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Intel to buy McAfee for on-chip security

updated 09:10 am EDT, Thu August 19, 2010

Intel acquires McAfee for nearly 8 billion

Intel today surprised the tech community by acquiring antivirus developer McAfee for the equivalent of $7.68 billion in stock. The deal will open the door to tougher hardware security in processors themselves as well as tighter integration between chips and software in stopping security threats. Intel is most interested in security for mobile and embedded hardware, which often aren't as secure as full-size computers.

Both companies' boards have approved the deal but have an unspecified wait ahead before they can finalize the merger. The agreement hinges both on McAfee shareholders greenlighting the deal as well as clearing regulatory hurdles.

An acquisition of McAfee promises to shake up the security landscape, where McAfee was the primary rival to Symantec in supplying security, primarily to Windows users. The takeover may raise concerns that Intel could have an unfair advantage by making the same processors McAfee's software would protect. Symantec might also come under scrutiny if Intel ends up veering away from McAfee's traditional security software business.

It's unknown whether any of the security benefits would translate over to non-Windows platforms. Intel isn't necessarily precluded from developing hardware security that could also work in Linux or Mac OS X, but the nature of the market has left McAfee almost always supporting Windows, where many instances of rogue code exist.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. eddd

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2001

    +6

    hmmm

    have to wait for details, but anti-virus measures in hardware don't make a lot of sense to me. It's too much of a moving target, and once preventative measures are set in stone (or silicon) it seems like it would only be a matter of time before they've been cracked and are useless (much like the DRM of DVDs and Blu-Ray). But Intel has many bright minds, so we'll have to see

  1. ruel24

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009

    +1

    McAfee sucks...

    They have products that are middle of the road in terms of security and how much they slow your system down. Wouldn't it have been more sensible to use a company that has better security record AND does a good job of not hogging resources? Also, wouldn't it have just made more sense to partner with someone?

  1. starwarrior

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006

    -2

    Amazing

    Enough said.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 2002

    0

    Uh....

    McAfee has always been crappy anti-virus software, but maybe this will be a good blend. I don't care - I don't run Windows.

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