Feeds

Microsoft buys anti-spyware firm Giant

Gimme shelter

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Microsoft today announced its acquisition of anti-spyware firm Giant Company Software for an undisclosed amount. Redmond said it would use Giant's technology to develop tools that will help users to keep spyware and other deceptive software off their computers.

A beta version of a spyware protection, detection and removal tool, based on Giant's AntiSpyware product, should be available within one month. The tool will work on machines running Windows 2000 and above. Microsoft declined to say when a full version of the product might be released.

Spyware apps range from unwanted pop-up ads to unseen programs that record keystrokes or take over a person's PC. It can slow PC performance, change a PC's configuration or even steal passwords and personal information. An IDC study published last month estimated that 67 percent of consumer PCs are infected with some form of spyware.

Microsoft "strongly recommends" that customers use anti-spyware in conjunction with using an internet firewall on all PCs, updating all PCs regularly with the latest security patches, and running up-to-date anti-virus software. Microsoft bought little known Romanian anti-virus firm GeCAD Software for an undisclosed sum in June 2003.

At the time, Microsoft said it would use GeCAD's expertise and technology to "enhance the Windows platform" and extend support for third-party antivirus vendors. Fast forward 18 months and Microsoft is yet to announce a product strategy (naysayers reckon MS only bought GeCAD to kill of the latter's Linux server products).

Microsoft has repeatedly said it wants to work with partners in the anti-virus industry rather than compete with them in the security market. Providing baseline protection against viruses without putting the nose of anti-virus suppliers out of joint has apparently proved to be tricky. In developing an anti-spyware product, Microsoft is directly encroaching on the turf of anti-virus firms for the first time. This could herald a change of tactics that will see Microsoft taking more responsibility for fighting malware rather than relying on third-party suppliers to keep Windows clean. Releasing a tool that can remove spyware apps such as CoolWebSearch (CWS) while leaving email worms like Zafi-D untouched would tend to breed a false sense of confidence, after all. ®

Related stories

Corporate PCs 'riddled with spyware'
80 per cent of home PCs infected - survey
Webroot: Spyware is Windows-only
Gadzooks! My PC has the pox
US gov targets spyware outfit
CA buys PestPatrol
There is no anti-spyware silver bullet
US moves towards anti-spyware law

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.