The engine is the heart of antivirus

    Perhaps the antivirus is one of the most complex products among those installed on a typical home computer. He must process all the information that the computer turns over and arrives outside. Check each file for compliance with one of more than four million signatures, control network activity, cut banners - all without compromising resources and leaving a chance for viruses. This is not an HTML code to parse and do not process keystrokes with the subsequent insertion of the corresponding letters in the document.

    No, antivirus is an extremely high-tech product that many experts have worked on. And, it would seem, their work should be the basis of the entire company, and the very core of the antivirus, its engine - behind seven seals in a steel safe behind a triple security ring.

    Anti-virus companies laugh furiously at everyone who thought so. Licensing the engine to third parties for some relevant organizations is almost more serious business than the actual retail sales of the product.

    Engine licensing as a business model

    A typical licensing situation for the engine looks like this:
    1. Company A wants to enter a new market for itself - antivirus.
    2. But she does not have enough resources to make her own product.
    3. Company A licenses the engine from Company B and changes copyrights.
    4. Company A receives $$, and Company B receives an additional source of income in the form of interest on sales and access to new markets (more details below).
    5. ...
    6. PROFIT to everyone !!!

    And, which is typical, this model is well honed and practiced by many companies. Especially in the field of licensing, one Romanian company succeeded. Find 10 differences:
    BitDefender Antivirus 2010: Acronis Antivirus: Auslogics Antivirus: In addition, the BitDefender engine uses Bullguard and F-Secure. The latter, along with a third-party engine, uses its own best practices. And nice.

    Benefit for company B

    I promised to dwell on this point in more detail. Everything is clear in terms of income, but there is another hidden profit. Namely - advertising. Consider an example.

    Back in 2007, such an ActiveVirusShield product from AOL was released, the kernel of which was taken from Kaspersky Anti-Virus version 6. As you can see, the window has an inconspicuous inscription “Powered by Kaspersky”. I don’t know what users thought, what they did, but: Here is January 1, 2007 (antivirus section): b? ie = UTF8 & node = 229677 In the first places in sales are products from Microsoft and ZoneAlarm. Here is in 355 days (same section):

    Both main products of the Laboratory are in the first place.
    Over the year, sales growth reached record numbers. Largely thanks to the collaboration with AOL.


    Science does not know such a disease of the human heart, which is probably not surprising. It is difficult to imagine a situation with more than one number of hearts.
    But multi-engine antiviruses exist quite successfully. Although, nevertheless, today such a product remains quite specific.

    What's the point?
    + Reliability that one antivirus misses will catch another.
    - It is difficult to ensure complete structural stability, which leads to malfunctions.
    - A correspondingly larger amount of resources is used compared to conventional antivirus.
    - Theoretically, there should be a higher price for the final product (you need to license two engines at once). In practice, the difference is not visible.

    As you can see, there are more minuses than pluses, but still there are companies that are drawn to experiments.
    The most famous product, as I see it, is G-Data Antivirus. A product from a German company combines two anti-virus engines: Avast! and ... well, I think you already guessed that it could not have done without our Romanian friend.

    Ashampoo went the other way. Another German company combines the anti-virus engine Ikarus with the anti-spyware module from a-squared. It’s hard to argue here, the solution seems very reasonable.

    Czechs from TrustPort also decided to include two engines in their antivirus. One of them is clear which, the other is from the Czech AVG Technologies, which produces the antivirus of the same name. The company does not hesitate at all and offers information on each of the cores: Well, in the end I will invite you to get acquainted with the product of the Ukrainian company NuWave Software, which develops MultiCore Antivirus. The antivirus includes, attention, 5 antivirus engines: AVG, F-Prot, Ad-Aware, Norman, Vipre. Honestly, I did not dare to install this monster, therefore,% habrinhabitant%, the flag is in your hands.


    Licensing antivirus engines is a secret business and a lifesaver for some Romanian antivirus companies. I hope the reader was interested to know more about this and reading my opus did not turn into a waste of time :)

    Good luck!

    Also popular now: