Microsoft has bought security specialist Komoku, a developer of rootkit detection products.

The company plans to add Komoku's technology into its Forefront and Windows Live OneCare products. Forefront is Microsoft's suite of enterprise security software that includes malware protection for PCs, security tools for Exchange and SharePoint servers, and gateways that secure remote access to corporate data. OneCare is a package of security software for PC users that scans for viruses and spyware, backs up files and helps with network management.

Komoku develops products that detect rootkits, malicious software that can take control of a computer in a way that often evades detection by other antimalware software. The company has served organisations with high security requirements, such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will hire William A. Arbaugh, the president and CTO of Komoku, who is also an associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland. He spent many years working at the National Security Agency where he did research in information security and networking.

Microsoft's statement said that most of Komoku's staff will join Microsoft's Access and Security Division.