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Users of Norton Personal Firewall have been urged to update their software following the discovery of a serious vulnerability in the security package.

A stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability involving ActiveX controls creates a means for hackers to inject hostile code onto vulnerable systems, Symantec warns. The security bug affects Norton Internet Security 2004, Norton Internet Security 2004 Professional and Norton Personal Firewall 2004. Later versions of the security packages are not affected by the flaw, which means the majority of Symantec personal firewall users are already in the clear.

For users of the vulnerable 2004 vintage of Norton products, Symantec has published security updates designed to guard against exploits via its LiveUpdate service.

It's sometimes said that trouble comes in threes. As well as the Norton firewall vulnerability reports suggest the Norton anti-virus is subject to a couple of troublesome false positives.

According to the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre, Symantec has been wrongly identifying two system files (netapp32.dll and lsasrv.dll) in the simplified Chinese version of Windows XP SP2 as the Haxdoor Trojan. In standard configurations on Norton AV these files are deleted, resulting in problems subsequently booting systems. Fixing systems involves copying these files from backup CDs.

Separately a 15 May update in Symantec Anti-Virus falsely categorised Pegasus, the popular email package, as a Trojan. Updated virus definition files released over the weekend resolved the issue but not before ruffling feathers down at the Pegasus users' community. A thread providing advice on how to reinstall the package and attempt to restore email databases (if these were also affected) can be found here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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