Grisoft Gobbles Exploit Prevention Labs

Grisoft hopes its buyout of Exploit Prevention Labs will allow it to take on the security market's Big Three.

Grisoft has acquired Exploit Prevention Labs in a bid to extend its protection against Web-based threats.

Grisoft is behind the AVG suite of security products. The merger, made for an undisclosed sum, gives the company Exploit Prevention Labs' experience in safe surfing technology. Officials at both companies said they hope the acquisition will give them the boost they will need to continue to grow in the face of competition from the "Big Three" security vendors—Symantec, Trend Micro and McAfee.

Atlanta-based Exploit Prevention Labs, or XPL, is the maker of LinkScanner, which provides real-time, automatic protection against malicious Web sites, drive-by downloads and other exploits encountered via search engine results, hyperlinks, and manually entered URLs.


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"Our go-to-market strategy involved taking a basic scanner and putting all the functionality into an engine so we could OEM with partners, and that actually made integration with Grisoft remarkably easy because it was built to be added to partners," said Roger Thompson, XPL's chief technology officer, who will come aboard Grisoft as chief research officer.

LinkScanner watches for exploits or bad HTML and neutralizes it, he explained. Users can join a community and report when they find malicious sites on the Web. With the marriage between XPL and Grisoft, the LinkScanner user community will have an additional 60 million sets of eyes to watch out for bad guys courtesy of an enlarged customer base.


The move will allow LinkScanner to outpace products from competitors that rely on centralized databases of bad Web sites that are too slow to keep up with the dynamic and elusive nature of the threats, Thompson said.

Most of XPL's 18 employees will join Grisoft, officials said. Short-term product integration plans include adding LinkScanner technology to AVG Anti-Virus Free and offering LinkScanner Online, a free on-demand URL scanning service, directly from the AVG Web site. LinkScanner Pro is slated to remain a stand-alone offering.

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