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Norton Announces Core, a Smart Router To Protect Domestic IoT Devices ( 119

fiannaFailMan writes: Norton has announced the launch of a smart router designed to protect connected home devices from intrusions. The Symantec-owned company says the device aims to keep safe up to 20 devices connected to it, including Windows computers, Macs, phones, tablets or any internet-of-things devices, in real time. Norton Core, shaped a little like a geodesic dome, can isolate an infected device from the rest of your network to prevent the spread of any malware. Some of the technical specifications include a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 1MB of system memory and 4GB of flash memory, and the latest 4x4 AC2600 Wi-Fi standard, with a top speed on the 5GHz band of 1.73 megabits per second and up to 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It also features four Gigabit LAN ports and can cover between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet.
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Norton Announces Core, a Smart Router To Protect Domestic IoT Devices

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @06:48PM (#53600931)

    So I guess it's acceptable for this to let practically everything by while slowing down the network to a crawl?

    • by watice ( 1347709 )
      what, you can't survive a streaming session on 1.73 megabits per second to ensure the safety of your household?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @06:50PM (#53600937)

    1) Install Norton security router.
    2) Discover that your electricity bill is now $3000 per month and every device that's connected to it runs verrrrryyy slowwwwly.
    3) Attempt to remove it from your home, and find that no matter how many times you do so, bits of it are still left under your couch, inside the walls, glued to the ceiling...
    4) Realize that removing it from your home properly requires complete demolition and ground-up rebuilding.

    No thanks.

    • TFA was misquoted. Actual article title was "Norton announces Core, a smart router to consume every remaining byte and CPU cycle on your IoT device".
    • 3) Attempt to remove it from your home, and find that no matter how many times you do so, bits of it are still left under your couch, inside the walls, glued to the ceiling...

      You'd have that problem even if you applied Norton-standard pre-emptive fault finding to the device before unpacking it. (1kg of C4 explosive followed by a wash with red fuming nitric acid.)

  • Security Theater (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bragr ( 1612015 ) * on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @06:52PM (#53600955)

    So the attackers will just have to buy one of these to make sure their malware passes, just like they do already with desktop AV? I guess that's good for Norton's bottom line.

  • So effectively, NGF (Next Generation Firewall) "lite" technology is coming to the home. Norton is not the first to this market. I'm pretty sure that might be BitDefender BOX, but I could be mistaken.

  • That's so...1989.
  • Does it have the Peter Norton bitmap on the case or packaging? That's an essential part of any 'Norton' product.

  • CVE-2017-666 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @06:54PM (#53600981)

    How many days till we see an advisory for Norton core enabling attackers a method of leveraging Norton core to compromise systems it is supposed to be protecting? []

    Also apparently if you don't renew your subscription your Norton paper egg turns into a Norton paper weight as they disable all access controls on spite not just the scanning/heuristic subscriptions but basic ACL shit too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    From their FAQ:

    What do I need to set up Norton Core?

    For initial setup, you will need an iOS or Android mobile device that has Bluetooth (BLE) enabled and a data connection. Download the Norton Core app from the Apple Store or Google Play, open the app, and follow the instructions to complete the set up6. The Core app supports both iOS 8.0 or later and Android 4.4 or later.

    • Re:Assinine Design (Score:5, Interesting)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:00PM (#53601019) Journal
      I stayed at a hotel recently that required scanning a QR code to get on the internet. So, my laptop had no internet that night. I didn't stay at the hotel a second night.
  • Money Grab! (Score:5, Informative)

    by EndlessNameless ( 673105 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @06:57PM (#53601003)

    FAQ this:

    What happens if I don’t renew my subscription?

    "If you don’t renew the Norton Core Security Plus subscription in the second year, Norton Core will continue to function as a high performance router. All network, IoT, and device level security, plus parental control features will be unavailable if the subscription is not renewed."

    Yeah, thanks, but I prefer my equipment to function for more than a year.

    • Sounds to me like it does still function after a year, it just doesn't have the extra security.

      • Re:Money Grab! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:35PM (#53601241)

        Sounds to me like it does still function after a year, it just doesn't have the extra security.

        So it continues to function except for the one feature for which you would buy this very expensive device. Why do I get the feeling I would be better off spending $40 on a TP-LINK router.

    • by higuita ( 129722 )

      Probably then install openwrt on it, setup some iptables and dns filtering like pi-hole and configure some cron scripts and you replace 90% of the features.

      or buy directly one new router and install openwrt directly :)

  • I wonder what else this router will do? Phone home? Monitor and report (Symantec's definition of) suspicious network traffic? Throttle/block hardware/software that Symantec or their Redmond-based business partner hasn't blessed?

    Yeah, I'm just being paranoid. Just 'cuz I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

  • Twenty devices?

    I've got 15 internet-capable devices in my house already - laptops, tablets, phones and media devices - so (were I clinically insane) I could max out this thing just by putting "smart" light-bulbs in my living room.

    Are we supposed to have one of these per room?

