

HeavensBlade23 (946140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632907)

Too bad Microsoft already has an almost-mature software suite in beta that handles pretty much every single function this handles.

Re:Too little, too late (2, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633057)

If it ever is included in Windows as a standard part of the OS, it's going to be the first target of opportunity. I mean, what malware writer wouldn't love to have a security-utility monoculture in which to amply hide his program? Once you root a machine, you can have an anti-virus scanner, firewall, or whatever lie all you want to an unsuspecting user.

Security through diversity. Remember that.

Age of trust???? (4, Interesting)

scronline (829910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632921)

Shouldn't we be able to trust them now? Oh wait, since it took them 2 weeks to get the definitions out for a keylogging virus...I guess the answer to that is no.

Personally, after seeing Symantec corp take 2 weeks to release the definitions for a keylogger a customers network had...All symantec products I have out there are going to go away.

My choices are getting narrowed down quickly. McAfee lost out a few years back with the Nimda virus and failing to return phone calls....at all, not just late by a few hours or even a few days, a week later I heard from them. By that time I had already moved on since more than half my customer base was infected the DAY of the outbreak, not a week later.

But then, both of those 2 are really good at annoying the ever loving crap out of a user, which inturn causes the user to ignore all those little popups. I've even been guilty of it because I see them like 80 times a day. JUST DO YOUR JOB! You don't have to tell us what a wonderful job you are doing, just tell us when you need us to do something.

well, it's nice to see (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632923)

that megalomania is still alive and well in the corporate boardroom

all they need are the sharks with frickin' laser beams and some wagnerian operas playing in the background and symantec's domination of teh intarweb is complete ...in their own mind

grandiose schemes like this should signal to someone that they need some medication

it's one thing to think big, it's another thing to think RIDICULOUSLY DRAMATICALLY HUGE! (cue gong)

Re:well, it's nice to see (1)

Jubetas (917500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632973)

I, for one, welcome our bald, pasty, jumpsuit-wearing overlords.

why CowboyNeal why? (1)

Turbs (916600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632928)

I personally would like to know why CowboyNeal wouldn't use this package? Does he use something instead? Or has he found a secret mystical power to protect his PCs from attacks? Maybe he uses *nix? etc etc

What do other /. users out there use or recommend?

Or, you could simply.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14632930)

or you could simply install Linux and take the time learn how it works. This would alleviate a ton of 3rd party security garbage.. not to mention boost security and stability. Without the source code to your OS, there's no way to be sure that OS isn't sending your every keystroke and mouse click "back home". Never trust your personal info to a closed source operating system.

Seems too late (2, Insightful)

bhaskie (788394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632933)

With anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, firewall, PC optimization and maintenance elements all bundled togetherm this is gonna be one hell of a system performance issue.
"Both Genesis and the next versions of Norton's traditional security products will be designed to work on Vista, Microsoft's forthcoming operating system, due later this year, as well as Windows XP."

Well, seems this does not do linux. Only Windows XP. But looks like Microsoft already has OneCare which does the same stuff. So I guess this is too late a genesis for symantec.

Re:Seems too late (1)

Crazyscottie (947072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633106)

Well, seems this does not do linux.

Maybe I'm just out of the loop, but I've never seen a Linux system that would have a use for a product like Genesis.

six turds in one wrapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14632944)

I fail to see why rolling multiple mediocre products into one big sack is a good thing. On one hand it's a nice idea to give Joe User a comprehensive set of security tools, but if Joe User is savvy enough to install one, he's probably aware of the others. No discernable benefit.

On the other hand, Symantec doesn't have the best software quality reputation these days, and while I'll still recommend NAV by itself, the enterprise all-in-one versions are so full of bugs & memory leaks (and yes an internally-known 0-day here and there, with fixes frozen in interdepartmental political glaciers) that many of their own cognicenti and consultants run competitors' tools. So for the geeks there's no discernable benefit here either, and quite possibly the new stuff-sack of products could be worse than the enterprise turd-burrito packages they've already shoveled out the door.

Like our friends in Redmond, Symantec would do well to refocus on that whole "quality" thing with many of their existing products before launching off into yet another direction. You sure as hell won't find their products running on any of my systems.

