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Avast buys Android thiefbuster developer

Reset-proof tech combats smartphone thieves

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Antivirus scanner firm Avast has acquired mobile phone theft protection and recovery company ITAgents. Financial terms of the deal, announced on Thursday, were not disclosed.

ITAgents specialises in technology for Android-powered smartphones. The Austrian firm's Theft Aware technology is particularly in demand because "normal PCs just don’t get left behind in bars or fall out of pockets," according to Avast.

It would probably be more accurate to say that PCs don't get left behind in bars as often as smartphones, at least unless you're an MI5/MI6 agent who made a bit of a habit of just this sort of malarkey a few years back (example here and another here).

Once installed, Theft Aware can survive a “hard” or factory reset. So the text message alert and GPS tracking features built into the technology ought to survive any attempt smartphone thieves might make to reset the device. Avast intends to revamp the technology with new features prior to a product release in Q4 2011.

Avast is not the only anti-virus security firm that has branched out into mobile security by way of an acquisition. AVG bought DroidSecurity last November in a move that added security-scanning software for Android smartphones into its portfolio. ®

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