FaceTime to add antispyware technology to IM products

Enterprise instant messaging vendor FaceTime Communications has acquired antispyware vendor XBlock Systems and will integrate its technologies into FaceTime's IM and peer-to-peer product lines. In an announcement Tuesday, FaceTime said it also acquired XBlock's SpywareGuide.com Web site, which is a global resource for spyware defense and research.

The terms of the purchase weren't disclosed.

Last month, FaceTime announced the release of its Real-Time Guardian 3.0, an application that allows IT departments to manage and secure applications such as IM that users often install without corporate approval. These "greynet" applications often have legitimate business uses but can become conduits to spyware and adware, according to FaceTime.

"Security managers are struggling to address a growing universe of unsanctioned 'greynet' applications that find their way onto end-user desktops -- IM, P2P, adware/spyware," FaceTime CEO Kailash Ambwani said in a statement. "Our goal is to provide customers with a unified approach to securing and, where appropriate, enabling the safe use of these applications. XBlock's products, technologies and expertise will accelerate our strategy to offer solutions that secure the enterprise against greynet threats."

With the XBlock acquisition, FaceTime said it will be better able to produce products allowing the secure use of applications like IM and Web conferencing, while protecting against spyware, adware and peer-to-peer file downloads.

The acquisition includes the purchase of XBlock's extensive antispyware database and patent-pending enterprise spyware prevention technology for scanning, detecting, cleansing and managing spyware and related applications.

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Todd R. Weiss

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