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Norton blocks Facebook as 'phishing site'

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Symantec has withdrawn an update to its Norton consumer security software that branded Facebook a phishing site on Wednesday.

The snafu meant that users of Norton Internet Security were blocked from accessing the social networking site and were told a "fraudulent web page" had been blocked, as illustrated in a discussion thread on Symantec's support forums here.

While wags might joke that Facebook is all about persuading punters to supply personal information to a website that ought not to be trusted, it's a bit of a stretch to even compare Zuckerberg's Reservation to a fraudulent banking site. Symantec responded to the problem within hours. From the looks of support forum postings affected users were left dazed and confused rather than seriously inconvenienced or aggrieved by the screw-up.

Security firms update their signature definition files to detect either rogue applications or questionable websites at increasing frequency in order to keep up with malware production rates. Plenty of effort is put into the quality assurance process across the industry but even so mistakes sometimes occur. False positives are a cross-industry problem that affects all vendors. ®

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