Retail Therapy

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 1, 2002

Symantec has been on a blow-out shopping spree...

Symantec has been on a blow-out shopping spree. Perhaps it was its purchase of Mountain Wave earlier this year that put the company in the mood for splashing out - not content with just the one purchase, Symantec has snapped up three more companies in an impressive bout of spending. Hot on the heels of reporting a 39 per cent growth in revenue in the first fiscal quarter, it was announced last month that Symantec was the proud new owner of: Recourse Technologies, whose main business is the provision of intrusion detection systems; managed security services provider Riptech, Inc.; and SecurityFocus, provider of threat alerts and host of the highly regarded BugTraq vulnerability mailing list. The company spent $135 million on Recourse Technologies, $145 million on Riptech, and SecurityFocus set the company back a mere $75 million.

In the AV world, response to the news has been varied, some voicing concern over the monopoly-forming tendencies displayed by Symantec, while many have predicted the demise of the BugTraq list (and coinciding with the announcement was the opening of a new full disclosure list, imaginatively named 'Full Disclosure'). However, support for SecurityFocus co-founder Elias Levy and his team has not been in short supply, and sources at Symantec have claimed that BugTraq subscriptions have continued to rise since the acquisition.

While statements from the companies have attempted to allay any fears of changes to the character of the BugTraq mailing list, we will have to wait until the dust has settled to find out whether such fears were well founded, as well as what impact Symantec's purchases will have on the larger picture. With NAI having increased its exchange offer for outstanding publicly held shares of McAfee.com by 15.5%, could this be the start of an empire-expanding battle between the bigger players in the security market?

Posted on 01 August 2002 by Virus Bulletin

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