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Twitter acquires Dasient in security buying spree, Android platform focus

Web-based antimalware vendor Dasient is the second security firm acquired by Twitter in recent months. In November, Twitter acquired Android security vendor, Whisper Systems.

Twitter has acquired Web-based antimalware vendor Dasient in a deal that will integrate the firm’s security scanning technology into Twitter’s network.

Dasient said its Web antimalware platform, launched in 2009, is capable of quickly scanning URLs and websites for the presence of malicious code. The company launched a service in 2010 to protect ad networks and publishers from malware spreading through Web banners and other advertisements.

“Over the last year, we have been very active in securing the ads and content of the some of the industry’s largest ad networks and websites,” the company said in a blog post announcing the Twitter acquisition. “By joining Twitter, Dasient will be able to apply its technology and team to the world’s largest real-time information network.”

The company said it is immediately shutting down its business and is no longer accepting new customers. The acquisition is the second security deal that Twitter has struck in recent months. In November, Twitter acquired Whisper Systems, a security firm that specializes in creating a hardened version of the Android platform.

Android platform focus at Black Hat 2011

In an interview with at the Black Hat 2011 conference, Neil Daswani, CTO and co-founder of Dasient, talked about his team’s Android smartphone research. Dasient demonstrated a drive-by attack on Google Android smartphones using a Webkit vulnerability and coding error in Skype. The attack took complete control of the device. The Dasient research team also conducted behavioral analysis of more than 10,000 Android applications and found widespread privacy leaks.

“Chief security officers and IT admins should absolutely be paying attention to these things going on in the mobile space,” Daswani told

While security features have been built into mobile platforms, Daswani said additional safeguards are needed to protect them. Security technologies for smartphones need to be different than traditional antivirus and antimalware software used on desktops, he said.

“When we look at mobile devices I think it’s going to be more important to take advantage of cloud-based scanning techniques to continue to keep devices safe but not incur any performance penalties on them,” Daswani said. 

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