Symantec to release Norton Confidential within months

In an effort to combat deteriorating consumer confidence in online transactions, Symantec this week announced anti-fraud solution Norton Confidential will be released this fall.

The product is designed to detect fraudulent websites and crimeware to make users more comfortable conducting business online, said Oliver Schmelzle, group product manager for Symantec.

The fast-acting solution uses block lists and advanced heuristic technology to sniff out bogus websites employed in phishing schemes, he said. The product displays a "special visual cue" that assures users they have visited a genuine site secured by SSL encryption technology.

"This zero-hour protection is critical since phishing attacks are purposely short-lived to evade detection," the company said in a statement. "In fact, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the average phishing site is online for only five days before it is taken down and replaced by a new fraudulent website."

Norton Confidential employs similar technology to isolate crimeware, such as keystroke loggers and screen-capturing trojans, which immediately are removed upon detection, the statement said.

"As the internet landscape has become more crowded with phishing sites and threats designed to steal information for financial gain, consumer confidence in conducting business online has eroded," said Enrique Salem, group president of Symantec’s Consumer Products and Solutions division. "Norton Confidential…offers consumers both fraud site and crimeware protection for their personal information at the point of the greatest risk – during a transaction, log-in or other submission of confidential data to a website."

The product’s Windows version is scheduled to hit the market in September, while Norton Confidential for Apple is due out in October, Schmelzle said. A beta version is expected to launch later this summer.

The company Monday also announced a new fraud education website – - which provides consumers with safety tips to heed while shopping or banking on the web.

The Symantec news comes nearly three months after rival McAfee acquired SiteAdvisor, a database of tested websites that displays safety ratings next to search results.

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