Security Experts:

IDA Pro Owner Hex-Rays Acquired by European VC Firm

European venture capital and private equity firm Smartfin on Tuesday announced a deal to acquire Hex-Rays, the Belgian company behind the widely deployed IDA Pro software disassembler.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not released but Smartfin said IDA Pro creator Ilfak Guilfanov joined a consortium of investors putting cash back into the restructured company.

Hex-Rays, based in Liège, Belgium,  was founded in 2005 by Guilfanov with reverse engineering power tool IDA Pro as its flagship product. 

IDA Pro is used by cybersecurity professionals to effectively translate a software’s binary code (consisting of ones and zeros) into a human readable text (an approximation of the software’s actual source code), to reveal and understand its original design, architecture, and logic. 

[ READ: NSA Makes Reverse Engineering Tool Freely Available ]

The company said the main software use cases are IT security audits, internal stress testing, bug bounty programs, investigating new virus samples and validating security concerns.

Following the acquisition, Hex-Rays plans to expand operations and speed up automation and simplification of its software products.

"This partnership is an important milestone and opens new horizons for Hex-Rays,” Guilfanov said in a note announcing the acquisition.

"[This allows] Hex-Rays to further professionalize its organization and accelerate its product innovation efforts, as a means to jointly unlock the numerous international growth paths we have identified so far,” he added.

Related: NSA Makes Reverse Engineering Tool Freely Available 

Related: IDA Developer Hex-Rays Falls Victim to Targeted Attack

Related: BlackBerry Releases Open Source Reverse Engineering Tool

Related: Google's Binary Comparison Tool "BinDiff" Available for Free

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. Ryan is a veteran cybersecurity strategist who has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's past career as a security journalist included bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.