Feeds

McAfee buys whitelisting firm Solidcore

If you're not on the list, we're not going in

Security for virtualized datacentres

Net security firm McAfee has bought whitelisting firm Solidcore for approximately $33m in cash, rising to $47m if sales targets are met.

The deal was announced Friday, and is expected to close by the end of Q2 2009. It will allow MCafee to offer endpoint security technology to a broader range of embedded devices, including ATMs, point of sale (POS) systems, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Whitelisting technology ensures that only pre-authorised software and code (ie known safe applications) can run on devices. The approach is an alternative to looking for either the signature or behaviour associated with known bad applications - the more traditional blacklisting approach of anti-virus scanners, intrusion prevention tools etc.

It's an elegant idea, but it can come unstuck, particularly in corporate desktop environments, where a large variety of legitimate and often changing applications might be running on PCs.

The whitelisting approach has much more in its favour when applied to embedded devices, where typically only a closely defined list of applications need to run. After all you're not going to run OpenOffice - much less Doom - on an ATM or SCADA device, assuming such a thing were possible.

The security of control systems at utilities that rely on SCADA technology has become a topic of concern over recent months, with anonymous Feds spinning the line that overseas intelligence agencies have hacked into the US national grid, for example.

The Solidcore acquisition allows McAfee to offer products designed to mitigate against these types of attack, as well as arguably more pressing concerns about malware on retail sales terminals. McAfee plans to integrate Solidcore’s dynamic whitelisting and compliance enforcement technology with its existing compliance mapping and policy audit tools. The acquisition will also allow McAfee to beef up its product portfolio in virtualisation security, using Solidcore’s technology for locking down virtual environments. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.