Google has jumped into the anti-malware market, snatching up browser-based security software maker GreenBorder Technologies for an undisclosed amount of money.
Officials with the search market leader confirmed the deal on May 29 but said that the two firms signed an acquisition agreement roughly two weeks beforehand.
Google representatives would not provide further details about the deal itself or a timeframe for the GreenBorder acquisition to be closed within.
GreenBorder announced news of the buyout on its Web site over the weekend. The company is a venture-backed provider of browser-based HIPs (host intrusion protection) tools for both businesses and consumers.
Google officials said that the company moved to make the deal based on its perception that GreenBorder had a crack security software engineering team that could help boost security across all of its products.
"This is pretty straightforward, it's primarily a talent acquisition for us; they have a small team of engineers that we were really impressed with," said Aaron Zamost, a corporate communications representative with Google. "The idea is that these guys have great expertise in the security domain that can provide obvious benefits to Google, its users, and its advertisers."
The company would offer no further details of its plan to integrate GreenBorder's security tools into its own products, which have branched far beyond search into Web-based productivity applications that compete with Microsoft's ubiquitous Office products. The Google Apps Premier Edition, launched in Feb. 2007, offers businesses e-mail, calendar, instant messaging, and word processing capabilities.
GreenBorder had been offering both a free consumer version of its programs and paid editions of its applications marketed at enterprise users, including a version that specifically promised to secure computers using Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Outlook products for business users, dubbed GreenBorder Professional Edition.
The software also runs in coordination with other browsers and Web-based e-mail systems, including Firefox.
GreenBorder has pitched its technology as the security industry's "first desktop DMZ software for Windows" that promises to stop malware code from running on browser-based applications by forcing untrusted content sent through the programs to run in a virtualized protected environment.
By running unknown code in such a "time-out" setting, where the content remains isolated from a local host and any trusted network it is connected to, GreenBorder claims to prevent malware programs from delivering their nefarious payloads.
Any content arriving on a user's desktop from an untrusted source is visually hosted in a controlled virtual environment highlighted by a green border surrounding programs like Outlook and IE.
As with other companies previously acquired by Google, GreenBorder has halted downloads of its software. However, the firm said on its site that existing users will maintain uninterrupted access to its products with its support team is still available during the transition.
The company said it will continue to support existing customers through the end of their current subscriptions to its software.