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GeoTrust founders offer free SSL

Ex-execs try to smack down rivals with free basic validation certificates

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Four former GeoTrust executives have returned to the SSL market after a five-year absence with the formation of a new company, AffirmTrust, which will compete with their alma mater.

Expected to launch in July, AffirmTrust plans to kick off its marketing by giving away three-year basic validation certificates for free. Extended validation certs will cost $450.

The company promises to make SSL more affordable, and is targeting the budget end of the market, where the fastest-growing provider is currently Go Daddy, with its $50 certificates.

AffirmTrust is led by chairman Neal Creighton, formerly CEO of GeoTrust, and former CTO Chris Bailey, who takes the CEO office. GeoTrust's former VP of operations is COO, and its former principal engineer is the new company's CTO.

These are some of the same men responsible for spinning GeoTrust out of Equifax in 2001, growing it into a significant player in the SSL market, and flipping it to rival VeriSign five years later for $125m.

The GeoTrust brand and business is now part of Symantec, following its $1.28bn acquisition of VeriSign's security business last year.

AffirmTrust is self-funded, based in Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon, and is currently hiring. ®

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