warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Intel's $7.68 Billion Purchase Could Keep Viruses Off Your Smartphone

Paresh Dave |
August 19, 2010 | 4:30 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Unlike your desktop computer or laptop, your smartphone has probably never been hit by a virus, worm or any other malicious attack. But how long will it stay that way?

A week after Google proclaimed that mobile is the future, Intel, the world's largest maker of computer processors, did the same. The chip-maker purchased on Thursday computer security solutions company McAfee for $7.68 billion and is banking on McAfee's programmers to help it find ways to directly embed software onto chips to combat attacks on smartphones of the future.

With 81 percent of microprocessors bearing the Intel brand, according to figures released Thursday by IDC, the company had earned $16 million in cash to play with. Now, half of that has been spent with the goal of bringing back an even greater sum as the number of people using smartphones increases.

Mobile browsers and applications stand to be heavily targeted by hackers as their popularity multiplies—sales of smartphones were up 50 percent this summer over last.

Intel's hope is that their strategy several years ago to embed security solutions on desktop and laptop processors will play just as well well with smartphone processors. Naturally, people would opt for a more secure phone.

About half a decade late in the smartphone market, Intel needs something novel to unseat smartphone processor king ARM. It'll take at least another five years to find out if McAfee provides the unique touch Intel lacks now.


To reach staff reporter Paresh Dave, click here.

Find Paresh on Twitter: @peard33.





Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.