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In brief Computer Associates (CA) yesterday bought privately held anti-spyware firm PestPatrol for an undisclosed cash sum. CA will market PestPatrol's technology as eTrust PestPatrol and will incorporate it into its eTrust security software portfolio, alongside its existing anti-virus and anti-spam packages.

CA said that PestPatrol's technology complements anti-virus software, firewalls and intrusion detection systems by detecting and removing "spyware, adware, Trojan horses, denial-of-service attack agents, and other backdoor web-based threats". AV packages can do some of this but anti-spyware packages are better at rooting out non-viral nuisances. Spyware, adware and other non-virus threats are becoming a greater problem. The possibility of anti-spyware legislation has further raised the profile of the issue. CA acquisition of PestPatrol changes the dynamics of the emerging market and raises questions about whether PesterPatrol's principal competitors - Ad-aware and Spybot - will remain independent for much longer. ®

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