|Founded||November 6, 2001|
Santa Clara, California
|Florin Talpeș (CEO)|
Number of employees
The company was founded in 2001 by the current CEO and main shareholder, Florin Talpeș. 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 and the US market is estimated to generate more than 40% of its revenues. As of 2020, the company employed more than 1,600 people worldwide.
As of August 2021, Bitdefender was ranked 5th globally among free anti-malware application vendors for Microsoft Windows by market scores.
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.
1990: Creation of Softwin, one of the first IT start-ups in post-communist Romania.
The rapid growth of computer viruses leads to the development of Softwin AVX (AntiVirus eXpert)
2001: The Bitdefender subsidiary is created. AVX solution is rebranded under the Bitdefender name.
2004: First offices outside Romania in US, Germany and UK.
Further expansion in the Middle East (2011), and Denmark / Nordics Region (2015).
2007: Bitdefender becomes a separate business entity with external capital entry.
Axxess Capital Investment Fund becomes a key shareholder.
2011: Bitdefender launches enterprise range and virtualization security products.
2015: Bitdefender creates a new consumer product category with Bitdefender BOX and IoT security services.
2017: Bitdefender makes its first major acquisition by acquiring French partner Profil Technology Source.
2018: Bitdefender creates a new subsidiary in Australia through the acquisition of assets from business partner SMS eTech.
Bitdefender acquires behavioral and network security analytics company RedSocks.
2019: Bitdefender opens its own Security Operations Center in San Antonio, Texas.
2021: Bitdefender unveils its extended detection and response (XDR) platform, offering business customers further visibility and incident context during investigations to accelerate threat validation, response actions and remediation.
Bitdefender is part of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord for a safer online world, a collaboration among over 150 global technology companies committed to protecting their customers and users and helping them defend against malicious threats.
Controversies and incidents
On March 20, 2010, computers running Bitdefender under 64-bit versions of Windows were affected by a malfunctioning update that 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. Bitdefender representatives announced the removal of the faulty update and a workaround for the users affected, except for those using the 2008 version.
In 2021, Bitdefender was accused of self-promotion when releasing and publicly announcing a decryptor 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 publicly released a decryptor of their own development and issued a blog post describing the flaw. This was criticized in an article in the MIT Technology Review. The article wrote that Bitdefender's program wasn't even safe - it was flawed and would "damage" files decrypted with it due to bugs within it, unlike the earlier decryptors that had been quietly used. 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. Bitdefender has defended their actions on their blog, saying that they only wished to make as many organizations as possible aware of its existence of the bug in DarkSide's ransom attacks. The article and blog post triggered a discussion among cybersecurity professionals about the pros and cons of publicly disclosing such vulnerabilities in malware.
In September 2021, Bitdefender published a universal decryptor utility that will help past victims of the REvil ransomware recover their encrypted files.
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- "IoT News - Bitdefender BOX : the ultimate security solution for smart home environments?". IoT Business News. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- "Romania's Bitdefender buys France's Profil Technology". seenews.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- Ilie, Luiza (1 December 2017). "Vitruvian buys 30 pct stake in Romanian cyber security firm Bitdefender". Reuters. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
- "Romania's Bitdefender buys Australian partner SMS eTech". seenews.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- Bitdefender. "Bitdefender Acquires Behavioral and Network Security Analytics Company RedSocks". www.prnewswire.com (Press release). Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- "Bitdefender Unveils the Next Evolution of Endpoint Detection and Response Solutions - eXtended EDR (XEDR)". www.prnewswire.com (Press release).
- "Bitdefender Team Partner - Ferrari.com". www.ferrari.com. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
- "Bitdefender's Partnership with Scuderia Ferrari". Bitdefender. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
- "Cybersecurity Tech Accord". Cybersecurity Tech Accord. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- "Awards". AV-Comparatives. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
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- McMillan, Robert. "Bad Bitdefender Update Clobbers Windows PCs". PC World. Archived from the original on 27 October 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- "Trojan.FakeAlert.5 Update issue". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010.
- Peter Bright (22 March 2010). "Bitdefender update breaks 64-bit Windows PCs".
- 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.
- Bitdefender's Position on Ransomware Attacks and Decryptors
- Schwartz, Samantha (21 September 2021). "Is there too much transparency in cybersecurity?". Retrieved 25 August 2023.
- Arjun Ramprasad (18 September 2021). "Universal decryptor for past REvil ransomware victims released". Preview Tech. Retrieved 27 September 2021.