Symantec is set to release its identity protection software, Norton Confidential, next week.
The product is designed to make web surfing more secure by thwarting phishing and pharming attacks and disabling "crimeware or malicious applications that are designed to steal your confidential information," said Bill Rosenkrantz, director of product management with Symantec.
Norton Confidential will warn users when they are visiting suspected phishing sites and will verify that legitimate Web sites are trustworthy by displaying a "Trust Mark" icon on the browser's toolbar. It also detects keystroke loggers and prevents password information from being sent to unauthorised websites.
The product will be of particular interest to people who have already been the targets of identity theft, said Chris Swenson, director of software industry analysis with the NPD Group. "If an identity thief captures their personal information while they're shopping online or enters their PC because they don't have a firewall, this limits that type of abuse," he said. "What it doesn't protect the customer from is the bank or the university whose server gets compromised."
A subset of the Norton Confidential product has been shipping in Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2007 product, and it will be also be built into the forthcoming Norton 360 security suite.
Norton Confidential has a list price of US$49.99 for a one-year subscription, but it can be purchased from Symantec's Web site for $34.99 per year. A shrink-wrapped version of the product will ship in November.