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McAfee denies Intel bought it for hardware

by on27 April 2011

Everything will still be software
Analysts wondering why Intel bought the Security Outfit McAfee might be scratching their heads again.

Many of them thought that Chipzilla had a cunning plan to stick hardware onto the chip and remove the need for software security. However McAfee boss David Dewalthas told Forbes' Andy Greenberg, that is not the case and that it was still software security that Intel was interested in. He said that McAfee was not embedding anything into the silicon, and was using features that exist today with the technologies McAfee has to secure the stack in a way that's never been done before.

Besides Intel has already added security features into the silicon. He said that Block, kill, encrypt, locate features, disaster recovery features. These are all in Intel technologies today. The reason Intel bought McAffee was because it wanted to put security lower down in the software stack. There was a similar idea behind Intel's Wind River acquisition. The Wind River operating system powers devices ranging from ATMs to airplanes, and McAfee is working to build security into the OS and BIOS.

There are no worries about anti-trust as rivals have the same low-level access that McAfee has.  This is because the silicon instruction sets have been published and the opportunity to integrate and utilize these features has been around for everybody.

More here.


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