Spend, spend, spend for Symantec

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   May 20, 2004

Anti-spam company to become AV vendor's latest purchase

Just days after revealing that its gateway anti-virus product will stop sending automatic virus notification 'spam' - a practice that inspires indignation and frustration among computer users (see VB June 2004 p.9), Symantec has announced that it is to acquire anti-spam and email filtering company Brightmail.

The latest incarnation of Symantec's gateway product, Mail Security for SMTP 4.0, is configured in such a way that it will not send automatic virus notifications for mass-mailing viruses that spoof the sender address, even if the notification feature is turned on.

Although it is likely that most major anti-virus companies (which do not already do so) will follow suit, the cleaning up of its act was particularly timely for Symantec, with its acquisition of an anti-spam firm Brightmail just around the corner.

Symantec first invested in Brightmail back in 2000, when it purchased 11 per cent of the company's shares. Now, Symantec is set to pay an estimated $370 million for the rest. Symantec has something of a history of indulging in retail therapy, with 19 other acquisitions listed among its 'historical highlights' since 1990.

The latest acquisition will see the security firm following the lead of Sophos, which purchased anti-spam company ActiveState eight months ago.

Symantec's acquisition is expected to complete in early July.

Posted on 20 May 2004 by Virus Bulletin

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