Bitdefender

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Bitdefender
TypePrivate
IndustryComputer software
FoundedNovember 6, 2001; 19 years ago (2001-11-06)
FounderFlorin Talpeș
HeadquartersBucharest, Romania
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Florin Talpeș (CEO)
ProductsCybersecurity software
ServicesComputer security
Number of employees
1600+ (2019)
Websitewww.bitdefender.com

Bitdefender is a Romanian cybersecurity technology company headquartered in Bucharest, Romania, with offices in the United States, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.[1][2]

The company was founded in 2001 by the current CEO and main shareholder, Florin Talpes. Bitdefender develops and delivers cybersecurity products and services, including endpoint protection, cloud and managed security, antivirus software and IoT security. Bitdefender products are distributed through partners in over 150 countries[2] and the US market generates more than 40% of its revenues. As of 2020, the company employs more than 1,600 people worldwide.[2] The company currently holds 440 technology patents. 10% of patents pertain to machine-learning algorithms for detecting malware and other online threats, with deep learning and anomaly-based detection techniques playing an important role in proactively fighting new and unknown threats.

As of January 2018, Bitdefender ranks seventh globally among Microsoft Windows anti-malware application vendors and had 500 million systems protected worldwide.[3]

History[edit]

Bitdefender software was originally developed by SOFTWIN and sold as AVX (Antivirus Expert) from 1996 until 2001, when its name was changed. In 2007, SOFTWIN spun off Bitdefender.[4]

Company milestones[edit]

1990: Creation of Softwin, one of the first IT start-ups in post-communist Romania.

The rapid growth of computer viruses led to the development of Softwin AVX (AntiVirus eXpert)

2001: The Bitdefender subsidiary was created. AVX solution was rebranded under the Bitdefender name.

2004: First offices outside Romania in US, Germany and UK.

Further expansion in the Middle East (2011) and Denmark for the Nordics Region (2015).

2007: Bitdefender became a separate business entity with external capital entry.

Axxess Capital Investment Fund entered the company’s shareholding.[5]

2011: Bitdefender launches enterprise range and virtualization security product.

2015: Bitdefender creates a new consumer product category with Bitdefender BOX and IoT security services.[6]

2017: Bitdefender makes its first major acquisition by acquiring French partner Profil Technology Source.[7]

British fund Vitruvian buys a 30% stake in the company. The transaction values Bitdefender at more than $600 million.[8]

2018: Bitdefender creates a new subsidiary in Australia through the acquisition of assets from business partner SMS eTech.[9]

Bitdefender acquires behavioral and network security analytics company RedSocks.[10]

2019: Bitdefender opens its own Security Operations Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Bitdefender products[edit]

Bitdefender develops and markets cybersecurity products and services for companies and consumers including endpoint protection (with hardening and risk analytics capabilities), extended detection and response, multi-cloud security, and managed detection and response, antivirus software, IoT security, VPN and privacy services. The company also delivers most of its products and services to Managed Services Providers or to System Integrators (OEM).

Bitdefender Total Security is the standard antivirus suite. It has versions on Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android.

Bitdefender BOX was launched in 2015 as a consumer cybersecurity hub to protect the home, that is the Internet of Things (IoT). It received a new version in 2017 in Bitdefender BOX 2, which could work as a stand-alone router, in addition to connecting to an existing home gateway or personal router. Its main feature is the way it can protect web-connected devices in the smart home. Bitdefender BOX works at the network level to block malware, prevent stolen passwords, identity theft, hacker attacks and other types of cyber-attacks. In 2018, Bitdefender BOX was honored by CES Innovation Awards in the Cybersecurity category.[11][12]

Bitdefender VPN is a VPN product.[13]

Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection is a product for monitoring potential Identity theft. Alerts allow users to change passwords and secure accounts in the event of a data breach.

For businesses, the company markets its Bitdefender GravityZone portfolio.[14] It includes products and solutions addressing a wide spectrum, each designed to answer the needs of specific organizations, from small businesses all the way up to large enterprises.

