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Intel buys McAfee -> Am I the only one here to notice?

 
 
Intel Guy
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      08-22-2010, 02:34 PM
Because I test a lot of the malware samples I get on virustotal.com (and
I see just how many AV apps detect new threats, McAfee included) and
because of whitepapers released over the years showing how hard it is to
detect polymorphic viral files, it's my opinion that anti-malware
applications reached the end of their practical usefulness about 5 years
ago, and their continued purchase and use in corporate and home/soho
settings is nothing more than the result of habbit, inertia and
marketing, not evidence-based performance metrics.

All of that is a long-winded way to say that anti-malware apps are
bullshit and a waste of money.

So this $7 billion acquisition by intel for Mcafee is money down the
toilet (or it should be). That valuation is off by about 2 or 3 orders
of magnitude. Intel clearly has more money than brains.

The recent FTC fines against Intel clearly were not large enough.

------------------------------------------------------

http://newsroom.intel.com/community/...acquire-mcafee

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 19, 2010 – Intel Corporation has entered into
a definitive agreement to acquire McAfee, Inc., through the purchase of
all of the company’s common stock at $48 per share in cash, for
approximately $7.68 billion. Both boards of directors have unanimously
approved the deal, which is expected to close after McAfee shareholder
approval, regulatory clearances and other customary conditions specified
in the agreement.

The acquisition reflects that security is now a fundamental component of
online computing. Today’s security approach does not fully address the
billions of new Internet-ready devices connecting, including mobile and
wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines as well as
the accompanying surge in cyber threats. Providing protection to a
diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving
software, hardware and services.

Inside Intel, the company has elevated the priority of security to be on
par with its strategic focus areas in energy-efficient performance and
Internet connectivity.

McAfee, which has enjoyed double-digit, year-over-year growth and nearly
80 percent gross margins last year, will become a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Intel, reporting into Intel’s Software and Services Group.
The group is managed by Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and
general manager of the group.

“With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of
Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives
have moved online,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “In the
past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined
computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a
third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.

“The addition of McAfee products and technologies into the Intel
computing portfolio brings us incredibly talented people with a track
record of delivering security innovations, products and services that
the industry and consumers trust to make connecting to the Internet
safer and more secure,” Otellini added.

“Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively
countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and
tomorrow,” said James. “This acquisition is consistent with our software
and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in
fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless
mobility.”

“McAfee is the next step in this strategy, and the right security
partner for us,” she added. “Our current work together has impressive
prospects, and we look forward to introducing a product from our
strategic partnership next year.”

“The cyber threat landscape has changed dramatically over the past few
years, with millions of new threats appearing every month,” said Dave
DeWalt, president and CEO of McAfee. “We believe this acquisition will
result in our ability to deliver a safer, more secure and trusted
Internet-enabled device experience.”

McAfee, based in Santa Clara and founded in 1987, is the world’s largest
dedicated security technology company with approximately $2 billion in
revenue in 2009. With approximately 6,100 employees, McAfee’s products
and technologies deliver secure solutions and services to consumers,
enterprises and governments around the world and include a strong sales
force that works with a variety of customers.

The company has a suite of software-related security solutions,
including end-point and networking products and services that are
focused on helping to ensure Internet-connected devices and networks are
protected from malicious content, phony requests and unsecured
transactions and communications. Among others, products include McAfee
Total Protection™, McAfee Antivirus, McAfee Internet Security, McAfee
Firewall, McAfee IPS as well as an expanding line of products targeting
mobile devices such as smartphones.

Intel has made a series of recent and successful software acquisitions
to pursue a deliberate strategy focused on leading companies in their
industry delivering software that takes advantage of silicon. These
include gaming, visual computing, embedded device and machine software
and now security.

Home to two of the most innovative labs and research in the high-tech
industry, Intel and McAfee will also jointly explore future product
concepts to further strengthen security in the cloud network and myriad
of computers and devices people use in their everyday lives.

On a GAAP basis, Intel expects the combination to be slightly dilutive
to earnings in the first year of operations and approximately flat in
the second year. On a non-GAAP basis, excluding a one-time write down of
deferred revenue when the transaction closes and amortization of
acquired intangibles, Intel expects the combination to be slightly
accretive in the first year and improve beyond that.

Intel was advised by Goldman Sachs & Co. and Morrison & Foerster LLP.
McAfee was advised by Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and Wilson Sonsini
Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.
 