    • by Kiralan ( 765796 )
      From the FAQ, the 20 device limit is for other than the IOT devices, which are 'unlimited'. Stills seems low, but at least a more realistic limit.
  • by adisakp ( 705706 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:10PM (#53601063) Journal
    I had to ditch my Netgear Nighthawk Router because it only supported 64 WiFi devices. I have close to 100 WiFi devices (mostly IoT) in my house at this time. I switched to Google WiFi Mesh Router because it can actually handle all the devices I have.

    But here's a short list of most of what is connected to my WiFi Network and I plan on adding more in the future:

    Haiku Homes Lights (40), Switches (10), and Fans (7)
    Mitsubishi Ductless Heating System (4 Headers)
    Ecobee (controls a Boiler)
    Nest Thermostat (controls a forced air HVAC system)
    Nest Cameras (4 Outdoor, 3 Indoor)
    Nest Smoke and CO Alarms (4)
    TP-Link Switches (2 lights, 5 others)
    GE Dishwasher
    Samsung Washer + Dryer
    Sense Electrical Monitor
    Amazon Echos (2 regular, 2 dots)
    Yamaha Receivers (2)
    Samsung TVs (4)
    Google Chromcast (4)
    Apple TV (2)
    Amazon Fire (2)
    Harmony Ultimates (2 Remotes, 2 Hubs)

    My guess is people who are actively pursuing Smart Home Technologies will need much higher than 20 device capacity.
    • by adisakp ( 705706 )
      Oh... and I forgot

      August Locks (2 Connect Modules)
      Samsung SmartThings Hub
    • by Pascoea ( 968200 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:16PM (#53601095)
      You're gonna be fucked when your house becomes sentient.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        You're gonna be fucked when your house becomes sentient.

        Or when a Ham Radio operator moves in nearby.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You're gonna be fucked when your house becomes sentient.

        I didn't see any connected sex toys there. That is a serious omission in this connected age.

      • by Agripa ( 139780 )

        You're gonna be fucked when your house becomes sentient.

        That was his house posting using his account.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:24PM (#53601153)

      You forgot the wife's Sybian.

    • For a wild time, pack all that up and move to one of those towns where all the people live who claim to be allergic to WiFi.

    • Serious question......what benefit do you get from a dishwasher being attached to the internet?
    • 3 PC, 2 Laptops,2 tablets, 4 smart TVs, 4 Cell phones, xbox one, and PS4. Granted the PS4 and xbox one aren't used at the same time the smart tv features are but a regular family w/ 3 kids can hit that 20 mark fairly quick even without trying to automate the home.

    • - That's a lot of ... totally useful devices. Yeah, sure. Totally... You're the WiFi version of the guy I used to know with like 15k worth of X10 gear wired all over his house. Of course, he spent enough time fiddling with his crap that his wife regularly cheated on him, but to each his own... Electrical monitor? Dishwasher?!?!
      - But seriously, you bring up a quasi valid point. There is a pretty severe deficiency between people who are going nuts over smart-home crap and the stock 'prosumer' grade all-in-on
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      You need wifi for washers? Why?

  • How is is a shitty 5GHz wifi a selling point?

    • 5GHz isn't shitty. It doesn't go through walls very well, but that is a different story. The shitty Band is the 2.4 GHz, which if you live anywhere civilized is crowded to the point of being non-functional. I can see at least a dozen 2.4 GHz WiFi APs on my scanner while sitting in my living room. I can see exactly three 5 GHz, with several bands available (no usage).

      While coverage isn't great, the bands are more or less free from everyone else's crap.

      • 5GHz isn't shitty.

        It is on this router if it only does 1.73Mbps. I'm also curious about the 1MB of RAM. (Other pages indicate that it's 1.73Gbps and 1GB of RAM, which is in line with modern routers.) Another correction, it's got 4 gigabit ports total, 3 LAN and 1 WAN. This comes as a huge shock, but it seems the editors can't be bothered to proofread anything.

  • I trust their hardware like I trust their antivirus...
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:16PM (#53601093)
    From TFA caption under photo of two units in different colors:

    The Norton Core comes in titanium gold and granite gray.

    I hate marketing people.

    • They might as well have offered it in Titanium Gold and Gold Titanium.
      • They might as well have offered it in Titanium Gold and Gold Titanium.

        Reminds me of when I had a 1969 VW Beetle. They have one double-arrow dashboard indicator for the turn signal, with only one bulb. A friend once asked how do you know if it's indicating left or right? I said, completely seriously, for left it blinks off first then on and for right it blinks on first then off. He stared at me looking really confused. I went through it twice more before he realized it was BS. Good times...

    • The Norton Core comes in titanium gold and granite gray.

      They should at least keep the different-same theme going and use "granite marble".

    • Alloy

      • Alloy

        Then, according to the CERN writing guidelines [] (and others) that would be "titanium-gold" so bzzzt... thanks for playing :-)

        Chemical compounds

        Chemical compounds and alloys should be hyphenated, but the elements should not be capitalised:
        The current in the dipole magnets is carried by cables made of niobium-titanium (NbTi).

