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Trend Micro Acquires InterMute

Security software firm Trend Micro today announced it has agreed to acquire anti-spyware developer InterMute.

The Tokyo-based company said the integration of InterMute's technology will enhance its anti-spyware capabilities in its enterprise, small and medium business and consumer solutions.

"Spyware continues to evolve and cause concern and damage, but not all spyware can be handled the way viruses and worms are," Eva Chen, CEO and co-founder of Trend Micro, said in a statement. "Customers need effective solutions to remove spyware, but must also be given the flexibility on how to manage it."

The anti-spyware market has continued to grow, as the challenges associated with spyware have become more complex and the number of scams have increased. The acquisition marks yet another merger in a line of similar consolidations within the industry that aim to protect enterprises and consumer assets from attacks.

According to IDC, 67 percent of all computers have some form of spyware on them, and in some cases, infected computers are host to hundreds of spyware programs.

"Trend Micro continues to be wholly focused on providing our customers with security solutions that offer advanced protection against unpredictable, malicious threats," Chen said.

The deal comes less than a month after Trend Micro reviewed its development processes after it accidentally released a faulty antivirus update that caused thousands of customers' systems to bog down or lock up completely last weekend.

The agreement is likely an effort to shore up the process and increase the firm's visibility in the growing area.

"The acquisition of InterMute further strengthens our ability to execute upon our anti-spyware strategy, and their technology and products are entirely complementary to our own. We expect to deliver combined solutions to market quickly," Chen said.

For its part, InterMute says it will provide a solution to deal with spyware that needs to be pulled from users systems, but often may require a certain flexibility in handling "grayware," which are types of spyware that users may or may not want to remove such as adware.

"Since 1999, we have seen the security business change form and the damaging effects of spyware increase dramatically," Ed English, CEO of InterMute, said in a statement.

"This is an exciting time to pursue such a venture with Trend Micro. Given the complexity of threats like spyware and our customers' needs for an integrated, comprehensive approach to dealing with it, I can think of no better response than to join forces and deliver a more advanced, complete solution for our customers."