Feeds

Symantec takes the Hilgraeve hit

Doing the Right Thing

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

When Symantec announced last week that it had done the decent thing, albeit six years late, and purchased a key virus scanning technology patent from Hilgraeve, it put an end to speculation that the company was open to a massive charge, writes John McIntosh of Bloor Research.

As it was, the settlement of $62.5 million is just a drop in Symantec's billion-dollar plus turnover. Following the settlement, Symantec announced forward-looking guidance for second quarter revenues unchanged in the range of $375 to $395 million. Total revenue for fiscal year 2004 is expected to be approximately $1.665 billion.

That it took so long after Network Associates, facing a similar lawsuit from Hilgraeve, settled in 2000, one can only speculate as to whether Symantec or Hilgraeve got the better of the deal. In addition to the specific patent that was subject to the lawsuit, Symantec have bought licences for the other patents that Hilgraeve hold.

It seems a sensible approach, as any doubt in the ownership of Symantec's intellectual property (or for that matter, that of any other software house) can severely hinder commercial activities, both in terms of winning new business and retaining existing customers.

Now that everything is clear in the Symantec house, at least as far as the Hilgreave patent issue goes, there is one thing that is unclear. Who is Hilgraeve? And why is it important?

For a start, it is the maker of HyperTerminal that ships with Windows. it also has 20 years experience in doing data communications in the terminal space.

Hilgraeve has developed two simple, yet seemingly very usable secure communication products.

DropChute is an instant file delivery software package that allows users to transfer files of any type or size across the Internet or modem-to-modem connection. Each DropChute product establishes a point-to-point connection between two computers and allows users to transfer files or chat using keyboards and headsets. The Company claims that this is more reliable than email attachments, and easier than FTP.

DropChute Pro and DropChute Enterprise 3.02 feature support for digital certificates for authenticating connections, and encrypting files. DropChute Enterprise also features a number of enhancements for corporate installations including the ability to run as an NT Service and scheduled deliveries.

HyperSend is a secure document delivery service that establishes a secure data channel between sender and recipient. Documents are sent directly to recipients through this secure data channel. Deliveries never rest on mail servers and are fully encrypted to protect privacy.

The product is in use in several healthcare applications. In one case, enabling clinical laboratories to exchange lab information securely with physicians, hospitals and other healthcare entities, using just a Web browser.

HyperSend is also finding a home in corporate land. Hilgraeve have recently announced that companies including Principal Financial Group and Motorola. These companies apparently switched to HyperSend when UPS Document Exchange Private Express ceased operations.

It will be good to see Symantec's Gateway product incorporate some of HyperSend and DropChute capability.

© It-Analysis.com

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.