Reported Norton Internet Security Issues

It has come to our attention that the Data Management System software that we supply is regarded as ‘highly risky’ by Norton Internet Security, and that the installer program for the DMS is deleted immediately after being downloaded.

We can absolutely assure you that there is no malware or virus in our DMS package. One unpleasant aspect of the behaviour of NIS is that it does not immediately make it clear why a piece of software is being removed.

NIS has a ‘feature’ called SONAR, and one of the tests that SONAR seems to run is to check whether or not a given piece of software is widely used. The DMS installer, and the DMS software itself, is not widely used, at least not in terms of mainstream tools like Microsoft Word or Excel. The policy of the SONAR component is to assume that any software that it does not know must be risky, and therefore it deletes or quarantines the software.

In the case of the DMS Installer utility, SONAR chooses to simply delete the software. There is no prompt given to the user to confirm whether deletion is appropriate or not, though this may be introduced as an addition to future versions of NIS.

Distell’s view on this behaviour is that it is entirely inappropriate for a piece of software like the SONAR component of NIS to take the decision away from the user on whether or not a piece of software can be considered safe. So far as we are aware, there is no over-ride or option that will cause SONAR to change its behaviour in this area, which means that it is effectively impossible to install the DMS software while NIS is running.

If you cannot avoid using NIS on the computer that you want to run the DMS, we suggest the following:

  1. Temporarily turn off NIS.
  2. Download the DMS installer (see the DMS page for information)
  3. Install the DMS
  4. Re-enable NIS
  5. Instruct NIS to exclude the DMS installation directory from scans. Typically this is C:Program FilesDistellDistell Data Management System, but this is chosen during installation.
  6. If, despite the above, the DMS executable (DMS.exe) is quarantined by NIS then you can instruct NIS to restore the file and to avoid checking it in the future.

We recommend, if the choice is available, to avoid using Norton Internet Security until such time as the SONAR component allows the user to decide whether a file is or is not to be treated as dangerous.