-Me (posting anonymously because of former employment at Symantec)

i believe the title of the story tell all (0, Redundant)

atarione (601740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632945)

Symantec Roadmap Includes Massive "Genesis" Suite

knowing Symantec when they say "massive" they mean system resource useage.

yeah no thanx....

firewall (sygate pf ) thanx symantec for killing it off... oh well still avail for now (or there is always kerio) plus i have a m0n0wall boxen as a perimeter firewall. (FREE)

antivirus... AVG Free or Avast Free

antispy wall (spywareBlaster / Spybot /adware /ms antispy beta ... all free)

whatever to teh rest of it.......

mainly i will not install any symantec crapola on my computers.....

new mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14632950)

Hey, I just thought of a new name for my Mac; "Genesis."

Khaaaaannnnnnnn!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14632965)

Sorry, had to be done. Ob ST:WOK reference.

And, to save you the effort: Nerrrrrdddddd!!!!!!

Oh great ..... (3, Informative)

gomaze (105798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632969)

I have seen more problems caused by Symantec's software then I could count. I feel that if you have to run Windows then any extra layers of protection that you would need can be provided by free applications online. For example: Ad-aware [lavasoftusa.com] , Spy-Bot [safer-networking.org] , AVG Anti-Virus [grisoft.com] , ZoneAlarm [zonelabs.com] , and the best firewall protection, SmoothWall [smoothwall.org] .

What useless crap (4, Informative)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632983)

I have unyielding hate for Symantec. I've spent countless hours trying to get their products to properly allow connectivity for various programs for other people, and even more hours uninstalling it after it wouldn't listen to my yelling.

Nothing Symantec has is good, or can't be replaced by a free alternative.

Anti-Virus? AntiVir [free-av.com] (If you want to pay, they have a premium version, too)
Firewall? SP2 comes with a moderate firewall that works well. There are a good deal of free firewall programs out there, not to mention that many routers now have some sort of firewall software on them.
Ad-aware and MAS have taken care of any spyware problems I've had to deal with (except for some of the really evil ones.)

Any and everything else can be taken care of by good judgement and learning some PC common sense. Don't arbitrarily accept downloads that IE pops up with. Don't open every attachment that claims to be a dancing Ronald McDonald. Don't listen to every e-mail propogated by the feces of the internet that various programs in your windows folder are viruses.

There is absolutely no need to pay $100 for Symantec's horrible piece of crap. People would be better off without it.

Re:What useless crap (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633078)

...hours uninstalling it after it wouldn't listen to my yelling.

Voice recognition will be in the next version of the bloatware. Unfortunately, any obscenities or criticisms of the Status Quo will cause it to reboot in retaliation.

Re:What useless crap (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633113)

and even more hours uninstalling it after it wouldn't listen to my yelling

Assuming you're not speaking figuratively, you lost me right there. There's no reason to ever yell at tech support even if they do something stupid, or if the company policy is screwing you. You make the person feel like shit, and they're LESS likely to want to help. In other words that's absolutely the stupidest most self defeating thing you can do.

Re:What useless crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633172)

Parent said "it wouldn't listen," not "they" or even "IT."

It'll never happen (2, Insightful)

ManOfMidnight (937941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632990)

I honestly hope I'm proven wrong, but I just don't see "a new age of Internet trust" happening.. ever. To even put a dent in the mal-ware industry, this new software will have to use up every last bit of resources the Vista-generation computers might have. Even then, there will always be a way around it! Any/every new feature this new software might introduce will also introduce, along with it, a new flaw; another vulnerability which will have to be patched. Thus, the circle will continue, only in another location: Vista.

They are late to that party... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14632992)

.....do a google for "System Mechanic Pro"

Trust... They lost mine long ago. (1)

SlashNut (314126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633012)

Symantec (Norton) was a good company in the DOS days. They had some powerful, useful tools. When Windows came along, they fell in love with eye candy. They started coming out with useless junk, and started churning versions.

I got fed up when they came out with PCAnywhere 9 (should have been 8.3) that claimed to have a faster file manager. It wasn't faster. The darn thing would re-sort the whole file list as it added each file in the directory. Even local file lists were slow as a result. Did it get better with 9.2, 10, 11? No. File transfers where also prone to crash. I replaced PCAnywhere with Ultra VNC, and Ultra VNC SingleClick (Free GoToMyPC anyone?).

