McAfee goes shopping for ScanAlert

McAfee goes shopping for ScanAlert

Security vendor gains 'Hacker Safe' logo

McAfee has agreed to acquire e-commerce firm ScanAlert in a transaction that is valued at up to $75m.

ScanAlert runs the Hacker Safe security service. The service provides a certification program for online retailers that meet certain security standards. Qualifying sites are awarded a "Hacker Safe" logo.

The company claims that having a Hacker Safe certification increases consumer confidence that results in a 14 per cent sales jump.

Under the terms of the deal, McAfee will pay $51m up front. The remaining $24m is contingent on certain performance targets.

McAfee plans to integrate Hacker Safe into its SiteAdvisor service. The addition of Hacker Safe will allow SiteAdvisor to provide e-commerce ratings alongside its anti-phishing, anti-malware and anti-spam alerts.

"Through this acquisition, we will enhance McAfee’s triple play protection," proclaimed chief executive Dave DeWalt.

"This will create the industry’s only service that helps consumers stay safe as they search, surf, and now shop."

The ScanAlert deal marks the latest chapter in McAfee's quest to transform McAfee from an anti-virus vendor into a major player in the larger security market.

That campaign has included the acquisition of SiteAdvisor in April of 2006 and the $350m purchase of SafeBoot earlier this month.