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Intel Completes McAfee Acquisition 95

Posted by Roblimo
from the are-we-secure-yet? dept.
angry tapir writes "Intel has completed its US$7.68 billion acquisition of security vendor McAfee, the chip maker has announced. The all-cash deal makes Intel a security industry powerhouse, giving it a broad range of consumer and enterprise security products. Intel had been working to get the deal approved by US and European Union regulators since it was announced last August. The European Commission, in particular, had expressed concerns that Intel would give McAfee special treatment when it came to its processors and chipsets, locking other security vendors out of the technology."
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Intel Completes McAfee Acquisition

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  • Are they going to give you a discount for the cores you waste on their antivirus product?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 28, 2011 @08:21PM (#35343616) Journal
    I can understand(with their push toward embedding lots of exclusive features in their chipsets: IAMT) why they might want an AV company; but why McAfee? 7.68 billion will buy you a damn lot, including a variety of smaller vendors with better technology. As for brand name, Intel already has that. Why McAfee?
    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      I thought the same - doesn't McAfee's software suck? I mean, I can see how they're profitable despite said suckage, but Intel are a chip company, not an investment bank, so presumably they want something more than to just let the guys chug along making them cash.

      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday February 28, 2011 @09:07PM (#35343898)

        I thought the same - doesn't McAfee's software suck?

        Speaking as an admin who is stuck supporting McAfee's ePO for a few thousand workstations ... yes, yes it does.

        Unfortunately, all of the other vendors also suck.

        And STILL McAfee doesn't have a bootable CD with their product on it.

        And their "enterprise" distribution methodology sucks bandwidth (why send the ENTIRE 100MB+ file to each distribution point instead of just a diff file).

        • > Unfortunately, all of the other vendors also suck.

          We use Sophos at work. Haven't noticed any issues / problems in the few years we've been using.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by anexkahn (935249)
          I deal with the DAT distribution problem by using a Windows DFS Share. I created a DFS Share which replicates to each office, then Mcafee dumps the DAT and other files onto the DFS Share. Windows then does the differencing using RDC (Remote Differential Compression). The workstations are setup to use a secondary repository which points to the DFS share.

          Doing it this way means I don't have hundreds of computers pulling their DATs over the WAN and there is less to send over the WAN because of RDC.

          I a
      • by mmj638 (905944)

        Got a work computer with some McAfee suite on it once. It would not update its virus definitions no matter what I did. After a while on tech support with McAfee it turns out it's because I had my default browser set to Firefox.

        Even though they knew their software used ActiveX stuff to update itself, and that would only work on IE, they programmed it to open the default browser to do that updating.

        It basically came down to the guy on the other end confirming to me that yes, I not only need to have IE insta

      • Don't they all?

        Real world example: "McAfee is the world's second-largest security software company after Symantec." (TFA)

        Sure, you say, but #1's AV gave us a BSOD each time we opened a MS source control system. That was real nasty of them. Bullies!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      McAfee essentially has a government sector "monopoly," I believe, when it comes to AV. All other providers must "plug" into McAfee's products, but McAfee decides which vendors they will allow in... any product they see competing against them doesn't get to plug in, if I'm not mistaken.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They will kill McAfee. Thereby all their CPU's now will have a performance boost.

    • by jrumney (197329) on Monday February 28, 2011 @09:25PM (#35344038) Homepage

      Why McAfee?

      McAfee was found to be the best option for keeping customers on the CPU upgrade cycle.

      • I believe you should be *more* cynical.

        By purchasing - then shelving - McAfee, the current CPUs will appear to be faster without any intervention.

        Intel can extend its current model range for another 10-20 years without the crappy bloatware shite that is McAfee.

      • Wait, so they bought McAfee so they can ensure it will always be bloated enough to waste your CPU? That's kind of a dick move...

  • by rs1n (1867908) on Monday February 28, 2011 @08:22PM (#35343622)
    I'm curious why Intel would be interested in acquiring an anti-virus company. What assets would be useful to a chip-maker? Do they plan to integrate anti-virus into their chips? Or does having access to McAfee's assets somehow give Intel insight into how to improve the security of personal computing via specially designed chips? Does anyone have any idea why this was a "good move" for Intel?
    • They own things like a company my friend worked at who made security appliances for defense departments.

    • What about virus checking on mobiles and laptops? If you had antivirus on a chip, especially with an updateable firmware on a high-speed flash, it could go a long way towards securing any device that is both mobile (wattage-sensitive) and has a large disk.