Shall I start in on Norton Antivirus? Oh what the heck... How about a program that can bring some machines to their knees and not others? When a user says to me: Man, my machine is slow! The first question that pops into my head is NOT "Do they have spyware?", it's "Do they have Norton Antivirus?". How 'bout a program that trashes your machine when you install another version over it, Leaves TONS of junk in your registry after an uninstall, and has no clue about new viruses (no heuristics)? I replaced Norton Antivirus with NOD32.

How about support for products they bought?
Powerquest made some dandy products like Partition Magic, and Drive Image. I owned both. I tried several times to find anything on the Symantec web site about Drive Image. Nope. The only thing was a press release saying they had bought Powerquest. No upgrade path, nothing. I tried recently to reinstall Partition Magic. There is a web registration/unlock required before you can use it. Guess what? The registering company does not recognize anything about Powerquest anymore. I had to toss Partition Magic in the trash. I replaced Partition Magic with Acronis Disk Director, and replaced Drive Image with Acronis True Image (You don't think I would buy Ghost do you?).

Symantec? Dont trust 'em. Good riddance.

Re:Trust... They lost mine long ago. (1)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633117)

Eh, they were not that great.

Their disk defrag, for example, was THE DUMBEST piece of crap on the planet. Check out this brilliant strategy that I got to witness one weekend:

I've got a 180 meg disk, DOS 6, and I'm running Norton Defrag on it. It has a 50 meg file on it, in two contiguous chunks. There's a 49 meg "free space" up top when Norton Defrag reaches this file.

It moves it, sector by sector, into this 49 meg space... runs out of space, and moves it back. chunk, chunk, chunk, chunk. It moves the next file into the start of this free space, and succeeds. It then... tries to move this 50 meg file... into this (now smaller) space. chunk, chunk, chunk... Fails, moves it back (chunk, chunk, chunk...), tries with the next file and succeeds (making the free space smaller), tries the 50 meg file again (chunk, chunk, chunk...), fails, moves it back (chunk, chunk, chunk... )

And I'm being generous with all of this "chunk, chunk, chunk" stuff. In truth, it was about a 4 minute process to move the file (and fail), one-way. Then another 4 to move it back.

Oh, immediately at the tail of this "free space" is a single cluster that's in use, followed by 60 megs of contiguous free space.

F*ing brilliant... 27 hours to defrag a 180 meg drive with less than 170 files on it.

Sorry, Norton Utils had some cute *looking* tools, but in truth... they were useless "feel good" eye candy, amateur knock-offs of real stuff. With the exception of their sector editor, that is. The picture of some guy with a white shirt and tie, and his sleeves rolled up... is supposed to inspire confidence? Is this the moron who wrote this defrag strategy? He's clued...

So, I've not touched Norton (or Symantec) products since that date. They simply follow the buzzword-du-jour, and their products have no actual merit. They look really good in the box on the shelf, though... but sadly, that's where it stops.

"SymEvent", anyone?

Re:Trust... They lost mine long ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633215)

There don't seem to be many genuine Symantec products out there, they usually buy them in from smaller vendors and manage to screw them up within a couple of years.

Norton utitlities - bought in: indispensable in DOS 3 to 5, now pretty unusable (and can really ruin your day)
Ghost - bought in and now dead: replaced by Powerquest Drive Image now sold under the Ghost name (one fewer competitor on the market, and one with a superior product, too)
PCTools - bought in and killed almost right away to protect their other buy, Norton
I don't know about any of the old Symantec software that has been long discontinued (like Grandview, Q&A), but maybe they were never developed inhouse by them, either

Re:Trust... They lost mine long ago. (1)

zentigger (203922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633155)

I fully agree. Norton was great in the 'ol DOS days.

Same with ghost, and PC anywhere too

hmmm...starting to notice a trend here. A whole bunch of great products turned into festering crap-piles after being bought up by symantec...

Go! Corporate America! Go!

Project Genesis? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633022)

Already half an hour since being posted and not a single comment like this?

Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

For shame, Slashdot. For shame.

Note to slashcode authors: yelling KHAAAN! should always be acceptable.

