Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Aug 2010 17:54 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Intel Chalk this one up on the 'uh, what?'-list of acquisitions. Intel announced today that it has acquired Mcafee, the security and antivirus company we all know and love. The press release is a bit vague on why, exactly, Intel made this rather odd acquisition.
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Not good
by Zifre on Thu 19th Aug 2010 17:57 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

This doesn't sound good...

Now we will have resource hogging junk running at the hardware level too. ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: Not good
by vivainio on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:19 UTC in reply to "Not good"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


Now we will have resource hogging junk running at the hardware level too. ;)


That's where it would belong in a sane world.

Think of this - where do you think most of the computer time is spent these days?

Compiling? Rendering?

For a corporate Windows desktop, virus scanning is a huge resource drain. Imagine if Intel had a hardware solution to make that drain unnoticeable? And AMD didn't?

Done right, it could be more noticeable than 1ghz clock difference in practical real world use.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Not good
by pabloski on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Not good"
pabloski Member since:
2009-09-28

I agree but http://www.kaspersky.com/news?id=207576021

Why not kaspersky then? Kaspersky already has the technology.

Mcafee is not so good after all, it is a mediocre antivirus.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Not good
by vivainio on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not good"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


Why not kaspersky then? Kaspersky already has the technology.


I'm pretty sure Intel did their homework on this one...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Not good
by Elv13 on Thu 19th Aug 2010 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not good"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

But as far as I read in the news, they do more research than Karspersky and find more flaw/viruses. Just as Norten, they are so targetted by malware that it render the product useless. This would not happen if it was hardware. I am not saying it is a good AV, but it is not a mediocre firm.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not good
by Phloptical on Thu 19th Aug 2010 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not good"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

Agreed...Kapersky, Trend Micro, NOD32....

No reason to marry themselves to the lumbering twin oafs that are Symantec and McAfee.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Not good
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 20th Aug 2010 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not good"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Mcaffee is a lot more profitable and it already has established relationships with many OEMs.

Its like choosing to buy Mc Donanld corp or a five star restaurant.

Companies are not solely based on the quality of their product.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not good
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 19th Aug 2010 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Not good"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

That's where it would belong in a sane world.

The way I see it, McAfee's garbage doesn't belong anywhere on my machine. If I really felt I needed virus protection, I still wouldn't use theirs--I'd rather use Microsoft's own Security Essentials (which was mentioned in the article). It's the most decent program I've found, and free, no nags... and it won't leave you screwed and in danger after the X-year "subscription."

Not everyone is a dumbass needing "protection" (if you can even call it that; more like a false sense of security) from viruses, so if it's in the hardware, it should be PURELY optional. As in, not even built into the hardware by default, with a "special" version of the chip for those idiots that think they need it and want to waste the extra money.

People need common sense and self control. Not f***ing anti-virus software. It's cheaper (free) and far more secure.

Edited 2010-08-19 22:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not good
by jgagnon on Fri 20th Aug 2010 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not good"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

In all fairness, Intel could work wonders with McAfee's software base and make it run a LOT more efficiently, which I'm assuming they will do. Not only that, they might be able to take some of the ideas from the inner workings and help make their chips more "virus proof" or at least help localize the potential damage (like the virtualization instructions).

I wish Intel had bought Sun instead of Oracle. A MUCH better idea in the long run that McAfee, but there is still a lot of good that can come from this acquisition.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not good
by TusharG on Fri 20th Aug 2010 03:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Not good"
TusharG Member since:
2005-07-06

I like your comments "You are optimist!"

Reply Score: 1

Intel & windows
by bnolsen on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:29 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Seems strange here...this looks like a windows centric purchase. Then come to think of it, intel wants to break into the mobile space. The most recent bad mobile news we've been seen of late are trojans being released through the market places. I wonder if Intel has an eye on some solution to this problem?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Intel & windows
by vivainio on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:33 UTC in reply to "Intel & windows"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Seems strange here...this looks like a windows centric purchase.


