Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) and online security firm Baltimore Technologies (Nasdaq: BALT) announced an agreement Wednesday that will provide security solutions for Compaq’s e-commerce operations and other e-business customers.
Under the terms of the agreement, Compaq will incorporate Baltimore’s UniCERT Certificate Authority (CA) system, public key infrastructure (PKI)-enabled applications and cryptographic toolkits into its hardware products. Combined with Compaq’s IT services supplying capabilities, the agreement is expected to bring an advanced degree of security to an explosive e-commerce market that International Data Corp. (IDC) predicts could reach $1.3 trillion (US$) by 2003.
PKI and E-Commerce
“Security is a vital component of all e-commerce applications,” commented Navin Mehta, vice president of the Compaq Services electronic commerce practice. “We have partnered with Baltimore Technologies for a number of reasons, most importantly its leadership in PKI technology and global capabilities, both of which complement Compaq’s business strategy.”
PKI technology enables customers to manage digital certificates that, according to Baltimore, act like electronic passports to add user authentication, data integrity and confidentiality and message non-repudiation to e-commerce transactions.
In January, the UK-based Baltimore Technologies announced at the opening of the RSA 2000 Security Conference in San Jose, California that it had acquired e-commerce security provider GTE CyberTrust Solutions, Inc. in a stock deal valued at $150 million. The deal was engineered to increase Baltimore’s share of the PKI-based e-commerce security marketplace and enhance the company’s U.S. marketplace presence.
In other security news, antivirus software solutions provider Trend Micro, Inc. (Nasdaq: TMIC) issued an advisory this week concerning a newly discovered version of the software that allowed attackers to take down large Web sites in recent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
The software, known as TROJ_TRINOO, “is the latest ‘in the wild’ addition of malicious agents that gives hackers access to a network via a computer,” according to a Trend Micro statement. Trend Micro and others are offering online user assistance to avoid being used by a hacker/cracker — by way of a surreptitiously placed program such as TROJ_TRINOO — in DDoS attacks.
The TROJ_TRINOO program can be transmitted by way of e-mail contact and, unlike the “zombie” agents used in the attacks against eBay and others, can function in Linux, UNIX and Windows environments.