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Avast Acquires AVG For $1.3 Billion To Create Security Software Giant (venturebeat.com) 104

An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Security software giant Avast Software has acquired rival AVG Technologies. Avast will pay $25 in cash for each of AVG's outstanding ordinary shares, in a deal amounting to around $1.3 billion. Avast said that it's acquiring AVG to "gain scale, technological depth and geographical breadth" and so it can "take advantage of emerging growth opportunities in internet security as well as organizational efficiencies." The combined company will have access to "400 million endpoints" -- that is, devices that have some form of Avast or AVG application installed. Almost half of those are mobile too, which is key in a world that is increasingly shifting away from the desktop. With access to more devices, this will serve the joint company a bigger pool of data on malware, meaning it should be better positioned to offer better security products. "We are in a rapidly changing industry, and this acquisition gives us the breadth and technological depth to be the security provider of choice for our current and future customers," said Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast. "Combining the strengths of two great tech companies, both founded in the Czech Republic and with a common culture and mission, will put us in a great position to take advantage of the new opportunities ahead, such as security for the enormous growth in IoT." The boards of both companies have approved the acquisition. However, AVG's shareholders still need to approve the deal, which Avast expects to happen between September and October 2016.
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Avast Acquires AVG For $1.3 Billion To Create Security Software Giant

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  • new company (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07, 2016 @08:02AM (#52462411)

    is called "Avavg"

    • Surely it will just be "Avast Accumulation of Wealth"
      • by Anonymous Coward

        You misspelled "personal data".

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        More likely "Avast Accumulation of Bureaucracy". Still, I doubt they can become so large and awkward that their products reach the quality level of Norton AV. I think quantum physics protects us from having two adjacent products at absolute zero.

    • "3M and M&M merged to become... You guessed it... Synergy Systems!"

      Chances are it would be the company with the highest "Good Will" (Accounting term for name recognition) on their balance sheets. Will keep the name.

    • Or just 'Vast'?

  • Isnt AVG free? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Why would you pay for it?

    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      So is Avast! But they apparently have $1.3 billion to pay for their rival.

    • AVG Free or Free AVG depending on what they call it, it was really freeware some years back (like, in 2009 or 2011). It didn't even nag you once a year. For this and the light impact on system resources, I've had or I had a good opinion of AVG. Later, they switched to acting as almost-scareware like other major free antivirus software such as Avast, pretending it's expired about once a year. I switched to Avast since (on other people's Windows installations) but lately its "scareware mode" asks you to regi

  • by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Thursday July 07, 2016 @08:07AM (#52462457)
    It's rather appalling that there even exists a multibillion dollar anti-virus industry for Windows. Although I'm not entirely blaming Microsoft here, since almost every single one of these shite companies are snake-oil salesmen that poach upon Windows' reputation for being insecure (it still is, but avast or AVG aren't going to fix it).
    • by paskie ( 539112 )

      ...except that half of the devices are mobile, which probably means mainly Android. I think as people migrate to latest Windows with their Windows Defender builtin, it's going to be tricky to hold on the PC market

      (Yeah, not that AVs help a lot, of course, unless you are doing something crazy like downloading cracks. But perception is everything.)

    • Re:ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday July 07, 2016 @09:39AM (#52463077) Homepage

      I'm not sure what the solution is. The main reason that Windows is "insecure" is that it allows you to run whichever program you tell it to. There are other types of exploits out there, but 99% of the problems the people encounter with their computers are from things that they have actively chosen to run. The only way to really stop this is to adopt a walled garden approach like we have with iOS. Linux or MacOS are both vulnerable to user stupidity in the same way as Windows, it's just that usually there are more intelligent people running Linux or MacOS. I've known plenty of people with Macs who've ended up with Malware.

      • by Maow ( 620678 )

        I'm not sure what the solution is.

        I suspect some sort of central software repository would help alleviate the unintentional installation of malware.

        Last time I had to install something on a Windows box, I had to go looking for whatever it was and was appalled at the shadiness of the sites that offered downloads.

        Of course, any implementation in the Windows world would end up being an "app store" model which would be expected to generate revenue. i.e. Mostly Useless.

        • I like the chocolatey package manager for windows, it seems to handle most apps I set up on a new PC. But does anybody know how well they screen the packages?

  • Avast and AVG's free products are both dedicated to the notion that they can harass and annoy you into giving them money. Does that work on people?

    • Avast and AVG's free products are both dedicated to the notion that they can harass and annoy you into giving them money. Does that work on people?