Re:Project Genesis? (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633138)

KHAAAAN! [khaaan.com]

More impotent than Cheney... during a heart attack (2, Insightful)

unknownideal (881232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633026)

Symantec and McAfee are about as effective at problem solving as the Bush administration. These are two products that render a machine useless by loading hundreds of megs of unnecessary graphics and who-knows-what while simultaneously blocking network communication, and popping up every four seconds to tell you about the "attack" so narrowly averted thanks to it. Every so often it asks you for more money.

I went red and started recommending Kaspersky, but my clients have trouble getting it installed thanks to its ridiculous registration system. Instead of a stream-lined system, you have to download a key file and 'show Kaspersky your papers,' if you catch my drift.

Now I just install the free version of Avast. No problems so far.

The first one of you to write software that blocks terra attacks from the inner-web is not going to have any trouble paying off that student loan. Promise.

Ah semantech... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633036)

Semantec...yummy stuff right there. Whats next on their list? Condoms that protect you against virii and bacteria?

*yes I know seman isnt how you spell semen*

Some nerve! (4, Interesting)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633037)

I wonder if this is going to have another spyware-ridden root kit in it too!

If the guys at Symantec/Norton think I'm EVER going to install/recommend ANY of their products EVER again, they're still smoking the same stuff that they were smoking when they thought that root-kitting all their customers was a good idea in the first place.


2 cents,

Queen B

It'll be easy to see how secure it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633042)

...by how quickly the copy protection is defeated on it.

Solution worse than the problem. (1)

GeorgeMcBay (106610) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633051)

Every big-name commercial security product I've ever installed on Windows had made my system SOO drastically slower, less stable and more prone to ridiculous UI interactions (security popups instead of advertisement popups, as an example... just as annoying!) that I honestly believe these "solutions" are worse than the software they are trying to block.

Needless to say I haven't had any installed for years now, and I also haven't been hit by any viruses or spyware.

New Age of Trust? (2, Insightful)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633056)

The assumption appears to be that we trust Symantec...

I'd rather dig my eyes out with a rusty nail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633058)

Symantec's already got a product that does most of this - it's called SystemWorks. Why are they trying to rebrand it?

Because it's shit. Pure, unadulterated SHIT. The memory footprint is huge, it conflicts with several commonplace corporate apps, and when coupled with Norton Internet Security it can effectively lock a business user out of the rest of the network.

If Symantec's looking to improve on their product line, I have the perfect suggestion: bash each Symantec product's head in with a shovel and the delete key. There's nothing that Symantec does that a good lobotomy couldn't do just as well.

Symantec: You can rename your product line and add a few extras in, but calling anything that comes out of your company "Genesis" is tantamount to me taking a huge shit and calling it heaven.

Trust includes more than IT security (2, Insightful)

Morty (32057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633066)

If Symantec is trying to teach people to "trust" the Internet, they're doing people a disservice. The Internet is a way for people to communicate with other people; any communication includes the possibility of lies and fraud. Yes, the Internet introduces new technical types of ways for people to cheat and attack each other (phishing, OS vulnerabilities, viruses, trojan horses, etc.) but even if you solve all the technical issues, you still fundamentally have people communicating with each other. Strangers should not blindly trust each other regardless of context.

If Jane AOLer meets Joe MSNer on IRC, even if she has "Genesis" and "Leviticus" too, should she trust him any more than if she met him in real life? No. If Jane AOLer shops at FuzzySlippersOnline, should she trust them any more than she trusts her local brick and mortar CoolBootsEmporium? Of course not. The online world is not to be trusted, any more than the big blue room outside is to be trusted.

Bad marketing (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633083)

Unless this product gets a lot more concrete and directed, I don't know who is going to buy it.

I can see use for an "automated services" system like this -- patching problems, looking for malware, updating software, providing a link to toll tech support for your computer, etc.

Currently, you can cobble together something for your Windows-using relatives with AdAware, some sort of virus scanner, occasionally (maybe once a year) dropping by to update software and having them call you when things break. But that's a pain, and very wasteful of time, since a lot of these issues are common to a lot of people.

Single Point of Failure (2, Interesting)

kafka47 (801886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633085)

I just shake my head when I see this stuff. If they are angling this as Security's answer to "Web 2.0", then perhaps they should start by examining what Web 2.0 is supposedly about. Stuff like web services and aggregation, arguably important pieces of this mythical beast, make *everyone* a content provider on the Internet. And Symantec is intending on having us run a service that gates that content?