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Robert Myers
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      08-22-2010, 04:02 PM
On Aug 22, 10:34*am, Intel Guy <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Because I test a lot of the malware samples I get on virustotal.com (and
> I see just how many AV apps detect new threats, McAfee included) and
> because of whitepapers released over the years showing how hard it is to
> detect polymorphic viral files, it's my opinion that anti-malware
> applications reached the end of their practical usefulness about 5 years
> ago, and their continued purchase and use in corporate and home/soho
> settings is nothing more than the result of habbit, inertia and
> marketing, not evidence-based performance metrics.
>
> All of that is a long-winded way to say that anti-malware apps are
> bullshit and a waste of money.
>
> So this $7 billion acquisition by intel for Mcafee is money down the
> toilet (or it should be). *That valuation is off by about 2 or 3 orders
> of magnitude. *Intel clearly has more money than brains. *
>


Intel has a notoriously bad track record for managing new
acquisitions, independent of industry. The example of a better way of
doing things for Intel that has been held up in the business press is
Wind River Systems, which is managed as an independent company, as
will McAfee.

I'm not sure how much relevance your laboratory testing has for end
users. New exploits take a while to spread, and computers are
challenged constantly by plenty of old threats, which do have
recognizable signatures.

Believing that anti-malware software will protect you from all threats
is roughly the same as believing that washing your hands will remove
all pathogens from your skin. Hand-washing is demonstrably useful.

The only issue of any interest to me here is that anything truly
interesting that Intel might do as a result of synergy with McAfee is
likely to raise anti-trust questions.

Robert.
 
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Ed Light
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      08-22-2010, 05:46 PM
On 8/22/2010 7:34 AM, Intel Guy wrote:

> All of that is a long-winded way to say that anti-malware apps are
> bullshit and a waste of money.


I know someone who goes to porn sites. A scan with Avast found 2 items,
and Malwarebytes found about 6.

Malwarebytes, running in memory, stops me from going to a bad thing (if
not a false positive) about once a month. That is on tech sites, and
progressive news sites.
--
Ed Light

Better World News TV Channel:
http://realnews.com

Iraq Veterans Against the War and Related:
http://ivaw.org
http://couragetoresist.org
http://antiwar.com

Send spam to the FTC at
(E-Mail Removed)
Thanks, robots.
 
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Yousuf Khan
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      08-22-2010, 06:05 PM
On 22/08/2010 12:02 PM, Robert Myers wrote:
> The only issue of any interest to me here is that anything truly
> interesting that Intel might do as a result of synergy with McAfee is
> likely to raise anti-trust questions.


Totally different industries, won't affect anti-trust. However, analysts
are already telling people to hold off on using McAfee products.

Yousuf Khan

***
What the Intel/McAfee Merger Means for Enterprise Security Managers
"Forrester analyst Andrew Jaquith is already warning enterprise IT
managers to avoid making long-term commitments to McAfee solutions until
they can see how things shake out."
http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterpri...eadWriteWeb%29
 
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Robert Myers
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      08-22-2010, 06:32 PM
On Aug 22, 2:05*pm, Yousuf Khan <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On 22/08/2010 12:02 PM, Robert Myers wrote:
>
> > The only issue of any interest to me here is that anything truly
> > interesting that Intel might do as a result of synergy with McAfee is
> > likely to raise anti-trust questions.

>
> Totally different industries, won't affect anti-trust. However, analysts
> are already telling people to hold off on using McAfee products.
>


They don't have to remain totally different industries. Security can
be in silicon, too. Anything in software can be in silicon.

Robert.
 
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Intel Guy
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      08-22-2010, 07:18 PM
Ed Light wrote:

> > All of that is a long-winded way to say that anti-malware apps
> > are bullshit and a waste of money.

>
> I know someone who goes to porn sites. A scan with Avast found 2
> items, and Malwarebytes found about 6.


What an AV app (Malwarebytes included) will do is tell you that it
detected some malware. That will usually happen after some recent
signature update.

Problem is, the malware that it just detected actually got onto your
system 1 to 6 months ago, and was the first stage of a multi-state
malware load. The real payload (trojan or backdoor or rootkit) is
hiding itself and still running on the system, despite what the
anti-malware software thinks.

If that's not bad enough, really good malware will deactivate your
installed AM (anti-malware) software and will install it's own
bootlegged version of Kaspersky so it can protect itself from *other*
malware that might try to get into the system.

When I get the latest zlob or waledac (or what-ever) botnet loader
mailed to me as an attachment on a direct-to-mx spam, I usually see a 10
to 25% detection rate on virustotal for that sample, and after a few
weeks that number might rise to about 50%.

If you want to pick up some current / new malware samples for your own
testing, go here:

http://www.malwaredomainlist.com/mdl.php

Use wget to grab some **** and then upload it to VT.

