Print 11 comment(s) - last by StevoLincolnit.. on Jan 29 at 8:03 PM

Intel's McAfee bid approved in EU  (Source: Digital Trends)
Deal could close this quarter

Intel is the largest maker of computer processors in the world. The company has had plenty of legal trouble around the globe that centered on its business practices. This isn't uncommon for any class-leading tech firm.

Over the last few months, Intel has been working hard on all manner of projects. One of those projects was the proposed purchase of security provider McAfee by Intel. McAfee is one of the largest providers of software for security in the consumer and business markets. The software is common on consumer machines and ships on many new computers to prevent viruses and malware from infecting the machines.

Information Week reports that the Intel acquisition of McAfee has been given the green light by the EU. The approval comes after the EU was convinced that Intel has steps in place to ensure that McAfee rivals have the same access to Intel tech. The agreement with the EU to approve the deal has Intel committed to providing access to the same functionality in its processors to all security firms that it gives to McAfee. Intel has also committed to continuing to allow McAfee software to support rival chipmakers like AMD.

EU commission VP in charge of competition policy Joaquin Almunia said in a statement, "The commitments submitted by Intel strike the right balance, as they allow preserving both competition and the beneficial effects of the merger. These changes will ensure that vigorous competition is maintained and that consumers get the best result in terms of price, choice, and quality of the IT security products."

Intel will pay about $7.68 billion for McAfee and the purchase will allow it to offer processors with tightly integrated security software. The approval means that Intel will likely be able to complete the acquisition during this quarter. The proposed purchase of McAfee was first heard of in August of 2010 and then approved in the U.S. in December.

Intel also paid NVIDIA $1.5 billion this month to settle any litigation between the two firms.

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By StevoLincolnite on 1/28/2011 9:46:39 AM , Rating: 3
What would be truly interesting is if we could get Virus scanners that were hardware accelerated to reduce the strain a virus scanner creates on a system.

I've seen many machines in the past that were brand new and loaded with Norton or Mc'Afee and they weren't exactly what I would call responsive rigs.
Removal and installing something decent like Nod32 usually alleviated those issues.
Hardware accelerated Virus scanning could do wonders though and may even save energy if it helps reduce CPU cycles.

RE: .
By bah12 on 1/28/2011 10:09:56 AM , Rating: 2
But how do you hardware accelerate scanning a drive. The act of actually evaluating a file is not the issue, it is the slow disk access.

I agree Norton/McAfee are bloated pieces of crap, but I don't think there is much benefit to hardware acceleration since we are disk I/O constrained now anyway.

RE: .
By magreen on 1/28/2011 10:30:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yep. The solution to slow scans, as we know them right now, is SSDs.

I don't know what intel has in mind for combining hardware with security, but I very much doubt it's to speed up system scans as we know them right now. Rather, it's almost certainly to beef up security beyond common security measures today.

RE: .
By cditty on 1/28/2011 10:30:36 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe they can build some tech into the SSD's.

RE: .
By inighthawki on 1/28/2011 12:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
What if instead of constant HDD scans it had a hardware based solution to scan code as it's executed. Perhaps if it scanned instructions as they were loaded into the instruction cache it could detect malware and refuse to execute it (or provide a warning and halt the thread until there is user interaction to prevent false positives from becoming an issue)

RE: .
By Strunf on 1/28/2011 12:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need to scan a drive if everything that is copied to it is scanned before being copied or when it's being read and this is where a hardware virus scan could work, today we don't do exactly that cause then your SSD would look more like a old hard-drive in both transfer rate and access times!

The complexity would come from making a piece of hardware that can be updated very often and with a huge flexibility to adapt to so many virus that keep changing.

RE: .
By plewis00 on 1/28/2011 9:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
I presume you missed the point of the OP, which, if they were thinking along the same lines as me, the 'scan' is done in memory )by a dedicated portion of the CPU perhaps) before the write to disk is committed - therefore no disk thrashing and lack of responsiveness.

The reason a lot of technical people who protect their systems I know don't let 'scheduled scans' (also slow and time-consuming) run is because a properly looked after PC won't have let any viruses slip through the net onto the hard disks.

RE: .
By sonoran on 1/28/2011 3:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
What would be truly interesting is if we could get Virus scanners that were hardware accelerated

What if that solution went beyond simple hardware acceleration of the scanning, to a completely new malware detection technique? ;)

Intel developing security 'game-changer'

By banvetor on 1/29/2011 6:19:25 PM , Rating: 1
After Intel buying Mcafee and making some in-chip security mechanisms, Mcafee software will also work on whatever AMD produces to fight back?

Yeah, right... as ATI continued to produce Intel chipsets, right?

RE: So...
By StevoLincolnite on 1/29/2011 8:03:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, right... as ATI continued to produce Intel chipsets, right?

Yes.. Just like Intel stopped making chipsets for AMD platforms.


By smackababy on 1/28/11, Rating: 0
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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