This is Symantec's big push... in the wrong direction.


Um... (1)

thesnarky1 (846799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633088)

I'd be more impressed if it wasn't a company that seems to be struggling. Forgive me, but I'm not a fan of their new software. It has a hard time of getting rid of the bad stuff. Surprisingly, the smaller programs, each componant, works a lot better. Examples: Zone Alarm for my firewall, Adaware/a HOST of others for anti-spyware. AVG/Zone alarm for anti-virus. Boot disc called "The Final Solution" packed full of anti-virus and rootkit software.

Now, how much you wanna bet the cost is going to be roughly that of all the componants?

Also, who's to say that this'll work? If it's all integrated, and a virus turns off one part, it's all off. I take great pride of my multiple layers of defense. You get rid of my hardware firewall, I have a software one. You get rid of that I also have multiple virus scanners. Top is all off with good backups, and the ability to kill my machine, strip it, clean it of dust, and completely rebuild in 4 hours, I'm not too worried.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633105)

"The Final Solution"?!

I'm not sure who should be more offended: nazis, jews, gays, socialists, communists, Bill Gates, or supporters of F/OSS OSes!


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633091)

Pure crap and bloatware who helped user in the era of 5000 icons in the xp notification area

hahahaha computing these days is so retarded.

Symantec's Genesis ...... (1)

DARKFORCE123 (525408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633104)

Symantec's Genesis is owned in only seven days and then the world reboots.

Sign me up $$$ (2, Funny)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633122)

I hope they make a Mac version for my new 20 inch Dual Core, so I can protect it from all those vir... uh... nevermind.

Re:Sign me up $$$ (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633199)

Well, you can always get Norton AntiVirus [symantec.com] ...

So they'll stop selling their own stuff... (2, Interesting)

geobeck (924637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633142)

...and sell Trend Micro Internet Security [trendmicro.com] instead?

I've been using Trend Micro for the last couple of years. It's already got the full meal deal Symantec is promising, and it's actually updated in near-real-time (every three hours).

Again, a waste... (1)

ki85squared (778761) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633144)

In my experience, anti-X software has been nothing but a waste of time and money. The majority of users I've seen using anti-X software have still had disastrous problems with their machines. I've also noticed that mainstream "live protection" anti-X software bogs down system resources and does nothing but slow things down.

Personally, I've been browsing "safely" (with Firefox, I might add)... even with a Windows XP machine... and I can't remember the last time I've had a virus or major spyware infection. Not once have I installed anti-X software on any of my machines.

Funny... (2, Interesting)

xlsior (524145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633145)

In my experience over the past couple of years, there are few PC 'optimizations' as effective as uninstalling Symantec antivirus, firewall, spamfilter and associated applications..

It is absolutely *astounding* the percentage of techsupport calls coming in at an ISP helpdesk are the direct result of a malfunctioning Symantec application. Especially Norton Antivirus -- after a while, you almost start to suspect that Symantec released that program as a practical joke.

McAfee is a distant second, while AVG and Avast rarely cause any problems. It's amazing how many problems, lock-ups and corrupted email problems magically disappear simply by uninstalling Norton Antivirus and installing the free version of AVG instead.

Somehow, I am rather sceptical that things will get better by them slapping their entire product line in a single box, and trying to cram in a pony on top of it. Jack of all trades, master of none.

Package! (1)

anupamsr (910397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633168)

Massive security package

Heh, and I am already thinking to switch over to NOD32 cause NAV is massive!

PS: It is due to such news that people have started thinking 'security' is a work of software and not the OS.

Or... (1)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633173)

Or, and I'm just thinking out loud here, I could just use a Mac or Linux or a BSD and not give Symantec, who has recently been credibly accused of installing rootkits and ignoring spyware developers who give Symantec money, any of my money.

Just a thought.

OS X version? (1)

JFlex (763276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633178)

Is there going to be an OS X version?!? ...oh wait.. nevermind.

A new age of "trust" ?? (1)

solios (53048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633196)

Why should I "trust" Symantec? Hell, I don't trust Google... why should I trust a company whose entire revenue stream is built out of "fixing" "broken" boxes?? D:

Mod me redundant if you'd like but let's be serious here - money doesn't build trust. Never has. Never will.
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