With the ever-increasing competition between companies, manufacturers have been altering or manipulating various products so that people keep coming back to their brands. Tobacco companies engineered their cigarettes with chemicals that made smokers addicted to them. Pharmaceutical companies and food fast chains have been accused of doing the same.
The internal layouts, stimulating music and releasing extra oxygen are all plots that are carefully laid out by casinos to keep you coming back.
With the emergence of technology in every aspect of our lives, can IT manufacturers and engineers be far behind?
James Gross files lawsuit against Symantec
Security products company Symantec Corporation is in the news for all the wrong reasons. In a situation right out of David and Goliath, James Gross, a man from Washington State, has filed a class action lawsuit in San José against the firm. Gross has accused the security firm of running fake antivirus scans on their customers’ computers, convincing the users that their devices were at risk. This scheme according to Gross, led users to believe that they needed to get the paid version of Symantec’s products to remove malware from their computers.
Symantec refutes allegations
Symantec’s products, Norton Utilities and PC Tools, have been named by Gross as being a scam to fool people to believe that their computers were at risk with regular pop-up warning messages. Symantec gave a formal statement denying the accusations thrown by Gross at them. They said that the company will stand by its statement as the lawsuit lacks merit and will defend its business practices during the hearing.
More bad news for Symantec: Threat from Anonymous
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Symantec, enter Anonymous – a name that has put several companies on high alert since last year. In the wake of the class action lawsuit filed by James Gross against Symantec, Anonymous announced early this week that it will release the source code of Norton Antivirus. Symantec admitted that the source codes of the 2006 versions of its flagship Norton Antivirus products were in the clutches of hackers.
The fight against scareware
In 2005 and 2008, Microsoft along with Washington State and Washington attorney general, respectively, filed lawsuits against companies like Secure Computer. The firms were accused of using scareware tactics for their own benefit. The menace of this type of highly unethical marketing practice has been a serious security issue for some time now. Agencies like the FBI have spearheaded the fight to tackle cyber security issues by working with Microsoft since 2009. But the fight against such malpractices is a never-ending journey. In 2010, Google conducted a study and reported that 11,000 domains were hosting fake antivirus software. Around 50% of these attacks were delivered via Internet advertising. By early 2011, the LizaMoon malware had used SQL injections and exploited security vulnerabilities in over 1.5 million websites.
We all turn to well-known brands like Symantec to protect our computers from worms, Trojans and other malware. So, who do we turn to when those we trust are pulled up for creating scareware to intimidate us? How long will such deeds continue to run rampant at the common man’s expense?
Before we wallow into paranoid hysterics, let’s choose to believe that ‘one is innocent, until proven guilty’. It’s a waiting game until the verdict is out.
Image by Martin McKeay via Flickr (cc)