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Symantec Granted Patent for Fundamental Antivirus Technology


Histogram-Based Malicious Code Detection Speeds Identification of Complex Threats, Security Risks

CUPERTINO, Calif. - Dec. 14, 2005 - Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) today announced it has been granted a new patent for antivirus technology by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Symantec was granted U.S. patent number 6,971,019 for histogram-based malicious code detection technology that accelerates the detection of complex threats and security risks, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, blended threats, spyware, and adware.

Histogram-based malicious code detection is a fundamental antivirus technology employed throughout Symantec’s portfolio of antivirus solutions at the desktop, server, and gateway to protect both consumers and enterprises. Carey Nachenberg, Symantec Fellow and chief architect with Symantec Research Labs, developed and patented the technology. This marks the seventeenth patent awarded to Nachenberg since 1997 in the field of information security.

“With this patent, Symantec continues to set the standard in the information security space for innovating new technology that is fundamental for protecting individuals and businesses alike from today’s cyber threats,” said Mark Bregman, chief technology officer, Symantec. “The enormous diversity of our technology portfolio, including this patent, puts us in a unique position to offer our customers a broad range of security and availability solutions tailored to fit their specific needs.”

“Histogram-based malicious code detection is one of the most effective and efficient ways of solving the problem of complex threat detection,” said Nachenberg. “Without this technology, it would be extremely difficult to identify such threats without also significantly impacting performance.”

Malicious code typically has one or more behaviors or instructions that identify it as a specific strain of threat. Histogram-based malicious code detection technology uses a prioritized count of various behaviors and instructions to identify code moving across a system or a network and more quickly determine whether a threat is or is not present.

Symantec maintains a diverse portfolio of intellectual property such as copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and technological expertise. In particular, Symantec frequently applies for patents in the United States and internationally to protect its inventions. Symantec currently owns more than 200 patents in a variety of areas, including antivirus, intrusion detection/prevention, firewall, security and software management, storage and imaging, software distribution, compression/encryption, anti-spam, anti-spyware, and virtual private network security.

About Symantec
Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at


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