CA Buys Anti-Spyware Vendor

With its acquistion of PestPatrol, one of the original vendors in the space, Computer Associates aims to provide an enterprise-class solution to the threats of spyware.

Computer Associates International Inc. on Monday acquired PestPatrol Inc., one of the original anti-spyware vendors, for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase is an interesting one for CA, whose focus in the security market has been mainly in the security management area. But CA officials said many of their large enterprise customers had become more and more concerned about the presence of spyware on their corporate networks and were looking for an enterprise-class answer to the problem. CA began looking for a company that fit the bill.

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Spyware in the last year or so has become one of the top concerns for enterprise security managers and consumers alike. Once seen mainly as a nuisance and a potential invasion of privacy used to send data about Internet habits back to Web site operators or software vendors, spyware now is a serious problem. It can be used to install back doors, Trojans and other malware on PCs and set them up for future use by spammers or crackers.

PestPatrol, based in Carlisle, Pa., began in 2000 and released its first product the next year. When it was released, PestPatrol was the first widely available anti-spyware solution.

The company has three products: PestPatrol Corporate, PestPatrol for Small Business and PestPatrol for Home Users. One of the things that caught CAs eye about the companys offerings was their capability to remove spyware once it has detected it on a users PC.

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"PestPatrol really had the most mature business model and product line," said Sam Curry, vice president of the eTrust security division at CA, based in Islandia, N.Y. "Spyware requires a different set of technologies. Just detecting it isnt enough."

CA plans to continue development of all three of PestPatrols product lines and will begin working on integrating them into the eTrust products. Curry estimated that CA would have a beta version of an integrated product available by the end of the year. The PestPatrol line will become part of the eTrust Threat Management product portfolio.

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