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Symantec buys IMlogic in all-cash deal

Security giant continues acquisition spree and can now offer protection for IM systems.

Security company Symantec leaped into the nascent market for protecting instant messaging systems on Tuesday, announcing that it has agreed to acquire IMlogic, one of the sector's top players.

Financial terms were not released. But Carlin Wiegner, a senior director of Web security at Symantec, said in an interview with CNET that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has agreed to pay all cash for 100-employee IMlogic, and expects the deal to close later this quarter.

IMlogic, headquartered in Boston, sells the IM Manager software, which promises to safeguard public and corporate IM networks while providing companies with a means to monitor and archive IM traffic.

Security companies have largely focused on protecting e-mail servers up to now, but they're starting to turn their attention to instant messaging as it grows in popularity. In November, MessageLabs, a hosted e-mail and Web security specialist, acquired privately held OmniPod, which operates a hosted and secure IM platform.

"We took a look at the trend of IM and found that an amazing number of corporations were using it," Wiegner said. "We decided that it was going to be big, but the problem there is it still has the same risks as e-mail."

IMlogic said Tuesday that IM networks saw an 826 percent rise in security attacks last month, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Not only does privately held IMlogic give Symantec a presence in IM security, it also signals that the company's 2-year old buying binge continues. In the past two years, Symantec has bought BindView Development, Brightmail, Liric, Sygate Technologies, Turntide, WholeSecurity and storage giant Veritas Software. In October, executives said that the company planned to make six to eight acquisitions a year with a major deal coming every 18 months.