“Symantec Corp. SYMC +1.04% invented commercial antivirus software to protect computers from hackers a quarter-century ago. Now the company says such tactics are doomed to failure.
Antivirus “is dead,” says Brian Dye, Symantec’s senior vice president for information security. “We don’t think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way.”
Antivirus products aim to prevent hackers from getting into a computer. But hackers often get in anyway these days.
If Symantec has an opening, it is that no security company has determined how consistently to defeat the most ambitious hackers from China, Iran and the former Soviet bloc. Hackers linked to Iran last spring breached the digital perimeters of energy companies and one of the U.S.’s five biggest banks but were caught before moving further into the systems.
Analysts say Symantec’s software runs on so many machines that it may be able provide more guidance on which hackers can be ignored and which are truly a problem.”