Cyber Security

Hackers Can Get Full Control of your Computer: Update Norton

Hackers Can Get Full Control of your Computer: Update Norton

Symantec has urged users of its Norton antivirus to update the software, after it was found to contain a huge security flaw.

Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy discovered a vulnerability that, if exploited by hackers, could let them to take control of a computer. An attack would be terribly simple to carry out the hacker would just need to email a file to a computer to gain entrance to it. The victim wouldn’t even need to open the email.

Ormandy said that a flaw on this scale is about as bad as it can possibly get”. Symantec responded by fixing it with an update (called CVE-2016-2208). To get this, Norton users should update their antivirus through Symantec’s LiveUpdate tool. The company tried to assure users by saying that it wasn’t aware of hackers exploiting the flaw.

Ormandy works for Google Project Zero, a team of cyber security experts that look for bugs known as zero-day flaws so-called because once they are made public, the software’s developer has ‘zero’ days to fix them before hackers can take advantage.

When the researchers find vulnerability, they give the company in charge a 90-day deadline to release a fix. If this doesn’t arrive in time, they publicly reveal the flaw, allowing hackers to pounce. Some security experts have called this policy deeply reckless.

Project Zero’s biggest scalp came two years ago when it shamed Microsoft about not fixing a flaw in Windows 8.1. Google’s researchers said they told Microsoft about the problem on 30 September 2014, but were still waiting for a fix 90 days later. Microsoft finally fixed the flaw in mid-January, two weeks after Project Zero exposed it online.

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