Google has reportedly joined the antivirus market, acquiring browser-based security software maker GreenBorder Technologies for an undisclosed amount of money.
While the search giant has yet to offer official comment on its latest acquisition - and its most significant move into the security software market to date – GreenBorder has already announced the deal on its web site.
"GreenBorder Technologies has been acquired by Google. We will continue to support our existing customers through the end of their current subscriptions," the company said.
As with other companies previously acquired by Google, GreenBorder has also halted downloads of its software. However, the firm said on its site that existing users will maintain uninterrupted access to its products.
The company had been offering both a free consumer version of its programs, as well as paid editions of its applications marketed at enterprise users, including a version that specifically promised to secure computers using Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Outlook products for business users, dubbed GreenBorder Professional Edition.
The software also runs in coordination with other browsers and webmail systems, including Firefox.
GreenBorder has pitched its technology as the security industry's "first desktop DMZ software for Windows" that promises to stop malware code from running on browser-based applications by forcing untrusted content sent through the programs to run in a virtualised protected environment.
By running unknown code in such a "time-out" setting, where the content remains isolated from a local host and any trusted network it is connected to, GreenBorder claims to prevent malware programs from delivering their nefarious payloads.
Any content arriving on a user's desktop from an untrusted source is visually hosted in a controlled virtual environment highlighted by a green border surrounding programs such as Outlook and IE.
"GreenBorder's proactive, always-on protection against malicious code is fundamentally more effective than reactive, detection-based approaches," Drew Hoffman, president and chief executive officer of GreenBorder told InfoWorld at the time of Professional Edition's 2005 introduction.
"With the ever-changing, unpredictable nature of internet-based threats, organisations are realising that the race to plug holes in defences can never be won," Hoffman said.