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Norton AV for OS X makes a Mac less secure

David Chartier

Ah the beautiful irony: last Tuesday, as many of us were getting ready for family and the holidays, Symantec admitted that a serious security flaw has affected about 40 of their products, including all versions of Norton Anti-Virus (NAV) for OS X. Symantec calls this a 'high risk' vulnerability that could allow a remote user to gain control of a computer, even a Mac, that's running any of their affected software. I haven't seen anything about a solution for either side of the fence yet, so if you're crazy for security I don't envy the dilemma a situation like this might put you in. An up-to-date and patched copy of OS X is widely hailed to be pretty secure these days (so run Software Update - regularly!), but the ZDNet Australia article that we found this in poses the important security question pretty well:

"As the owner of a Powerbook I am faced with a dilemma. Do I pay AU$118.15 for a flawed 'security' application that is designed to protect me from threats that do not seem to exist; or do I take sensible precautions like keeping my computer behind a firewall and staying up to date with OS X patches?"

No matter which side of the OS X security/virus/malware debate you stand on, a situation like this undeniably brings these topics back into light with a new perspective. Feel free to discuss in the comments, but keep it clean; don't make me come in there and separate you.

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