European anti-malware vendor Grisoft has acquired Exploit Prevention Labs (EPL) in a deal that adds technology to protect against drive-by Web-borne attacks.
Financial terms of the transaction were not released.
Grisoft, which develops and markets the AVG line of security software, now gets a key piece of technology to compete against the bigger anti-malware players.
Most of the major anti-virus companies have either built or bought browser plug-ins that add visual warnings to sites linked from search engines -- McAfee with SiteAdvisor, Trend Micro with TrendProtect -- and Grisoft believes EPL gives it a research and technology arm to offer "complete protection" to its 60 million-strong user base.
Anti-virus veteran Roger Thompson (right), who co-founded EPL from its WormRadar.com roots, will become Chief Research Officer at Grisoft. Most of EPL's 18 employees - including VP of Development Greg Mosher and COO Chris Weltzien will also join Grisoft.
In the short term, Grisoft CEO J.R. Smith said the company will integrate EPL's flagship LinkScanner technology to AVG Anti-Virus Free and offering LinkScanner Online, a free on-demand URL scanning service, directly from the AVG web site.
LinkScanner Pro, the subscription based exploit blocker, will remain a standalone paid product.
Grisoft and Exploit Prevention Labs will combine their threat research operations, providing research centers on three continents (North America, Australia, and Europe) offering round-the-clock malware research.