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Security firm takes trusted Linux onboard

Trustix slips into the Comodo

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Secure Linux operating system and software provider Trustix was today acquired by internet security company Comodo. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Comodo, which is best known as a certification authority for SSL certificates, said that the deal will allow the developers of Trustix to take advantage of Comodo’s sizeable R&D labs to further improve Trustix's software for the benefit of the Linux community at large.

The Trustix portfolio of Small Business and Enterprise class Linux-based products will be extended to offer a "complete business package" from Comodo.

“With Trustix on board we can immediately roll out secured firewalls, proxy, web, mail and LAN servers to the many customers who have been clamouring for such a solution from Comodo,” said Melih Abdulhayoglu, Chief Security Architect, Comodo. “It is critical that companies of all sizes focus on IT security and today’s acquisition of Trustix gives Comodo the opportunity to offer a comprehensive set of proven business solutions.”

Comodo, which was founded in 1998, has already developed a number of security technologies as a result of its research and development efforts. The company holds a number of patents in the US and UK.

Comodo developed SEEOS as a complete security operating system to underpin a range of access management and secure messaging products and services.

The company is also developing a keyboard controller (called SIDEN) featuring improved security technologies designed to get around the problem of keyboard sniffers. Designed as a component to fit within the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance, SIDEN chips feature a way to extend secure SSL tunnels down to the keyboard. By going for an indirect revenue model (making money on services rather than the device itself) Comodo hopes to keep the cost of the controller to OEMs down to same level as traditional keyboard controllers.

Comodo demoed the technology at Microsoft's recent WinHEC development conference. It is partnering with Chartered Semiconductors and packaging firm Atlantic Technology in plans to put the technology in silicon by the end of March next year.

Steve Roylance, Technical Marketing Director at Comodo, said it was talking to OEMs like Fujitsu about the technology, which has been designed to plug into the next major release of Windows, Longhorn. Longhorn will provide OS and application support for the product, one of the elements needed for the technolgy to take off.

Longhorn isn't expected until 2006 but Comodo's Roylance has a neat line in explaining the future need for its security technology.

"Because contract staff could easily put a keyboard sniffing device on corporate PCs, large enterprises are only as secure as their cleaning company," he told The Register. ®

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