Grisoft acquires Exploit Prevention Labs

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Anti-virus vendor Grisoft announced today that it has acquired web-browsing security provider Exploit Prevention Labs.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, according to Grisoft.

Most of Exploit Prevention Labs' 18 employees will join Czech Republic-based Grisoft, representatives of the firm said on Tuesday.

Key Exploit Prevention Labs employees will move to new positions after the acquisition is completed. Roger Thompson, Exploit Prevention Labs' chief technology officer will become Grisoft's chief research officer, and Greg Mosher will move from vice president of development to vice president of engineering. Chris Weltzien, Exploit Prevention Labs' chief operating officer, will become Grisoft vice president of business development.

Rick Carlson, Grisoft managing director for North America, cited recent internet-based malware attacks to highlight the growing threat to web surfers.

“It's been very clear for us over the past few months with attacks on the [National Hockey League] and [Major League Baseball] websites, and Al Gore's and Alicia Keys' sites, we've seen the problem accelerating at a pace that reminds me of the way that spyware came about,” he said. “The combination of Exploit Prevention Labs with Grisoft will allow us to create a real-time map of these exploits.”

Exploit Prevention Labs' well-known LinkScanner technology will be added to Grisoft's AVG anti-virus, while LinkScanner Pro will be offered as a standalone. LinkScanner Online will continue to be offered for free.

“It'll be bigger and better, and we'll have a better idea of what's going on,” said Thompson. “We're going to know every time the malware writers sneeze.”

Dan Blum, senior vice president and principal analyst at the Burton Group, estimated that the acquisition cost Grisoft “somewhere in the low millions.”

“I think it's a good acquisition for them,” he said. “Just looking at what Exploit Prevention Labs does and what AVG (Grisoft anti-virus) does, they look complimentary, and what Exploit Prevention Labs will do for AVG is to give it one more layer of protection.”

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