Norton Internet Security kills entire websites, but fails to hide actual ads.

Dramatic enough headline for ya? Good, because I want your attention on this matter. I've never been a fan of Norton Internet Snakeoil, Symantec's crap better known as NIS, as it's rather expensive and to me, utterly useless. The bad part of NIS is that it removes any and all URL's based on word and letter combinations within the URL rather than actual content of website. "Ad" is one of those letter combinations, killing innocent sites like this one. The even worse part is that some clear advertising content URL's are whitelisted by default, perhaps because these companies paid Norton off.

In plain English, NIS kills this website. Then the people who are using NIS email me, helpfully letting me know that "your website is broken, mate, it's like all white or sumthin', no links work." Well, it's not my fault, it's your Norton. This past week I've helped 17 (!!) people sort out their Norton issues, Symantec should fucking pay me. A lot.

One of the people who had trouble was fellow advertising gossip blogger George Parker with the sharp pen. Even his blog, located at "" has plenty of items blocked by default by Norton Internet Security, and George thinks he has a pretty good idea as to why Norton behaves this way. He insists that there is a Peter Norton/Charles Saatchi conspiracy theory! He might be right! (read more for it)

We're aware of this problem, we serve a solution for it here in the FAQ, which can't be reached by anyone who is experiencing the problem... (ouch). At Symantecs website they show you how to create a rule to override Ad Blocking in Norton Internet Security or Norton AntiSpam.

So George says;

As you know, all the problems I was having were occurring because NIS was rejecting anything that had "Ad" in the address line.
Norton would have you believe that this was in the users interest, because they were filtering out unwanted spam.
Not true.
What isn't known is that there is a dastardly conspiracy going on between Norton and M&C Saatchi to reject anything that has to do with the advertising business. This is because the Saatchi brothers are paranoid that someone might post something nasty about the M&C Saatchi company in general, and "Lord Saatchi" in particular.
Because of his recent bad press concerning his attempt to strong arm the British Conservative party out of several million pounds for the sub-standard advertising their agency did in the recent election, (See my post on AdScam of a couple of weeks ago) his Lordship has persuaded his brother Charlie to persuade his good pal Peter Norton... Both are inveterate modern art collectors, cornering the market on dead sharks in formaldehyde and stacks of white painted bricks that clutter up Tate Modern in London and MOMA in New York... To lean on Symantec (Peter is still a director) to get the intrepid coders at Symantec to fuck up any attempt to log onto the only really good ad blogs around... Yours and mine.
They shall not succeed. I don't care if his Lordship, Maurice, is richer than Croesus. We shall overcome.
Their advertising sucks anyway.
Just ask the Conservative Party.

Hehehe, well okaaaay. Enough joking around, in all seriousness, these are some of the strings that are by blocked default.



Interestingly enough, these urls are by default actually permitted:

Domain HTML String ad.siemens ipod/ads/images/ /ads/ ad_images /ad/ /ads /banners /advertise/ /banner/    /ads. /ads/ /ads/ /ad /ad/


Did those companies pay to get whitelisted one wonders? Why should you pay to use some adblocking software where certain advertisers can buy their way out - while sites like this one can't get un-blacklisted?

Years of me sending polite emails to Symantec about Nortons behaviour asking them for help, and/or to whitelist our particular URL have been met with no responses at all - much like all of our emails to bugmenot were met with silence. Epinions has it right, don't even bother taking it up with the people who produce/run the stuff, put your complaints straight on the web instead. Loudly.

We'd love to be be using our other domain name instead of the NIS blacklisted, or perhaps the long-winded that we've had since way back in 1999 but our SSL Certificate for the secure credit card transaction is for the domain The first person to crack any "drag" jokes gets their nose pinched by me. Besides, why should we change when Siemens, Apple and Ebay doesn't have to?

Note: see also
Cannot see all of a Web page when Norton Internet Security or Norton Personal Firewall is installed
. If someone you know has a problem viewing this site, tell them about this Norton bug. And remember, friends don't let friends drive Norton!

AnonymousCoward's picture
caffeinegoddess's picture

Yipes. That is so FUBARed.

James_Trickery's picture

Q: What do siemens, akamai, apple,, disney,, freechal, iwon, monster,, nytimes,, and eBay have in common?

A: A bucketload of cash?

Dabitch's picture

Those who drive windows machines and obviously have more recent hands on experience than me, could you guys recommend any alternatives to Nortons stuff, like the Norton Anti Virus, Internet Security etc?

As for adblocking, use Firefox (kills pop-ups dead, doesn't let ActiveX wrek havoc on your machine) and adblock extension and you'll be sorted for surfing the web at least.

Dabitch's picture

Arity, Steve Hall from adrants who uses the Norton Personal Firewall just turned on the ad Blocking feature and checked out this website. This screenshot shows what Norton snakeoil in action does.
As you can see, the entire site navigation is gone because of course, each deeper link of will contain the blocked "ad-". Not pretty is it?

fairuse's picture

Still trying to get Norton "completely" out of wife's win7 netbook. Can only fuss with it in small doses before the throw something solid at wall takes over. No idea what works other than the Firefox method (SHE doesn't like FF).