F5 snaps up MagniFire

Firewall under new management

Networking firm F5 Networks today announced that the acquisition of Web application firewall hardware firm MagniFire WebSystems in a $29m all-cash deal.

F5 said it will use MagniFire's TrafficShield security appliances to offer its customers better protection against application level attacks, such as fast spreading worms like Nimda and Sasser. MagniFire's TrafficShield product allow users to define what "good traffic" is and apply policies to only allow this desired traffic through to web servers and applications. This "white list" approach offers better protection against previously unseen forms of attack than either conventional firewall or intrusion prevention systems, according to F5.

The MagniFire acquisition complements F5's acquisition of uRoam and its FirePass SSL VPN product last July. FirePass product secures user-to-application access while the TrafficShield product ensures that only valid traffic reaches application, F5 explains. F5 is best known for its line of Application Traffic Management products and the MagniFire deal together with the much larger acquisition of NetScreen by Juniper shows a market where networking vendors are willing to reach into their pockets if it allows them to increase their security expertise. ®

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