Customer lawsuit tied to Symantec source code hack dismissed

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A California judge has dismissed a customer lawsuit stemming from the 2006 theft of its security product source code from Symantec.

U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar, sitting in San Francisco, tossed the case because the plaintiff, Texas resident Kathleen Haskins, failed to demonstrate that the product she purchased was among those impacted by the breach, according to court documents. The dismissal was made following a motion filed by Symantec.

It wasn't until January 2012 that Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec confirmed that hackers had accessed a portion of its source code in 2006, which impacted versions of four products released that year: Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition, Norton Internet Security, Norton SystemWorks and pcAnywhere.

In April, Haskins filed a lawsuit on behalf of herself and other affected Symantec customers who didn't receive a “fully functional” product.

Tigar ruled last Friday, however, that the product mentioned in her complaint, Norton AntiVirus, was different than those determined to be compromised. He also found that she didn't adequately explain the relationship between it and the impacted products.

“[The] plaintiff cannot assert standing on her own behalf without clearly alleging that the product she purchased was among those that form the basis of her claim,” the order dismissing the suit said. “[The] plaintiff has not demonstrated her standing to bring this action, and the complaint must be dismissed.”

Tigar said that Haskins can file an amended complaint within 21 days of the order, if it contains additional facts absent in the current one.

Symantec declined to comment on the ruling to SCMagazine.com.

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