Symantec To Acquire WholeSecurity
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Symantec has signed an agreement to acquire a leading provider of behaviour-based security and anti-phishing technology.

The deal to buy WholeSecurity will give Symantec access to technology which analyses the characteristics and actions of viruses, worms and other malware to offer real-time protection without the need for traditional security signatures.

The increasing threat of so-called zero day exploits is prompting antivirus vendors to look for other ways to identify malicious code.

“WholeSecurity provides industry leading protection from phishing attacks, one of the fastest growing threats to online transactions, such as banking, e-commerce, and auctions,” said Enrique Salem, senior vice president, Symantec Security Products and Solutions. “In addition, WholeSecurity’s family of solutions provides critical behaviour-based security technology that we expect to be a core component of Symantec’s baseline consumer security and enterprise desktop solutions.”

Behaviour-based security technology identifies online threats such as worms, viruses, Trojan horses, keystroke loggers, and phishing sites by their actions and characteristics. WholeSecurity’s Confidence Online analyses the behaviour exhibited by these threats against hundreds of detection modules to determine whether the active processes or web sites are safe or malicious. This technology can immediately detect and mitigate unknown threats by their behaviour without traditional signatures or patches thereby protecting users against zero-day attacks.

WholeSecurity’s unique patent-pending behaviour-based technology addresses applications ranging from browser-based phishing detection and notification to on-demand delivery of malicious code detection.

“We have been the first line of defence for our customers, protecting them against new forms of malicious threats before signatures can be created,” said J. Peter Selda, president and chief executive officer, WholeSecurity. “Combining our behaviour-based technology with Symantec’s industry leading solutions will allow us to deliver this capability to a much broader audience and move us further toward our vision of providing zero-hour protection for every endpoint.”

The transaction is expected to close in October.