      Typically antivirus does scanning on read or write, which means doing a small shitload of tests on EVERY disk I/O. You almost have to have those tests already loaded into ram, though, because disk reads are abhorrently slow compared to all other processo

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Probably because they know that the future trend of virii/rootkits/malware will attack EFI. Which means that some type of protection out of the gate will be a good idea.

    • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Monday February 28, 2011 @09:25PM (#35344040)

      I'm curious why Intel would be interested in acquiring an anti-virus company

      Over the past few years, Intel has created chipsets for endpoint management - Intel vPro, Intel Anti-Theft etc. To date, Intel is dependant on third-party ISVs to integrate with this technology (LANdesk etc.) - ISVs that often work at a pace different from Intel. Additionally, to have success with these products Intel needs to sell to end-users, something they're ill equipped to do (other than promoting the "Intel Inside" message). McAfee provides Intel with a software maker how can hook into their chipset, along with a mature and sophisticated sales organization used to selling to end-users.

    • by antdude (79039)

      It's a security company since they do more than antivirus. But yeah I am still puzzled why get a big security company.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thinc (26590)

      I work for a McAfee reseller and can tell you that they are more than just AV. They spent the last several years making a lot of acquisitions. Now they offer enterprise firewall, IDS/IPS, data loss prevention, endpoint encryption, content filtering, and mobile device security, among others. Now I'm not gonna say who's products are better or worse since I'm obviously biased but McAfee definitely is more than just AV and has a big presence in the enterprise.

    • by tokul (682258)

      I'm curious why Intel would be interested in acquiring an anti-virus company.

      Maybe they have lots of cash in some unstable currency and want to spend them. If they buy software company, they can diversify their business a little bit.

      Or they extended "don't do evil" to "destroy evil" and decided to kill that McMfee for 8B bucks.

    • by MikeURL (890801)
      Intel had to promise the EU that they would give McAfee no special advantages on the hardware. So it is difficult to see how Intel gets much value added from this acquisition. I think they paid a 60% premium for McAfee so you would expect them to try to leverage the hardware dominance but there is no way the EU will let them.

      I'm eager to see what they come out with because overall this still looks like a bizarre move.
    • by JamesP (688957)

      Integrating anti-virus onto a chip is as likely as integrating a giraffe into a Ferrari

      Gotta love 'non-specialist' ideas

  • by ustolemyname (1301665) on Monday February 28, 2011 @08:23PM (#35343634)
    Personally I'm a little more worried that they would have tech that runs slow on AMD processors (much like their compiler does). Though not too worried - current regulation and cross-licensing deals seem to maintain a reasonable balance.
  • by GrumblyStuff (870046) on Monday February 28, 2011 @08:26PM (#35343648)

    $7.68 billion sounds almost worth it to make sure everyone at the company is fired and never allowed to write software or answer phones or manage a business again.

    I mean, I didn't read TFA but I can't imagine any other reason for buying McAfee so that has to be the reason, right?

    • Re:Almost worth it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Monday February 28, 2011 @08:58PM (#35343844)

      Please, g*d, let it be so. McAfee is second only to Norton in the amount of effort required to remove it, and the resources it hogs. Please let this be something Intel did for the better ment of society, to rid it of one of the AV companies completely. May Norton be next, Allah be praised.

      • AppRemover may help you. It can remove a LOT of the anti-virus disasters out there. Even if you don't have the "admin" password for Symantec.

        You can find it via Google.

      • by pclminion (145572)

        McAfee is second only to Norton in the amount of effort required to remove it

        And a good thing, too, otherwise the first thing a virus will do is remove the antivirus software.

        • Except that the first thing a virus do is removing the antivirus software. Making it harder for the USER to remove it does not make it harder fow a VIUS to do so.

      • McAfee is second only to Norton in the amount of effort required to remove it, and the resources it hogs.

        MCPR.exe [mcafee.com] hasn't failed for me yet. That said, with regards to resource hogging -- I'll give you that. One of the many reasons we have switched to Sophos at work. 50 PCs now running Sophos -- we're never looking back.

        In a perfect world, we'd be running some kind of Unix that doesn't encourage you to run as root all day long, but until that day arrives, we're stuck with supporting those that haven't yet made the switch.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        ...to rid it of one of the AV companies completely. May Norton be next, Allah be praised.

