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Norton spam

How to ruin a good name

     
1:11 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Am I being uniquely victimized or are lots of us getting spams offering deals on various Norton utilities?

I emailed Symantec a few weeks back, said I didn't think their letting distributors use spam for marketing is doing their image any good.

No reply. Probably got ate by their own spam filters.

If I wanted to tarnish a company's name, becoming a distributor, and then spamming the world in their name is one way to do it. I'm surprised Symantec don't respond. They aren't on my shopping list any more.

1:24 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it's Symantec, and I wonder whether the software is real or counterfeit. On and off, I've gotten about three a day of these for several weeks now, all from apparently different mailers. It might be some kind of affiliate thing... how to make a million dollars in the comfort of your own home.

All the messages take the same form... as I remember, putting a space in between each character in "Norton" in the subject line, just in case we're already filtering for that. The spammers are doing this more and more on lots of filterable words. I'm wondering whether it's possible to set up some sort of wild-card filter... in this case something like N*o*r*t*o*n... where "*" could stand for anything from no-space to space to maybe even "*"....

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 1:26 am (utc) on Jan. 20, 2003]

1:24 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm completely annoyed by it too. Get more with Norton than almost anything else.
1:45 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If I wanted to tarnish a company's name, becoming a distributor, and then spamming the world in their name is one way to do it.

I don't like getting these any more than you, but I don't see how Symantec has any control over this. It's a free country - if you want to buy a couple of thousand boxes of a Symantec product from some distributor who is overstocked because you think you can move them through spam e-mails, how is Symantec supposed to stop you?

Doesn't mean you have to like it :), I just think you're blaming the wrong party.

2:08 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've had nearly a dozen - highly unimpressed.

It won't stop me buying Norton because I like the product, but I'll be making damn sure I don't use a link from one of those emails.

I checked two of them by the way and the affiliate link did go to Symantec - not an onseller. That said, I can't see an obvious affiliate programme at Symantec, but there is info about the spam programme and a reporting form:

[symantec.com...]

4:02 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Symantec seems to be pretty unhappy about what's going on. I'd say that their response is examply, though I'd wish they'd laid it all out on bullet points on one page rather than had me click a dozen times. Upshot is that they'd like to be notified...

Please report a spammed email you have received from 3rd party offering Norton branded products.

Email address they give (I hope it's OK to post this) is spamwatch@symantec.com --- The only thing I fear is that when you report it, they're going to end up sending you an email linking you to the url that deejay has just posted.

edited to correct typo - thanks rogerd

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:42 am (utc) on Jan. 20, 2003]

4:31 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Robert, note that there is a spelling error in the e-mail address (symantec).

Most of the offers I've seen appear to be for gray-market OEM product. This software is purchased in bulk for inclusion with new PCs and has no retail packaging. Sometimes a PC-maker will overpurchase and have to sell off excess; in some cases, the PC-maker may purchase a bunch of software with every intention of turning a few extra bucks in the gray market. People like Norton will sell an OEM product with limited support and updates very cheaply, because they hope to "hook" users on their product. Usually, they frown on redistribution through non-OEM channels, but it could be they aren't too worried. For them, it's almost like shareware - if they can get users hooked, they'll profit when the users have to pay for continued upgrades.

In addition to OEM/gray market product, of course, there is counterfeit product. It's hard to tell from the spam what is being sold, but it's a certainty that whatever they are selling for $12 isn't the full, current retail product.

The spam situation has to be frustrating for them. With so many spam-blockers out there, my guess is a significant percent of legitimate Norton e-mail from Symantec never gets through.

4:49 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>they'll profit when the users have to pay for continued upgrades<<

Yes indeed. I note that my virus definitions subscription has gone up... from US$3.95/year two years ago to $9.95 last year to $24.95 this year(!).

4:53 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I ahve just installed NIS 2003 and am so far very pleased with it. Believe this or not I do not buy the upgrades but the full new product so it takes a little longer to set up and re-configure.

I think any amount below US$ 100 (or even more) is excellent if it helps (and it should if used properly) you from not getting a virus.

I pay it happily and will do so for many years to come and btw I never get any spam or any form of email from Symantec.

10:23 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I agree.... you can't really blame Norton for it; it's like blaming Microsoft for the ***** service at PC World :) (don't get me started on them...)

Just don't support it, and if you have the time and energy, report the spam to Norton - they're more likely to be able to do something about it than us :)

11:25 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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yup, just installed a filtering rule that will do this automatically. Out of my eyes, into their bin... ;)
11:15 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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As I started this thread, I should report some progress.

I reported another norton spam to the address that Robert_Charlton gave (thanks, Robert). A few hours later I get a reply from Norton's "Internet Security Investigator".

I know I'm not allowed to quote from it (wouldn't want to be though of as a scoffTOS), so I'll summarise.

They say they are seriously into stopping this sort of thing and will go as far as pressing criminal charges.

Good luck to them!

1:00 am on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There was something on the news the other day with a Symantec person saying DONT BUY THEM THEYRE ILLEGAL AND CONTAIN VIRUSES AND SPYWARE!

hah i dont think they contain viruses i think yer mad couz i bought my copy for 4.95 .... j/k i use McAfee :D