Security Bytes

Jul 19 2011   9:21PM GMT

Malwarebytes expands, targets SMB

Marcia Savage Marcia Savage Profile: Marcia Savage

Until this week, Malwarebytes went about its business of tracking and removing malware pretty quietly. But on Monday, the company went public so to speak, announcing that it recently reached 100 million downloads, completed an acquisition, expanded its operations, and is developing a version of its product for the SMB market.

Based in San Jose, Malwarebytes got its start back in 2004, when CEO Marcin Kleczynski was working as a technician at another company and saw many computers infected with malware. At the same time, his home machine became infected; after three days of scouring Web forums, he managed to get rid of the infection, and in 2006, he released a free anti-malware tool, Rogue Remover. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware was released to the public in 2008, and has since built a reputation for being able to remove malware that well-known antivirus programs failed to detect or clean up.

The company positions its behavior-based technology as complementary to antivirus software and works with many antivirus companies to ensure compatibility. It also partners with vendors such as Barracuda Networks, which packages Malwarebytes Anti-Malware with its hardware.

“We’re not designed to replace antivirus,” Kleczynski said in an interview. “We knew there was this gaping hole in antivirus technology. We don’t go after file infectors or certain threats. We go after what we think antivirus is bad at.”

Malwarebytes recently completed its acquisition of HPHosts, which provides a blacklist of malicious websites, ad servers and tracking servers. The company said the deal will help ensure that it can protect against the newest malicious IP addresses and block the Web servers used to distribute the malware.

Malwarebytes also announced that it expanded its operations into the EMEA market by hiring Fernando Francisco to lead its operations there.

The company’s roadmap includes a corporate version of its software designed for the SMB market, slated for release in three to six months. “On the enterprise side, we know there are specific needs… The need to pull up reports, manage the product in real time, and simplify deployment of our product on a large scale,” said Marcus Chung, executive vice president and COO.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware currently is available in two versions: a free, manual one that removes malware from systems, and a fully-licensed PRO version that provides real-time malware protection. When it first started, the company’s business was 85% consumer but its corporate side has grown and today accounts for 25%, Chung said.

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