Last time I checked, Windows market is still the most important one for Intel. Defending that is worth a shot.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Intel & windows
by bnolsen on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Intel & windows"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

I don't think anyone is threatening intel on the windows front. The core i7 is pretty impressive and shows what intel can do when they aren't letting the marketing department make all the technology decisions. If anything intel should be very concerned with their problem: "if it isn't running windows it's not running an intel processor". Console gaming, handheld gaming, smartphones...intel is nowhere to be found in these recent high growth markets. And AMD...they should consider renaming themselves to ATI...

ARM seems to have a brighter future than intel at this moment.

Edited 2010-08-19 18:58 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Intel & windows
by vivainio on Thu 19th Aug 2010 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Intel & windows"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

I don't think anyone is threatening intel on the windows front.

This doesn't mean a company shouldn't continue doing R&D to ensure their position.

Console gaming, handheld gaming, smartphones...intel is nowhere to be found in these recent high growth markets.

On mobile device front, read up on upcoming technologies like Moorestown and MeeGo. Intel has lots to prove there, and being a challenger has its benefits (in terms of motivation, agility, ...)

Reply Score: 2

It does seem like a strange aquisition
by Tuishimi on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:48 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

I wonder what McAfee brings to the table that Intel could really use at a lower level, which is what I assume they are after... some soft of low-level, hardware level checking... maybe wrap something into their motherboards in a smart chip or something?

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

McAfee is about the last company on earth I would like to have meddling with the hardware on my motherboards.

Reply Score: 2

Oh and two more things...
by Tuishimi on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:49 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

1. I agree that MS Sec. Essentials is best and
2. I do like tungsten. (ad at top of OSnews) I have a tungsten ring that just rocks... and it doesn't scratch up like titanium. And they are so heavy they can double as "brass knuckles". ;)

Reply Score: 2

makes sense
by Nex6 on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:51 UTC
Nex6
Member since:
2005-07-06

this, is a good move for intel, McAfee is a huge company and has other things other then AV. like the encryption stuff, they use to own all the PGP stuff. the retain rights of use, and they still own all the orig server side stuff, and command line stuff etc.

also, the software channel and existing user is huge.

Reply Score: 3

McAfee also does network security
by mbpark on Thu 19th Aug 2010 18:58 UTC
mbpark
Member since:
2005-11-17

One market that Intel has been getting into has been the networking market. They already sell some of the top-performing Gig and 10Gig network cards out there.

They have also been looking at the security market.

McAfee has Safeboot, which is their data at rest encryption solution. They also have IntruShield IDS/IPS, and they also probably still hold patents from their spinoff, Network General, for Sniffer. They also make firewalls and proxy servers for large enterprises.

McAfee also has their own Data Loss Prevention product similar to Symantec Vontu.

When you wrap it all together, you can see that Intel is probably looking at them to provide security at very low levels, and to sell a line of highly accelerated products for proxy servers, data loss prevention, sniffing, and endpoint security. Symantec does not have the luxury of having all of these components, or the ability to customize hardware, in-house.

This makes sense because high-speed DLP or network sniffing requires very tight integration with hardware and software. Linux provides the OS. Intel can provide device drivers and in-depth configuration to make it all work together.

This is not good news for Symantec.

Reply Score: 6

organgtool Member since:
2010-02-25

Your explanation of McAfee's other products makes sense. Though I'm still not sure they're worth the money they got paid because their biggest product (McAfee AntiVirus) sucks. That product has had more false positives than most other antivirus products combined. The worst was when it identified svchost.exe as a virus, removed the file, and sent users' computers into an infinite reboot loop. You couldn't pay me to use their antivirus software.

But perhaps their other software isn't as bad and maybe Intel has big plans for that. In any event, this is definitely a weird purchase and at a surprisingly high price.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I would say that you are very correct. their product does indeed suck. However, the company makes a ton of money selling the sucky software, and the company's stock price was pretty low for its profits. So on a purely business value, it makes sense.

Sort of like how I go into fry's looking just for a new thumb drive but end up buying a new Waffle iron. The waffle iron will not store much data and I don't even like waffles that much, but it was a bargain.

