Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Sat 24 Jul 2004

Norton AntiVirus quarantine displaces mail

Category : mac and the internet

On my macintosh mailing list, ME@N, two users related how Symantec's Norton Antivirus detected the W32.Netsky.P@mm virus during a regular scan and isolated the suspect email.

Sound good? Well, whether in Entourage, Mozilla or Netscape, all emails are stored in a single database file these days. When this file is isolated (i.e. removed from its rightful location), all their emails and folders disappeared!

The fix is to restore the database folder to its right place from its isolation in the quarantine folder. The recent user who encountered this problem fixed it so and recovered all his emails.

Symantec webpage confirms that macintosh systems are not affected by this worm, like most other viruses. So Norton Antivirus has to improve the manner in which it handles pc-virus isolations on macs. It's too sloppy right now - a virus that can't harm your system results in disappearing mail!

Symatec did provide this suggestion for PC users (last modified 22 Jul 2004) which states, "Excluding the inbox file from being scanned prevents the inbox file from being quarantined while still allowing a virus to be detected. When a virus is found in an opened email message, rather than during a scan or when downloading, the opened message can be safely quarantined--or deleted--without causing problems with the Inbox itself."

Thankfully I don't have to deal with this.

If you consider the dominance earlier this year of the 20+ forms of Netsky.p virus, why hasn't this been fixed properly? Faced with disappearing emails, I imagine most mac users would have asked their user group for help first, rather than complain to Symatec. And popular advice on these forums appears be to be "trash norton"!

Posted at 3:15AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .