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Symantec confirms Norton source code hack

Dismisses worries
Fri Jan 06 2012, 11:49

SECURITY VENDOR Symantec has confirmed that a hacker group, The Lords of Dharmaraja has managed to get hold of its source code.

Symantec acknowledged that a "segment" of its source code has been accessed but said the code relates to two old enterprise products, one of which has been discontinued. Symantec said the breach was on an unnamed third party network rather than its own and will not affect any Norton products.

A Google cache of the hackers' post on Pastebin says, "As of now we start sharing with all our brothers and followers information from the Indian Militaty Intelligence servers."

It continues, "Now we release confidential documentation we encountered of Symantec corporation and its Norton AntiVirus source code which we are going to publish later on."

The group claims it has the source code of a dozen software companies. The Symantec document posted is dated 28 April 1999 but doesn't contain any source code.

Symantec has launched an investigation into the security breach and will provide updates when more facts and details are discovered.

"Furthermore, there are no indications that customer information has been impacted or exposed at this time. However, Symantec is working to develop remediation process to ensure long-term protection for our customers' information. We will communicate that process once the steps have been finalized," it said in a statement.

Rob Rachwald, director of security at Imperva said the situation is "quite embarrassing" for a large security vendor but won't keep anyone at Symantec or its customers awake at night because the hackers won't be able to learn much new from the code.

However, he warned, "If the source code is recent and hackers find serious vulnerabilities, it could be possible to exploit the actual anti-virus program itself. But that is a big if and no one but Symantec knows what types of weaknesses hackers could find." µ


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