Edited 2010-08-19 22:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

mbpark Member since:
2005-11-17

My thought is that this is about two things:

1. The patents. McAfee has a patent portfolio that includes the following:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week07/OG/html/1351-3/US0766... - Virus Scanning of a Storage Subsystem

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week42/OG/html/1347-3/US0760...

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week09/OG/html/1352-1/US0767...

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week07/OG/html/1351-3/US0766...

2. Their products for high-speed network scanning and data loss prevention, and their enterprise products. Consumer software is a low-yield investment. I would be surprised if McAfee made a significant amount of money from actual consumer product sales as opposed to bundling.

However, McAfee gets a ton of money from ePolicy Orchestrator, Safeboot, their DLP products, IntruShield, their firewall products, and their server-side products for Microsoft Exchange and SMTP that quietly sit on millions of corporate PCs and ring up consistent dollars in support fees every year.

Symantec, on the other hand, released Endpoint Protection for the enterprise, which had major deployment and adoption issues because it was the integration of the Symantec AV software with the Sygate personal firewall software they acquired, and they did not go well together. They also bought Vontu for their DLP software, which is still top of the class despite their best efforts.

IBM just introduced ISS for VMWare. It's an excellent product that provides IDS/IPS for virtual machines at the hypervisor level.

Intel is probably going to go after Symantec by tightly integrating the McAfee engine into the AV, DLP, and encryption products, and having one tool that allows AV, IDS, IPS, DLP, and Safeboot updates in ePolicy Orchestrator, as opposed to the travesty known as LiveUpdate. The fact that everything will be integrated and work with Intel CPUs will also help significantly, as Intel can control the entire software/hardware stack in ways that only two other companies can, Oracle and IBM. Oracle doesn't have much interest in endpoint security these days, and IBM has ISS. Intel will make their software work better with their chips and chipsets for the products that quietly sell for 6 figures a pop to large companies, and Safeboot, which is bought by the truckload. Any company selling full disk encryption software really needs to worry right now!

Secondly, I expect Intel/McAfee to announce virtual machine security products to directly compete with IBM ISS's SiteProtector, but that will work cross-platform (VMWare, Xen, KVM, SWSoft Virtuozzo/Parallels) and at a very low level.

Third, I expect Intel to start integrating hooks for security products into the lowest level of their device drivers for their networking products, which are actually quite good. Remember that a lot of systems administrators will use the Intel cards and turn off the OEM Broadcom cards on Dell or HP servers because they don't have bad drivers. This is going to provide for offload of security products onto the card, which will be a big help with 10G and 100G network scanning. This is something that you would only ever hear about Cisco pulling off, and they don't have the skills at making chips that Intel does. Cisco still depends on Freescale for the chips they need for their routers. Do not be surprised if more Intel chips show up in Cisco products, or if Intel re-invigorates McAfee's network-based IDS/IPS tools to work better with 10/100G Ethernet with customized appliances capable of scanning that much data, and beats them to market with better tools.

I think there was a bidding war. I think that one of the other players was Cisco, and another was IBM. I think Cisco wanted the patents and to integrate their network-based IDS/IPS tools into their product line, as did IBM (who did spend $1B+ on ISS).

Intel just made a big announcement to the world that they're going to start playing more heavily in network-based security, and that they think that the integration of their knowledge of microprocessor and network processor design with relatively good network scanning software and the required patents is going to allow them to build better products that are going to let them stand up against Symantec, m86 Security, Cisco, and IBM.

Reply Score: 6

$7.68 billion
by MollyC on Thu 19th Aug 2010 19:15 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Whatever McAfee brings to the table (and I think their product sucks, but that's me), I can't imagine that it was worth Intel dropping that kind of cash on them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: $7.68 billion
by Phloptical on Thu 19th Aug 2010 22:59 UTC in reply to "$7.68 billion"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

They grossly overpaid for this merger. It's not 1999 anymore.

Reply Score: 3

Along comes Skynet
by Kroc on Thu 19th Aug 2010 19:38 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

“I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.”