      In my experience, AVG is far more annoying than Avast. Especially on their mobile products. The AVG Android app is so terrible, I would say it's malware (adware specifically) itself.

    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      I have Avast! installed on my Mac and it is not overly obtrusive. Occasionally it asks me to upgrade to the paid product, but that is about it.

    • by sremick ( 91371 )

      I use Avira on Windows and Avast on Macs. On Macs, Avast is quite silent.

  • I got to find a new free AV solution, fuck.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Re-enable Windows Defender. It's as good against existent threats as any of the bloatware and it takes a small fraction of the system resources to run.

  • uh-oh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fishscene ( 3662081 ) on Thursday July 07, 2016 @08:35AM (#52462623)
    I'm an AVAST user. For years, AVG has been well-known to bring good computers to their knees. I specifically remember an entire classroom of computers slowing to a near stand-still because AVG initiated a scan. Presentations had to be halted, etc... For years afterward, every computer that had AVG was very slow and when switched to AVAST, speed up immensely. If Avast even hints at becoming slower after this buyout, I'm finding a new antivirus. I have no loyalty.
    • Re:uh-oh... (Score:5, Informative)

      by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Thursday July 07, 2016 @08:49AM (#52462707)

      AVG was ok back in the day.

      They had a pretty good client/server product that made central deployment very easy.

      At the time, it ran circles around Symantec's client/server software.

      But then, around 10 years ago, AVG started going down the same road that Symantec went down. Adding feature bloat to every new release.

      Within a couple of years, AVG had destroyed their lean software.

    • Of course any antivirus doing a scheduled hdd scan would slow down the machine, especially on laptops that have slow 5400 rpm drives. It was trivial to configure policy using the AVG enterprise console for scheduling scans around 3am to avoid this problem. Perhaps you were just using the free version and not bothering with setting it up after install.

      I had my problems with AVG but not the slowness you described. My biggest issue with AVG was that their enterprise support was the same priority as the free
    • Ugh, don't even suggest that notion as I'll be having to switch over a ton of customers that currently use Avast. I personally prefer Comodo IS (just remember to uncheck their "geekbuddy" tech support horsecrap) because it has both app and browser sandboxing by default but for those users that don't want to ever have to touch or change anything? Avast is just perfect for them.

      Of course this won't be the first time a security company has been bought out and turned to shit, I'm old enough to remember when P

  • ..do they smell as bad?

    AVG has sucked for years, both in resource utilization and questionable behavior. Avast likes to spam for paid subs, even though the last I looked they had a decent catch rate.

    I don't see myself using or recommending them ever unless something changes. My current recommendation to customers is BitDefender free. Lightweight, quiet, and works. That is if they don't want to spring for our managed product (which uses a customized version of bitdefender for the AV portion of the se

  • This is great news. Now when I'm comparing AV test suites, I now only have to skip past one column of wasted space rather than 2. That will leave more room for AV software that isn't substandard.

  • by Eloking ( 877834 ) on Thursday July 07, 2016 @09:15AM (#52462891)

    First off, all virus come from the internet nowadays. Yeah there's USB stick, but, in most case, you plug them between stuff at your house.

    Add a good browser paired with ad-block kinda remove all threat from your usual website. Now even Chrome block you from entering website with reported attack. Even sending virus through email seems like a challenge with build-in antivirus check scanning the crap out of every byte in your attached file.

    And, as a final layer of security, there's the new Microsoft antivirus (Defender, ex. Microsoft Security defender) that seem to give a decent security. And it's got the most importing feature that all others antivirus seem to lack, it's not a virus itself.

    How many time I have checked a slow laptop only to uninstall Norton and see it running fine again? And what about the other free antivirus? When they don't put adware and trick you into giving them money, they just simply sell your data : http://www.pcmag.com/article2/... [pcmag.com]

    So, back to my initial question, are antiviruses still relevant today?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't think they've been relevant for about 10 years.

      Of course I prefer proper hygiene on a computer than raw dogging hookers in Thailand and then hoping penicillin works.

      And proper hygiene isn't even AV or condoms - just don't be stupid with what you connect to. pine for email, don't visit random sites, ad-block things, etc.

      • You assume the average computer user in a corporate environment has the forethought to be "hygienic" on their windows desktop computer.
        That's asking a lot.
    • I had the same thought, and I assumed someone in here would say it before I did.
      In an enterprise environment running Windows desktops and servers, etc, I feel that unfortunately a third party AV is still relevant, even with all the resource usage issues as you mentioned.
      With that being said however we see that as more and more users are primarily on mobile or tablet platforms, the question there is more of a concern with people like AVG/Avast.

