Antivirus vendor Trend Micro Tuesday said it acquired Internet filter maker Kelkea in an effort to fortify its security technology base.

The move immediately beefs up the outfit's spam credentials and moves it closer to tackling increasing phishing and pharming scams, which it has plans to address later this year.

''The reason for this acquisition is we believe in protection integrated into networks, rather than at endpoints,'' Eva Chen, CEO and co-founder of Trend Micro, told

Chen also said she expects the move will go far to enhance Trend Micro's ability to develop innovative solutions against existing threats and threats that are still evolving.

Kelkea's IP filtering system identifies the sources of threats and often prevents them from reaching users by blocking the incoming communications of offensive IP addresses.

The company currently provides anti-spam services with this capability for some of the largest solution providers in the world, and maintains a network for monitoring and rating the reputation of IP addresses -- a process known as reputation services.

Under the deal, Trend Micro named Kelkea's founder and CEO Dave Rand as chief technologist of Internet content and security.

''We believe the integration and continued development of Kelkea and Trend Micro technology and capabilities will place us at the forefront of the fight against unpredictable malicious threats,'' Rand said.

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