Security

Symantec Mislabels Solid Oak CyberSitter

December 7, 2007

Some users of Solid Oak CyberSitter software are not happy after a routine Symantec Security Response update labeled their software as a virus and prevented their computers’ from accessing the Internet.

CyberSitter is a program used by some schools and libraries to restrict Internet access to certain web sites and to monitor users surfing habits.

“In my opinion, Norton products are worse than any virus I can think of.”
Brian Milburn – Solid Oak

After Symantec (Norton) mislabeled some CyberSitter files as viruses, those files were automatically deleted or banned. After that, the computer was unable to access the Internet and many Solid Oak customers had to completely re-install their entire operating systems and software because there was no way to recover the deleted files.

Symantec setup a technical support phone number for Solid Oak customers to call for assistance, but when PC Magazine tried it, the recording told them to visit Symantec’s web site for assistance. Question: If the people needing technical support are unable to access the Internet, how are they going to visit your web site, Symantec?

Solid Oak President Brian Milburn is not very happy with this situation. “Symantec has done is to provide our mutual customers with a non-functioning support number that tell them to use on-line support,” he said.

I don’t use Norton products mainly because they hog WAY to many system resources and they can get pretty expensive too. However, Norton does a very good job of protecting its users from hundreds and hundreds of trojans, viruses and other malware. Every computer requires thousands of files to run properly and, in this age of identity theft and hijacked computers, I think it is inevitable that a handful of those thousands of files could be accidentally labeled as a piece of malware.

Having said that, when an company like Symantec makes millions and millions of dollars protecting users from malware, they have a responsibility to make it right when they screw up. C’mon, Symantec – if the technical support phone number is not working, you need to fix that.

In addition, this is evidently the 3rd time this year that Symantec has done this to Solid Oak software. There must be a way to keep this from happening again, right?

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