        Or...to make it better? (excluding further work on those annoying GPU-focused AV engines, of course)

  • by Strange Ranger (454494) on Monday February 28, 2011 @08:33PM (#35343706)

    Inspired by Intel's purchase, Microsoft buys HBGary for 7 squintillion dollars.

  • They turn the "suck" knob from ten up to eleven on McAfee products? My guess: they will achieve "synergy" in 6-12 months.
    • I've noticed a fresh Java update today, and its installer bugged me to also install McAfee AV (where before it used to be pushing OO.org) - checkbox enabled by default, of course. Now that is synergy.

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday February 28, 2011 @08:46PM (#35343774) Homepage Journal

    ...and shut their crummy operation down. That would be a public service.

  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Monday February 28, 2011 @08:58PM (#35343848)
    480+ patents; same reason why amd bought ati and probably with equally as disastrous results.
    • same reason why amd bought ati and probably with equally as disastrous results.

      Disastrous results ? Since AMD acquired ATI, the quality of their blob drivers under Linux has massively increased, and they have actively collaborated for open-source drivers.
      I can't speak for the Windows side (much, except that my brother seems happy with it), but on the penguin side of things, the acquisition from AMD has done quite some good.

      (and the main reason is that they wanted a foot in the juicy GPGPU market, in order to distinguish their offer from Intel - which is mainly CPU and only offers entr

  • With a budget of 7.68 billion dollars, do you think you could produce a halfway decent antivirus? How about one that's better than McAfee's? I'd bet I could.

    I'd be shocked if it cost that much to develop a new mainstream/enterprise operating system from the ground up.

    Congratulations, John McAfee.
    • Their goal is not to produce antivirus that is better than competition (or, God forbid, generally decent). The goal is to produce antivirus that sells better than competition. Due to all the bundling tricks and general consumer cluelessness, actual quality is largely irrelevant here.

    • by jappleng (1805148)
      I'd pay to get rid of software patents for $7.68bn but that's probably just me. Man how I hate the sluggishness of McAfee =/
  • Intel found out antivirus are a good way to use processor time. Now they need to also hire some clandestine Russian virus programmer.. =)

  • Hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by greentshirt (1308037) on Monday February 28, 2011 @09:07PM (#35343894)
    Most plausible answer: Deep in Intel R&D labs, Skynet gained self-awareness and decided to act against McCaffee through an acquisition. Either that, or someone at acquisitions fucked up after being ordered to "go out and buy me a coffee"
  • Intel should have paid them $200 dollars for that piece of shit company.

  • You just purchased one of the shittiest companies around.
  • by haruchai (17472) on Monday February 28, 2011 @09:38PM (#35344118)

    My second-choice x86 vendor is now bonded to my second-to-last choice security suite; unfortunately these are now both the 1st choice of my company.
    Yay.

    • Wait untill the antivirus becomes free, so it becomes the first choice of several people besides your company. Also, wait just a bit more, until it becomes "optimized" for Intel processors, and makes every AMD computer stall worse than it does now.

  • No wonder Windows "security" still stinks, they're supporting a multi-billion dollar parasite "security" ecosystem.
  • My opinion of McAfee is in general on par with other peoples, their software is not as effective as others; is buggy; takes a good chunk of cpu time.

    Has anyone at Intel actually gotten any end users and other IT professionals opinion of the product? I'm sure that this is going to go down in business and computer history as a historic blunder and waste of money on Intel's part. I'm sure that anyone here can reel off a dozen cases of acquisitions that ended up being the worst decision in the company's history

    • Why are you assuming that Intel wants an tivirus that actualy runs fastly? They have much more to gain by getting a popular software, making it run faster on Intel processors and slower on everything else.

  • I think Intel got ripped off IMHO. I remember years ago, back in the early 1990's, when Mcaffee was actually a decent anti virus product for DOS and was even command line based and did the job pretty good... now years later its bloated crapware that businesses seem to love running (Either mcaffee or god forbid Norton).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have been trying to test out McAfee on Linux for a year now and
    1. I can't get a virus to install, they all keep asking for Windows.
    2. Because of #1, McAfee is not finding anything.

    I sure hope Intel fixes this, because I sure feel left out with no virus's or spyware on my Linux box.

    • For #1 you can use Wine. Some virus are happy to run on it. For #2 there is no solution, McAfee antivirus works by making the virus unable to run, not by detecting and removing it.

  • When will they be getting around to fixing the defects in their memory management unit (MMU)
    --

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