Symantec / IMlogic

Symantec Corp. is bolstering its computer security offerings by acquiring IMlogic Inc., which helps companies secure and store instant-messaging traffic by employees.

Financial terms of Tuesday's deal were not released.

Acquiring privately held IMlogic will enable Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec to broaden the security and legal compliance tools it offers to customers, said Enrique Salem, senior vice president of security products and solutions. This comes on the heels of Symantec's $11 billion acquisition last year of Veritas Software Corp.

Instant messaging has emerged as a popular means of real-time communications in companies but the technology can be vulnerable to malicious hackers.

In fact, earlier Tuesday, Waltham, Mass.-based IMlogic released a report saying that worms, viruses and other security threats on instant-messaging networks rose 826 percent in December from the same period in 2004. IMlogic said 48 percent targeted Microsoft Corp.'s MSN messaging network while 41 percent went after Time Warner Inc.'s AOL IM service.

Another driver for the deal is the need at many companies to archive IM communications to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley executive-accountability law.

The deal was announced after Symantec shares fell 1 cent to close at $17.49 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock's 52-week range is $16.32 to $26.60.

(c) AP