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Intel, McAfee unveil DeepSafe hardware-assisted security technology

At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) held this week, chip maker Intel finally gave the world its first glimpse of the fruit of its US$7.68 billion acquisition of security vendor McAfee, which was completed in February this year.  Demonstrated during Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini's keynote, the technology dubbed DeepSafe is a revolutionary blend of software and hardware designed to deliver a level of security protection that is simply not possible with a software-only approach.

The idea revolves around building a "deeper" security footprint with the development of hardware-assisted security, fundamentally changing the cat and mouse nature of signature-based security software by operating beyond the confines of the operating system.

McAfee says the DeepSafe has a much greater ability to detect and stop advanced persistent threats (APTs) and increasingly sophisticated malware.  It is no secret that current antimalware technology is reeling under increasingly sophisticated attacks, with more than two million unique rootkits currently in existence and 1,200 new rootkits detected daily.  On its part, DeepSafe affords a trusted view of system event immune from even the most advanced rootkit.  A rootkit is malware that employs stealth techniques of corrupting the OS to evade existing security solutions.

Renée James, senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group at Intel and the Chairman of McAfee summed up the synergy between Intel and McAfee: "By combining the features of existing Intel hardware and innovations in security software, Intel and McAfee are driving innovation in the security industry by providing a new way to protect computing devices."

Intel says it has no plans to embed McAfee software directly into its processors, but will focus instead on creating software products and services that take advantage of the embedded security capabilities.  As the requisite hardware components are available for use by any developers, James told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that Intel expects competitors to introduce similar technology for Intel processors.

Technical information and product details were sparse at this point, though Intel says products utilizing DeepSafe will be available for sale later in the year.  Don't expect to see it in your home PC anytime soon however, as the technology will first roll out in enterprise products.

Source: McAfee Press Release

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