Reply Score: 2

RE: Along comes Skynet
by Zifre on Fri 20th Aug 2010 00:51 UTC in reply to "Along comes Skynet"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

I'm sorry, but does that have to do with this article? A great quote though...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Along comes Skynet
by Kroc on Fri 20th Aug 2010 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Along comes Skynet"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

As in Intel + McAfee = sentient anti-virus ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Along comes Skynet
by gireesh on Fri 20th Aug 2010 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Along comes Skynet"
gireesh Member since:
2005-07-24

Agent Smith says this while interrogating Morpheus in The Matrix.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Along comes Skynet
by kill on Sat 21st Aug 2010 05:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Along comes Skynet"
kill Member since:
2005-11-03

Nah... he got that from Agent Smith (Matrix)

Reply Score: 1

anti fail
by xaeropower on Thu 19th Aug 2010 20:47 UTC
xaeropower
Member since:
2005-12-16

"I've never been a particular fan of security companies like McAfee, because they have the tendency to needlessly scare the living daylights out of people"

Agreed. Most of their home/business/enterprise products just as bad as malware when you want to remove them from your computer.

Antivirus companies are money oriented, they care more about the profit than producing actually good and useful products, not to mention how they bully with each other. You can always see their vulgar ads on their sites about how their competitors failed to counter xyz threats...

Would be better if people were start using linux instead of paying for companies like mcafee for their crapware.

Reply Score: 1

RE: anti fail
by foldingstock on Thu 19th Aug 2010 21:49 UTC in reply to "anti fail"
foldingstock Member since:
2008-10-30

Would be better if people were start using linux instead of paying for companies like mcafee for their crapware.


Linux is not immune to malware, especially if you allow and run random programs downloaded from the internet on your system. A stupid Windows user can be a "just as stupid" Linux user.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: anti fail
by leech on Thu 19th Aug 2010 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE: anti fail"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

"Would be better if people were start using linux instead of paying for companies like mcafee for their crapware.


Linux is not immune to malware, especially if you allow and run random programs downloaded from the internet on your system. A stupid Windows user can be a "just as stupid" Linux user.
"

Except you have to be at least educated enough to know 'chmod +x' to anything you just download off the internet.

Then at least they'll only hose their own data, and as well they should, but it'd be difficult for a normal 'stupid' user to make his PC into a zombie for spammers for example.

Still, Linux is at the stage right now where even if some "stupid windows user" decided to use it instead of Windows, it'd more than likely because their Windows install has become crap because of malware one too many times, so they should be at least a bit more cautious when switching to Linux. But then again, most people at this point who switch to Linux are recommended to do so by a Linux user. So will hopefully be informed of such basic things.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: anti fail
by sakeniwefu on Fri 20th Aug 2010 01:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: anti fail"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26


Except you have to be at least educated enough to know 'chmod +x' to anything you just download off the internet.


Britney_Spears_nude.tar.gz
|-> extract to...
Britney_Spears_nude_001.jpg rwxr-xr-x 1 1 10021
*Double click*

And, if some day the distros make the home partition noexec by default, make that Porn_Downloader.deb or Ubuntu_Antivirus_2011.deb which is only a bit less likely to convince the victim and gives the malware root access.


Then at least they'll only hose their own data, and as well they should, but it'd be difficult for a normal 'stupid' user to make his PC into a zombie for spammers for example.


Malware only needs to take over the user. root permissions aren't necessary to send mails or to open ports to receive instructions.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: anti fail
by gireesh on Fri 20th Aug 2010 10:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: anti fail"
gireesh Member since:
2005-07-24

Well said. Not only that, even with just user access rights your data can go bye bye. I consider that to be an often overlooked aspect when people talk about linux security.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: anti fail
by r_a_trip on Sat 21st Aug 2010 11:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: anti fail"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Not only that, even with just user access rights your data can go bye bye. I consider that to be an often overlooked aspect when people talk about linux security.

No, it is not an overlooked aspect. It is more of an integrated feature. You are reckless and catch cooties, Linux punishes you by only making your data go bye bye.

The fastest way to make people sit up and take note is to hit them where it hurts the most. User friendly? Hell no. Effective? There isn't any better.