      The Windows desktop/server AV market appears to be shrinki
    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      Windows defender sucks ass. See here: https://www.av-test.org/en/ant... [av-test.org]

      Far below industry average. So yes AV is still relevant. For more data, try here: http://www.av-comparatives.org... [av-comparatives.org]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Eloking ( 877834 )

        Windows defender sucks ass. See here: https://www.av-test.org/en/ant... [av-test.org]

        Far below industry average. So yes AV is still relevant. For more data, try here: http://www.av-comparatives.org... [av-comparatives.org]

        And other website are saying defender is getting quite decent, especially for a free/no installation AV : http://www.pcworld.com/article... [pcworld.com]

        Furthermore, the core of my point is that no virus are supposed to reach that last layer of defence. Unless you are dependant on animal porn?

        • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
          Your reliance on ad hominem (the animal porn jibe), shows the weakness of your position. MS Defender is just that-decent. I manage a shop that handles 100s of PCs a month. We used to recommend Defender (MSSE at that time). It is free, lightweight, and had a good capture percentage. The capture percentage has steadily dropped for 1.5 years or more. This is born out in serious real world (not PC world) testing and in our experience.

          User training and good web and spam filtering should always be the fi

    • by Khopesh ( 112447 )

      I'm not sure I follow; just because a piece of malware comes from the internet doesn't mean your only diligence must be in your web browser (... and email client, torrent client, ...). Nowadays, we're more plagued than ever when it comes to zero-day malware, meaning that A/V misses it the first time around. You need a local A/V scanner that regularly evaluates potential threats, ideally upon each execution.

      Ad blockers only protect you from malvertising, not straight-up malicious web sites. These days,

    • Personally I care about my hardware since wiping the OS after a malware infection is no guarantee that it has been removed. Not all AV is bloated and ineffective, and so it is worth it to pay next to nothing for a decent solution if it lessens the odds that I have to deal with malware at some point. Also, you might not have noticed that MS has turned completely user hostile anyway and has been turning their OS into an adware platform that also spies on you, so I don't even want my machine to be connected to
  • It's like they've merged two crap commercial scanners into one, hoping you'll pay for the privilege.
  • Two craptastic dinosaurs merge to form a larger, even more craptastic dinosaur.

    Stand back so ya don't git splattered by the "innovation".

  • "We are in a rapidly changing industry, and this acquisition gives us the breadth and technological depth to be the security provider of choice for our
    current and future customers," said Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast. "Combining the strengths of two great tech companies, both founded in the Czech Republic and with a common culture and mission, will put us in a great position to take advantage of the new opportunities ahead, such as security for the enormous growth in IoT."

  • Definitions-based antivirus is on its way out for a simple reason: The viruses that make it to your endpoint do so because there is no definition for them yet. They aren't new or clever, they're simply re-hashed versions of the same viruses you saw five years ago.

    Cylance is an algorithmic (definitions-free) agent that is apparently quite effective. I suspect however that if they ever gain a dominant market share, malware authors will adapt and find ways to evade their "math power." And even worse, their pr
  • I uninstalled AVG about 2 months ago after it once again rebooted my system during an "upgrade", crashing my VMs and losing my work for the last hour. I had it for years, even used to recommend it, but the fact that I had to "temporarily" disable AVG (typically until reboot) just to get anything done (performance and resource issues), combined with the daily nag messages, were already getting on my last nerve. Now I'm on MalwareBytes and getting my job done without interruption.

    Avast can eat AVG and poop

    • I uninstalled AVG about 2 months ago after it once again rebooted my system during an "upgrade", crashing my VMs and losing my work for the last hour.

      Wait... so you have open unsaved stuff at the time of a major application upgrade? And you are blaming AVG for your lost work? That's a little crazy right there.

  • Seriously.. two of the worst AV programs I've ever used.. next to Panda which keeps false positiving on .NET apps.

  • Not to forget all the jobs that will be lost after the merger. There is absolutely no good that will come from this from an end user, employee and competition stand point.

    AVG used to have a good product until it became a resource hog so one can only hope Avast will remain Avast.

  • Avast is a respectable, capable antivirus and AVG is a malware toolbar-making, slow, ineffective, spammy piece of shit. Wow, what a great merger.
  • Enjoy the constant barrage of in-app advertising folks! Also, security software is largely just facade - deal with it.
  • semi related:I believe the 'Czech Republic' is now called simply 'Czechia'
    • by deiksac ( 671646 )
      Well not exactly, the name of the country is still the same. Recently there has been some push to promote Czechia as "officical" one-word-name

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