EarthLink nabs Aluria's anti-spyware

The ISP will buy Aluria's assets and integrate the technology into its upcoming security software bundle.

EarthLink has agreed to acquire the assets of anti-spyware maker Aluria Software. The technology will be part of a new security suite due out soon.

The purchase is expected to close in September, subject to certain unspecified conditions, EarthLink said in a statement on Monday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Aluria assets will become part of a new EarthLink division, the Atlanta-based Internet service provider said.

Privately held Aluria was founded in 1999 and is based in Orlando. The company employs about 50 people and has more than 20 million users worldwide for its flagship Spyware Eliminator product, according to EarthLink.

Spyware is software that can produce pop-up ads on PC screens and track browsing habits or log keystrokes. The applications are often installed surreptitiously and can be a resource hog on PCs. The market for anti-spyware tools has been booming .

The purchase comes two months after EarthLink said it would license Aluria's anti-spyware technology . The ISP is in the process of revamping its security lineup and plans to release a new security suite in the next month. The suite, dubbed the EarthLink Protection Control Center, will include Aluria's technology, an EarthLink representative said.

The Protection Control Center will bundle technologies to protect users against viruses, phishing and spyware, and also includes a firewall, the representative said. It will be free to EarthLink subscribers, but cost $4.95 a month for other Internet users, he said.

EarthLink has offered spyware protection as part of its TotalAccess software since late 2003. It introduced a ScamBlocker toolbar for Internet Explorer to combat phishing in April 2004.

The ISP is swapping out providers for its various security technologies. It is phasing out its current spyware protection from Webroot in favor of the Aluria product. Also, EarthLink currently offers antivirus and firewall software from Symantec, but is switching to the lesser-known Authentium for the Protection Control Center.

EarthLink will honor existing Aluria customer contracts, the representative said.

 

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