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Rival Security Firms Launch Malware Sharing Initiative

Rival network security firms Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks have set their differences aside in order to collaborate on a new consortium to help member organizations share malware samples.

The two California-based companies announced on Friday that they have co-founded a cyber defense consortium that will allow member organizations to share malware samples in order to improve cross-industry, cross-vendor threat intelligence.

Under the Bylaws of the consortium, members are not allowed to share any data that can be directly attributable to customers.

“By focusing the sharing on malware executables; we are able to maintain the trusted relationships we have with our customers,” the companies explained.

The Cyber Consortium is open to all organizations, but in order to qualify for participation an organization must have the ability to share at least 1,000 samples of new malware executables every day.

Additionally, qualifying malware samples must not overlap with samples available on VirusTotal at the time of sharing and malware samples should be fresh samples that have been discovered within the last 48 hours, a Fortinet spokesperson told SecurityWeek.

“At Fortinet we look forward to collaborating with Palo Alto Networks to continue to improve network security,” said Ken Xie, Fortinet’s Chairman and CEO. “We look forward to combining our threat resources to offer customers innovative ways to more comprehensively combat modern day dynamic, sophisticated threats.”

“We are pleased to work with another respected innovator like Fortinet to join forces in the ongoing battle against the rapidly evolving threats stemming from advanced malware and APTs,” said Mark McLaughlin, Chairman, President and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. “The consortium is a clear response to the demands from the industry for a coordinated response from their technology vendors.”

Details on the consortium are available online.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.