Apple has no control over what Norton does. Clearly their product is preventing your iPad from working with iTunes as it is designed, hence Apple's recommendation to remove it.
Try asking on a Symantec support forum:
My point is - why has this suddenly happended. afik nothing has changed on my computer or my ipad (other than some apps from the Apple store updating, and of course everything in the Appel store is impeccable, right?).
Obviously something has changed, computers do not do stuff like this at random. My question is how do I found out what?
I will try the Symantec forum, but my guess is its on the ipad side of things.
iPhone sync & backup has just completed Ok. (So I can look at whats on the ipad that isnt on the iPhone).
Thinking about it the only thing that may have changed on the computer may be iTunes, Id have to check if I went to the lates version before or after the previous sync / backup.
Apple's suggestion is almost certainly the correct one. Norton has a particularly bad reputation on Macs, and its detection is not the best either. I don't know much about it from first-hand experience on Windows, but have heard some negative things. I would recommend using some different anti-virus software.
Most likely, this is simply a false positive. Generally, anything identified as "heuristic" is not a certain diagnosis. Alternately, Bloodhound.Exploit.115 is an exploit of a very old vulnerability in Excel, so it's possible you have managed to get a malicious Excel file transferred onto your iPad. It would not be able to do anything to your iPad, and I doubt it's still capable of infecting your Windows machine.
I agree, a false posiive is the most likely explanation. I just try to keep security issues above the "most liely" level of confidence!
FWIW Norton scan of my "laptop" (Del XPS 1730 requires laps of steel lol) has come up clean.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, my main concern is why this happened yesterday and not, say, last month (the last time I did a sync). (No, I do not have auto update turned on in Norton, or anywhere else for that matter). Its also curious that, supposedly, the number of reported occurrneces according to Norton is less than 5.
I can not think of anything on either of my machines machine that would be so unique. Not sure I have the stamina to tackle Symantec customer service (I have a marginal preference for root canal), otherwise it would be interesting to get some follow up on the report that was logged to Symantec by the scanner.
Yes, I do have some spreadsheets shared between the devices (Excel in Windows and QuickOffice in iOS).
Good to hear this particular virus (?) cant harm the iPad; and the laptop looksc clean anyway.
iOS backups comprise multiple small files saving fragments of data from different parts of the device's filing system. Yesterday one of those fragments had a pattern of bits that matched a pattern that occurs in files that have a particular piece of viral code, that's all. Ideally the pattern that's being detected needs tweaking to reduce the chance of false positives, and with AV updates rolling out every day it may way that yesterday was the only time the data being backed up matched any of the patterns being searched for so no real mystery as to why it hasn't been detected before. Should you get a similar warning while backing up your device I would ignore it and let the operation continue, otherwise you are likely to have an incomplete backup set and you might find that it won't restore when you actually need it.