Fighting cyber-crime[edit]

Bitdefender advises Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in supporting investigations into criminal activity in cyberspace, sharing relevant data and knowledge and striking the right balance between disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution. The company is involved in ongoing cooperation with international law enforcement actors such as local, regional and international police offices to support the fight against crime.[15]

Bitdefender is also part of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord for a safer online world, a collaboration among global technology companies committed to protecting their customers and users and helping them defend against malicious threats.[16]

Independent tests[edit]

Bitdefender has won a number of awards from AV-Comparatives, an anti-virus assessment firm.[17][18]

Controversies and incidents[edit]

Trojan.FakeAlert.5[edit]

On March 20, 2010, computers running Bitdefender under 64-bit versions of Windows were affected by a malfunctioning update which classified every executable program as well as dll files as infected. These files were all marked as 'Trojan.FakeAlert.5' and were moved into quarantine. This action led to software and systems malfunctions that affected users around the world.[19] Bitdefender representatives announced the removal of the faulty update and a workaround for the users affected,[20] except for those using the 2008 version.[21]

DarkSide ransomware[edit]

In 2021, Bitdefender was accused of glory hounding to the detriment of actual victims with regards to DarkSide, a hacking group. In 2020, DarkSide switched their main encryption ransomware product over to an "affiliate" model wherein other attackers could download and use their software in exchange for a portion of the profits. However, they introduced a bug in the process where affiliate hackers would all use the same private RSA key - meaning that a decryption package for a single target who paid the ransom would work on any target that had the ransomware installed. Security researchers noticed and were quietly already helping victims of the software, but with no public notice, making it so that the attackers would only see an inexplicable decrease in ransom payments that could be written off as chance. Months later, Bitdefender themselves posted a blog post describing the flaw and offering a free download of a "fix". This was criticized as doubly foolish in an article in the MIT Technology Review: first, Bitdefender's program wasn't even safe - it was flawed and would "damage" files decrypted with it due to bugs within it, unlike an actual decryptor. Second, the blog post tipped off DarkSide as to the nature of the flaw; DarkSide promptly patched the bug and sarcastically thanked Bitdefender for pointing it out, then went on with their campaign of extortion. A notable incident that took place after Bitdefender's public disclosure was the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack in May 2021. While the security researchers who had been using the flaw before acknowledge that it's probable DarkSide would eventually have noticed and fixed the issue, they still criticized Bitdefender for using the bug merely for a brief burst of publicity, rather than in the way that would most help victims of the scheme.[22] Bitdefender defended their actions on their blog.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with Florin Talpes, CEO at Bitdefender". Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Bitdefender Long Description". Bitdefender. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Anti-malware vendors: global market share 2020". Statista. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Definition of: Bitdefender". PC Magazine Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  5. ^ "M&A alert. Vitruvian Partners buys stake in Bitdefender from Axxess Capital". Business Review (in Romanian). 1 December 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  6. ^ "IoT News - Bitdefender BOX : the ultimate security solution for smart home environments?". IoT Business News. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Romania's Bitdefender buys France's Profil Technology". seenews.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  8. ^ Reuters Staff (1 December 2017). "Vitruvian buys 30 pct stake in Romanian cyber security firm Bitdefender". Reuters. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Romania's Bitdefender buys Australian partner SMS eTech". seenews.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  10. ^ Bitdefender. "Bitdefender Acquires Behavioral and Network Security Analytics Company RedSocks". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Direct Sales of Bitdefender's The Box Launches New Era in Internet Security". www.bitdefender.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  12. ^ Bitdefender. "Bitdefender BOX Named as CES 2018 Innovation Award Honoree in Newly Created Cybersecurity Category". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Bitdefender Premium VPN - Ultra Fast Secure VPN Service". Bitdefender. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Bitdefender GravityZone Enterprise Security". Bitdefender. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Bitdefender, Europol, Romanian and French Police, FBI Team up for Fourth GandCrab Decryptor". www.bitdefender.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Cybersecurity Tech Accord". Cybersecurity Tech Accord. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Awards". AV-Comparatives. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Test antivirus software Bitdefender". www.av-test.org (in German). Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  19. ^ McMillan, Robert. "Bad Bitdefender Update Clobbers Windows PCs". PC World.
  20. ^ "Trojan.FakeAlert.5 Update issue". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010.
  21. ^ Peter Bright (22 March 2010). "Bitdefender update breaks 64-bit Windows PCs".
  22. ^ Dudley, Renee; Golden, Daniel (24 May 2021). "The Colonial pipeline ransomware hackers had a secret weapon: self-promoting cybersecurity firms". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  23. ^ Bitdefender's Position on Ransomware Attacks and Decryptors

External links[edit]