Sourcefire Adds Antivirus With ClamAV Purchase


With the acquisition -- Sourcefire's first since its initial public offering in March -- the Columbia, Md.-based vendor obtains the copyrights and core infrastructure of ClamAV, as well as the five main members of the ClamAV team, including founder Tomasz Kojm.

"We've always said we would be going after open source technology that makes sense to use," Michele Perry, chief marketing officer for Sourcefire.

Sourcefire plans to incorporate ClamAV into its product portfolio, first by offering commercial support for the ClamAV product and making it available in an OEM version, said Perry.

Eventually, Sourcefire will integrate ClamAV's technology into its Enterprise Threat Management (ETM) product line, which blends multiple security functions under one management umbrella, Perry said.

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Organizations that use ClamAV and don't want to follow the General Public License (GPL) can opt for the OEM version. Sourcefire will begin talking to companies this year about the OEM licensing terms, and will begin enforcement in 2008, Perry said.

Antivirus has become a commodity, and the deal is a reflection of the trend of the technology being baked into other security products, says Steve Charles, co-founder of immixGroup, a McLean, Va.-based integrator that works with government agencies and partners with Sourcefire.

Charles says immixGroup has a 'great relationship' with Sourcefire, and says that's strategically important in light of government spending trends. "The government is very interested in open source. The higher level people are looking at open source models and considering moving that direction," he said.

"The government is no longer big enough to build its own specifications and it's not agile enough to stay ahead of the curve, and open source principles are going to be a big part of the future," added Charles.

Sourcefire also oversees commercial development of Snort, the open-source intrusion prevention system that's used in U.S. Department Of Defense networks, as well as many large enterprises.