Reply Score: 2

Useless Acquisition
by Phloptical on Thu 19th Aug 2010 22:05 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

Apparently Intel has some deep pockets and shareholder money to burn. Someone on that board of directors is going to swing for this.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Useless Acquisition
by leech on Thu 19th Aug 2010 22:15 UTC in reply to "Useless Acquisition"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Maybe they bought it to destroy McAffee Anti-Virus because some shareholder was bitten by that horrid product!

One could only hope....

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Useless Acquisition
by Phloptical on Thu 19th Aug 2010 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Useless Acquisition"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

lol...true. Well, Intel was one of the biggest companies affected by that little snafu from mcafee a few months ago. The one that targeted the svchost process as a virus.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Ensue85A
by Ensue85A on Thu 19th Aug 2010 23:24 UTC
Ensue85A
Member since:
2009-07-10

Sweet! Will Intel buy out GM too?

Reply Score: 1

killitkillitkillit
by helf on Fri 20th Aug 2010 00:12 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope they kill of their software. It's all HORRIBLE. If anyone defends it, I'll give you a swift kick in the pants.

Reply Score: 2

Spendy
by gregthecanuck on Fri 20th Aug 2010 00:25 UTC
gregthecanuck
Member since:
2006-05-30

It seems obvious to me Intel bought it out for patent insurance. Rather than pay licensing fees and such just buy the whole darned company. Bonus is all the other goodies included. Should be interesting to see how they carve it up and spit out the unwanted chunks.

I agree with others - way over-priced. Perhaps there was a bidding war behind-the-scenes nobody knows about (yet).

Let's see how fast Intel can turn $7.68 billion into $1 billion. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Valution price
by TusharG on Fri 20th Aug 2010 03:14 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

For company like McAfee who is not the no. 1 in Anti Virus solution and the market where there are more than 10+ anti virus companies are already present, getting a valuation of 7.6 billion for McAfee, tells me how big security market is!
Intel has done their home work. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Valution price
by Soulbender on Sun 22nd Aug 2010 15:46 UTC in reply to "Valution price"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Maybe it says something about how overvalued these products and companies are....

Reply Score: 2

How this happened
by Karitku on Fri 20th Aug 2010 07:03 UTC
Karitku
Member since:
2006-01-12

I guess there was board meeting and they decided to go mcDonalds when someone rushed in and yelled "We have too much money!" and only thing they could come up in panic was to buy McAfee. I'm sure there is better theories.

Reply Score: 3

Optimisation?
by anarchisttomato on Fri 20th Aug 2010 07:14 UTC
anarchisttomato
Member since:
2010-05-17

I guess the only link I could guess at, is that McAfee is very popular (dare I say ubiquitous), but also very resource intensive. Maybe it's another one of those unfair plays of optimising the software for a particular processor, so consumers will be scared into "doing the sensible thing" of buying the software-hardware combo the powers that be tell them to?

Reply Score: 1

It's obvious
by aargh on Fri 20th Aug 2010 11:24 UTC
aargh
Member since:
2009-10-12

It's obvious: hardware + security software = slow system = reason to upgrade = $$$ for the hardware maker ;)

Reply Score: 1

Few and fewer public companies in SV
by nboxer on Fri 20th Aug 2010 17:43 UTC
nboxer
Member since:
2006-12-11

Just another step in fewer and fewer public tech companies in Silicon Valley. Small start ups are also vanishing.


Vanishing Public Companies Lead To The Incredible Shrinking Silicon Valley

http://www.siliconbeat.com/2010/02/17/vanishing-public-companies-le...

One of the most significant trends I’ve been watching over the past decade is the dramatic drop in public companies in Silicon Valley. Naturally, that number was artificially inflated during the dot-com bubble when it reached 417 in 2000.

But the number of public companies has dropped for nine straight years now. Even when IPOs briefly reappeared in 2006 and 2007, they weren’t enough to overcome the net loss of public companies through acquisitions or bankruptcy.

In 2008, the number had fallen to 261. We just updated our records and the latest figure is 241.

That’s not just less than the dot-com era, that’s well below the 315 public companies

Reply Score: 1