At the office we use Symantec anti-virus. Recently we upgraded to Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 which includes Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Proactive Threat Protection and lastly… Network Threat Protection. The reason why I single out that last component is because it contains MASSIVE amounts of failure — or lack of QA work. This last week I finally managed to convince one of our off site workers to upgrade Symantec. Shortly there after I was told that they could no longer connect to their Wireless Access Point. Since this was extremely odd, I made a house call to take a look at the machine.
It was the damnedest thing I had ever seen. If the machine was connected to their WAP (key note: this WAP used WPA2 encryption), and then the Network Threat Protection was turned on — everything was fine. But, if the Network Threat Protection was turned on and you tried to reconnect to the WAP — it just wouldn’t do it. I even went as far as to sneak onto a neighbors WAP (that was unencrypted) without a problem. That’s when I realized something was odd and started googling. Apparently, Symantec Endpoint Protection: Users are unable to connect to a wireless connection when using Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).. Massive failure on the part of Symantec and their QA team. While I’m rather cavalier about many things, I didn’t want to torture this user further by upgrading their copy of Symantec to a version I’ve never used (and don’t even have a copy). So I did the only thing I could do — Uninstall Network Threat Protection.
So for all you out there using Symantec Endpoint 11.0 (With their “firewall”) — turn it off or uninstall it before you connect to a WPA network.