> Malwarebytes, running in memory, stops me from going to a bad thing
> (if not a false positive) about once a month. That is on tech sites,
> and progressive news sites.


Use an updated hosts file (good for blocking click-tracking and ad
delivery ****, also for persistent malware domain sources).

You'll see ad-server farms get infected every once in a while, serving
up exploits in iFrames, and those are easily blocked by a hosts file.

I personally have stuck with Windows 98se, for all my routine computing
and web-surfing, which in hindsight was a good choice because XP was a
total security and vulnerability disaster for the first 5 years of it's
life.

The joke about win-2K and XP was that if you took a virgin installation
of those OS's and hung them on the internet without a firewall (which
was typical during the years 2000 to 2004 until consumer-grade DSL
modems came with NAT turned on by default) then your system became
infected with a network worm before you were able to perform your first
windows-update session (see - "Windows Survival Time"). Win-9x/me was
*not* vulnerable to any network worm (in contrast, there have been about
6 or 7 different worms that affect NT-based machines over the past 10
years).

Even the pdf exploits that became popular starting about 2 years ago
don't function properly on Win-9x running acrobat reader 6.x.

The recent .lnk shortcut vulnerability that required an OOB patch from
Micro$oft a few weeks ago doesn't work on win-9x systems.

Things got so bad for Microsoft and XP back during the years 2004-2006
that Microsoft ROUTINELY stated in most or all of their security KB
articles that the vulnerability described in the KB applied to 98 in
addition to the usual laundry list of NT-based OS's. The inclusion of
win-98 to the list was an outright lie, but they figured that nobody was
checking. It was bad optics that their flagship OS was vulnerable to
these new vulnerabilites while the old OS they were trying to sweep
under the carpet wasn't vulnerable.

When it came to security and vulnerability, XP was the "emperor with no
clothes".

But too many people were influenced by peer pressure that they had no
choice but to downgrade to it.
 
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Ed Light
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      08-22-2010, 09:32 PM
Do you think that a firewall that blocks unknown outgoing connections
can control all that? I use ZoneAlarm.

--
Ed Light

Better World News TV Channel:
http://realnews.com

Iraq Veterans Against the War and Related:
http://ivaw.org
http://couragetoresist.org
http://antiwar.com

Send spam to the FTC at
(E-Mail Removed)
Thanks, robots.
 
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DevilsPGD
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      08-22-2010, 11:24 PM
In message
<(E-Mail Removed)>
Robert Myers <(E-Mail Removed)> was claimed to have wrote:

>They don't have to remain totally different industries. Security can
>be in silicon, too. Anything in software can be in silicon.


Modern AV really relies heavily on definitions and heuristic analysis,
so a purely silicon solution likely won't be effective against modern
threats since threats can adapt around the silicon's limitations faster
than InteAfee could adapt their hardware. Hardware could be optimized
to handle AV scanning more easily than a pure software solution though,
especially if the hardware could scan executable code in real time,
rather than delaying application and data file access while scans are
performed.

Could be interesting to see what direction they go.

There are other possible approaches to security that could be done in
hardware outside of scanning based solutions (things like DEP are an
example of a hardware enabled approach), but I'm not sure that Intel
would need or want McAfee's talent if building functionality into chips
to enable safer computing is the direction Intel wants to go.

I also freely admit that both companies have people smarter than me and
they might have better ideas than what I can dream up.
 
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DevilsPGD
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      08-22-2010, 11:24 PM
In message <4c7166f2$(E-Mail Removed)-lp.com> Yousuf Khan
<(E-Mail Removed)> was claimed to have wrote:

>Totally different industries, won't affect anti-trust.


I think it depends on the direction that Intel goes with this
acquisition. If they use their dominance in one field (CPUs, chipsets)
to artificially create a dominance in another field then it falls into
the definition of what antitrust legislation is intended to prevent.

However, if they maintain McAfee as a separate product line or otherwise
avoid bundling, then I'd agree that it shouldn't be an issue at all.
 
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DevilsPGD
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      08-22-2010, 11:30 PM
In message <4c71975c$0$17899$(E-Mail Removed)> Ed Light
<(E-Mail Removed)> was claimed to have wrote:

>Do you think that a firewall that blocks unknown outgoing connections
>can control all that? I use ZoneAlarm.


In short, no. At best they'll catch lazy malware, but more likely
they'll just offer a false sense of security.

Once malware is running on your machine with administrative rights,
nothing on your machine can be trusted, the malware can bypass or
reconfigure your security software if it's coded to do so.
 
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