PayPal acquires Israeli malware detection startup

PayPal has set up shop in Israel after acquiring CyActive for £39 million, a startup focused on spotting malware early and understanding some of the effects it could have in the long term.

It is part of PayPal’s move into Israel with a small office in Tel Aviv, the second most populous city in the country and the hub for most of Israel’s technology startups.

CyActive will allow PayPal to spot things like credit card fraud and other malicious malware early, creating barriers to entry and making sure customers do not get scammed through PayPal.

The employees at CyActive will now be focused on spotting payment based malware, instead of creating a broad system to spot and stop malware from growing.

PayPal could do with a security boost, considering the company has had a few scams and slip-ups in the past few years. The split from eBay later this year might allow them to invest more heavily in its payment and security operations.

Ex-CEO of PayPal Elon Musk said he wanted PayPal to do more for the world, offering a solution to all of the payment problems and essentially redefining the bank and credit card, but PayPal has not shown any interest in pursuing Musk’s plans.

This is not the first Israeli acquisition, Google acquired Waze for $1.1 billion (£730 million) in 2014, a new mapping technology with real-time traffic updates. It is still an independent service, but Google has been integrating some parts into its own Google Maps service.