  • by Mr. Flibble ( 12943 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:16PM (#53601097) Homepage

    This is just a home router and firewall. It isn't like a whole class of systems already do this.

    Maybe it adds deep packet inspection, or gives you reports on the exact attacks that have been blocked - but so what? What exactly does the average home user need to know about blocking the hundreds of attacks your average home based IP per day?

    • One thing I wonder - does it support IPv6? Or is NAT their idea of enforcing security?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It seems to be doing DPI on packets it thinks are IoT related, and matching them against a database of known exploits. Much like now Norton AV works, i.e. slow and ineffective.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2017 @07:28PM (#53601189)

    What they collect (e.g. everything including Your F***ing passwords...)

    Wireless network SSID/password (encrypted);
    * Device information, including any Personal Information you include when assigning device name(s) and, if provided,
    the name of the person to whom the device is assigned, and device user agent data/app user agent data, including
    device type, manufacturer, and model; operating system; and IP address;
    * Data regarding device usage, including data regarding the time of last device use, internet usage time for each
    connected device, and gateway logs detailing network connection activities;
    * Website addresses for parental control settings, including blocked websites, visited websites, and time and content
    filter information;
    * Personal Information you may enter into your profile, including username and your picture;
    * Personal Information you provide for customer support and connectivity assistance, such as userID, name, role,
    policies, and device information;
    * Attempts to download executable files/mobile apps;
    * Shipping address and related information.

    What they do with it...

    * Norton Core uses Google Analyticsâ(TM) Measurement Protocol with IP anonymization parameters to transmit critical error
    information (including IP address) and information on your feature usage services (âoeNorton Core Telemetryâ) to Google
    Analytics, which is not owned or operated by Symantec.

    * Understanding product usage and alerts to inform you of better ways to benefit from a productâ(TM)s features

    * Statistical analysis of product deployment

    * Providing us with business and marketing information

    How they use it...

    * We are a global organization and may transfer Your Data to other countries, including countries that may have less protective data protection laws than the country in which you are located.

    * may be disclosed in connection with any proposed or actual sale or other transfer of some or all assets of Symantec in the event of a reorganization, merger, acquisition, or sale of our assets;

    * may be disclosed and shared if we are
    required to do so by law or in response to a request from law enforcement authorities; ...Here they are clearly saying anyone in law enforcement can simply request data and receive it even if not required by law...

    * To promote research, awareness, detection, or prevention of security risks, Symantec may disclose Your Data to relevant public
    and private entities such as cybersecurity or identity theft research organizations and security software vendors.

    Apparently also customers responsibility to make sure their down line users and guests are informed their data is also being collected. Note that "your disclosure" actually means going to the management portal and configuring a new device.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that any disclosure by you to Symantec of Personal Information of your users or third parties is
    in compliance with applicable privacy and data security laws, including informing users and third parties that you are providing
    their Personal Information to Symantec, informing them of how it will be transferred, used, or processed, and gathering
    appropriate consents and other legal measures required for such transfer, use, or processing.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now we finally know what those things are that sit on top of the Imperial Star Destroyers....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Honest question: what IS a good, secure router. I need a new one (old one just died). Given the new router attacks, I went looking for a secure router. The Wirecutter did an overall decent job, but security of the router itself wasn't touched. I found, and the one they recommend (Peplink Surf SOHO) is a bit pricey (but the security sounds impressive).

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Make sure the passwords are not on some support forum or default pass, user, password.
      Buy CCTV or some other vital IoT that will talk to your cell phone without needing the internet when altered.
      Remove all the things from the network that need the "internet" when not at home. Be able to chart, log, respond to changing network conditions when at home.
      Get away from wifi and upgrade to ethernet to connect only important devices.
      Get some AV to test your network. Something like []
    • Depends on the kind of security you're looking for. I'm generally a fan of the Asus family of routers that support the Padavan firmware - they all support DD-WRT as well if that's your thing.

      What makes this router something warranting a slashdot discussion is the fact that it does unified threat management, something that tends to require an appliance beyond a simple router/switch/AP combo. The cheapest ones with integrated Wi-Fi are from Sonicwall, but they're all kinds of awkward to have in a home setting

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Its literally just a pfsense box with snort installed.

    What a sham.

  • The fact that there are practically no routers made in the USA is unnerving to me. Any attempt to make one here, makes me feel better. (At least someone tried!) We need security and control over routers, software and the hardware on our own soil. I personally experienced a lot of joy in 1997 when the WWW opened up. It was fantastically safer place to be before the malicious idiots came on to wreck it with Worms, Trojans, Root kits, Zombie bots, and the like. Plus it didn't have a lot of garbage you had to r
  • On the product page there is a link to a youtube video - at 00:26 [] it says 'And protect them from malware" the bottom of the video in small writing it ALSO says 'Core does not give you 100% protection' - does that mean I dont have to give you 100% of my subscription fee if malware gets through?

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle