Bad day for bugs

Symantec and IBM said last night they will combine their anti-virus efforts.

Under terms of the deal, IBM will pull out of the anti-virus marketplace but will feed anti-virus development through for integration into Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus line. Symantec also gets access to six IBM patents relating to anti-virus technology.

Specifically, IBM's Immune System for Cyberspace technology will be introduced into Norton Anti-Virus next year. The technology uses neural networking and artificial intelligence to automatically recognise new viruses, cure them and distribute the cure globally.

Symantec said it will support customers for IBM's anti-virus line until the end of the year. IBM will make Norton its recommended anti-virus product for customers. IBM anti-virus customers will also be offered special rate upgrades to Norton.

In a related announcement, Intel said it will include the IBM immunity engine in its LANDesk Virus Protect software. Intel also said it will “pursue the possibility” of integrating combined Symantec/IBM anti-virus technology when available.

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