Symantec Buys Anti-Phishing Vendor

The anti-virus powerhouse expands with the acquisition of WholeSecurity, a provider of behavior-based security and anti-phishing technology.

Symantec on Thursday announced plans to purchase WholeSecurity, a deal that adds behavior-based and anti-phishing technology to its Internet security product roster.

Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in October, were not disclosed.

The purchase of WholeSecurity Inc., based in Austin, Texas, gives Symantec Corp. ownership of a legitimate player in the anti-phishing sector and a set of technologies that analyze the actions of worms, viruses and other malicious programs for use in behavior-based protection products.

WholeSecuritys anti-phishing technology is already being used in eBay Inc.s online toolbar, and Microsoft Corp. plans to use the CallerID concept in its Internet Explorer 7.0 browser refresh.

The companys Web CallerID package is being marketed to large corporations seeking to protect their brands from phishing scams, and will power the IE phishing filter that will be added when the new browser ships.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about WholeSecuritys "CallerID" method of fighting phishers.

According to Enrique Salem, senior vice president of Symantec Security Products and Solutions, the WholeSecurity deal adds technology that cuts down on false positives in behavior-based blocking.

"The biggest problem with behavior-based technology has been the high rate of false positives. We like the way this company goes about looking at the characteristics of good behaviors and bad behaviors," Salem said in an interview with Ziff Davis Internet News.

Behavior-based technology is typically used to pinpoint online threats such as worms, viruses, Trojans, keyloggers and phishing sites by their actions and characteristics.

The technology can immediately detect and mitigate unknown threats by their behavior, without traditional signatures or patches, to protect against zero-hour and zero-day attacks, he said.

WholeSecurity currently markets Confidence Online for Web Applications, Confidence Online for Corporate PCs, and the Confidence Online Phish Finder.

In addition to eBay, the companys customer base includes Deutsche Bank AG and Visa International Service Association.

/zimages/2/28571.gifTo read about anti-virus software from Sana Security that works without signatures, click here.

Salem said Symantec will continue to sell WholeSecuritys products to existing enterprise and consumer clients.

The latest acquisition comes on the heels of Symantecs recent purchase of endpoint security vendor Sygate Inc.

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