Microsoft Acquires Rootkit Detection Vendor

malware rootkit

Execs say that the newly acquired technology provided by the Komoku purchase allows businesses to better respond to the increased use of rootkits as an attack tool to their networks and systems. The deal was finalized Wednesday.

"It's a constantly evolving threat environment," said Steve Brown, director of product marketing for the Access and Security division of Microsoft. "As new threats come up, new technologies have to be created to address those."

Komoku, based in Maryland, specializes in advanced detection of rootkits -- malicious software programs designed to take complete control of a computer's operating system at the administrator, or root, level. Once installed, the malicious software can go undetected by standard antimalware software.

Komoku's customers include several government agencies, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Navy, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

Sponsored post

William Arbaugh, president and CTO of Komoku, and associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland at College Park, said in a written statement that he looked forward to building on the company's success in rootkit detection with the acquisition. "Microsoft's commitment to building the next generation of malware detection is very strong, and we at Komoku look forward to continuing the tremendous progress Microsoft has already made in the anti-malware space and building the anti-malware products that can handle today's sophisticated threats," he said.

Microsoft execs say that adding rootkit detection to its growing line of Forefront security products gives partners more opportunities to bring value to the security solutions they already offer their customers.

"Microsoft's approach for having a comprehensive set of solutions means that customers are able to work with partners to add higher value and more business projects. That means better profitability," said Brown. "Today's acquisition is one of our ongoing commitments to building expertise and talent to make sure we're protecting our customers."

Brown said that part of taking a comprehensive approach to security was ensuring that the rootkit detection technologies could deeply integrate with a company's existing infrastructure, and could be deployed simply and easily on a day to day basis.

"That makes your life much simpler and easier," he said, adding that its simplicity is "part of our ongoing commitment to an industry set of leading products and leading solutions to go to market with."

While financial specifics were not revealed, execs say that the Komuku name and product line will eventually be retired as the company fully integrates into Microsoft's line of products and services. The majority of Komoku's staff will join Microsoft's Access and Security Division.

Ultimately, Microsoft expects to add Komoku's functionality into upcoming versions of the Forefront line of enterprise security products and Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft's comprehensive PC care solution.