Symantec announced late last week that hackers had acquired the source code for its Norton Antivirus product. See here a video report from Newsy:
Embedded Video Source by Newsy.com
Transcript by Newsy
BY ADNAN S. KHAN
ANCHOR ANTHONY MARTINEZ
Getting hacked is bad for any company. It’s even worse when that company sells online security. CNBC has the story…
“Hackers stole some source code from Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus product, but the company says it won’t compromise the most recent version. The stock was still down in early trading.”
The New York Times interviewed the director of security strategy at Imperva, an online security firm, who explained the significance of the hack.
“This does not happen very often … Source code is a company’s crown jewels. Most companies put lots of locks and chains around it.”
A hacker group in India called the The Lords of Dharmaraja claimed responsibility. Computerworld explains how the group got access.
“…the Symantec information was accessed from an Indian government server. Many governments require companies such as Symantec to submit their source code for inspection to prove they are not spying on the government.”
So really — it wasn’t Symantec itself that got hacked. But, now that the hackers have bypassed those locks and chains, PCWorld lays out how they could exploit the Norton source code.
“If it’s current enough, the code could potentially provide malware writers with the knowledge required to evade detection, and could give Symantec’s competitors an inside look into the company’s technology.”
So, what’s the likelihood of that inside look? Symantec says the stolen code is at least four-to-five years old. eWEEK sheds some light on how old that is in the online universe.
“Symantec distributed 10 million updates to its products in 2010 alone, according to a Symantec spokesperson. Extrapolating to four and five years shows how much the code has evolved over that period of time.”
MSNBC quotes a company representative as saying that no customer information has been exposed at this time.
Transcript by Newsy.
(Image source: Newsy, Top Ten Antivirus)