AVG has acquired DroidSecurity, an Israeli startup that makes the popular Android free antivirus suite AntiVirus Free.  (Source: DroidSecurity via Share the Warez)
Top AV software maker looks to protect America's most popular smart phones

Google now owns roughly half of the smart phone market in America, while Apple and RIM are each clinging on to roughly a quarter of the market.  Worldwide Google is second only to Nokia in the smart phone market.  Its growingly dominant position has left Google in much the same situation as Microsoft -- a prime target for malicious attacks.

A handful of Android security startups have sprung up looking to protects users' smart phones and private data.  Among those is DroidSecurity, which announced Tuesday that it was being acquired by top PC antivirus software maker AVG.

Like AVG, DroidSecurity has its roots in a free app.  DroidSecurity's popular AntiVirus Free app has been downloaded 4.5 million times.  The company also offers a paid premium version sold on the Android market under the name AntiVirus Pro and a backup application.

Eran Pfeffer, CEO and co-founder of DroidSecurity, wrote in a statement, "DroidSecurity and AVG share a common vision of securing consumers, small businesses and enterprises, and we believe there is a green field of opportunity when it comes to making sure mobile devices are protected. Integrating our security technologies will allow mobile users to leverage the power of their mobile devices without compromising their personal security or that of their organizations."

AVG wants to try to promote the service to its subscriber base of 110 million customers --- both home users and businesses -- in 170 countries.  Of course, not all of these customers have smart phones, but leveraging AVG's high profile will likely greatly increase free downloads and paid sales for DroidSecurity.

J.R. Smith, chief executive officer of AVG, comments, "The potential that exists within the mobile space is extraordinary, and we predict that devices like smart phones will overtake PCs in 2012. AVG acquired DroidSecurity to accelerate our delivery of sophisticated mobile security and provide users around the world with the reliable and secure technology they need to confidently mitigate the risks associated with using mobile devices."

Aside from record sales Android recently was in the news for a not so-flattering report that claimed it had 88 "critical" kernel security flaws.  While these flaws have not been published or exploited, similar flaws in Apple's iPhone smart phone have been exploited in the wild, so Google must beware.  Google has been keeping careful eye on its Android market, weeding out suspected malware.

Terms of AVG's acquisition price were kept private.  The subsidiary will continue to be headquartered in Israel.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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