Security provider, Grisoft, today announced plans to acquiref Exploit Prevention Labs, a developer of safe surfing technology that protects Internet users against malicious Web sites and drive-by downloaded exploits.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but the deal is expected to be finalised by December 31, 2007.
Grisoft CEO, JR Smith, said unsafe hyperlinks and the poisoning of legitimate Web sites represent one of the biggest threats facing computer users since the advent of viruses.
"The research and technology behind Exploit Prevention Labs' LinkScanner product family will enable us to provide our 60-plus million users with access to the most complete protection against Internet security threats. Our combined operations will give us the dual advantages of fast reaction and deep research capabilities over other vendors attempting to address this space," Smith said.
He said the acquisition will allow Grisoft to leapfrog the safe surfing initiatives of other anti-virus vendors, who have focused on database-driven approaches that are incompatible with the dynamic, elusive nature of these threats.
Smith said Exploit Prevention Labs' experience has shown that real-time analysis is the most reliable method of protecting users against fast-moving Web 2.0-style attacks by cybercriminals.
Exploit Prevention Labs co-founder and Australian expatriate Roger Thompson said Web exploits are a dynamic problem that requires a real-time solution.
"In today's Web 2.0 world of user-generated content and hyperlinked-everything, a Web page can be safe one minute and dangerous the next. LinkScanner technology provides definitive real-time threat protection at the time that matters most - when the user clicks the link," Thompson said.
Grisoft has grown rapidly over the last few years to become the world's fourth largest vendor of anti-virus software measured by an installed user base.
Much of the company's growth can be attributed to the frustration of Internet users with the traditional "big three" anti-virus products, which they view as having become bloated, slow and resource-intensive, Thompson said.
"The high-performance AVG product range, by contrast, is optimised to provide superior anti-malware protection while minimising the impact on a computer's performance. Like the AVG products, the LinkScanner family is extremely lightweight in terms of system resource usage," he said.
Investment director for Eastern Europe, Marcin Hejka, said since the initial investment in 2005, Intel Capital has provided technical assistance and introduced customers to Grisoft.
"We are pleased to see their continuing success as an Internet security leader and congratulate the company on this acquisition," Hejka said.
Most of Exploit Prevention Labs' 18 employees - including key executives Roger Thompson, Greg Mosher and Chris Weltzien - will join Grisoft.
Roger Thompson becomes Chief Research Officer (CRO), Greg Mosher becomes VP of Engineering, and Chris Weltzien becomes VP of Business Development.