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Security

Intel buys PasswordBox to bolster security tools

The chipmaker will integrate the password management service into its line of Internet security products.

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Intel has officially acquired PasswordBox for an undisclosed sum. PasswordBox

Intel has acquired a password management startup to build out its Internet security efforts.

Montreal-based PasswordBox will become part of Intel Security, a branch of the chipmaker that focuses on Internet security, the startup said in a blog post last week. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PasswordBox lets users store log-in credentials to websites and apps in a secure repository and log in to sites without having to manually type in passwords. The application also helps users create secure passwords without being forced to remember them. PasswordBox launched in June 2013 and has grown relatively quickly, amassing 14 million downloads over the last year and a half.

Security software became a key component in the chipmaker's business after it acquired security firm McAfee in 2011. Earlier this year, Intel dropped the McAfee name from its suite of security products -- including security software for computers, the could and servers -- and rebranded them as Intel Security.

PasswordBox provided little information on Intel's plans. The startup said for now it "will remain available as is" and added that it has a lot in store for the "next few months." Intel Security is offering PasswordBox's premium subscription service, which previously went for $12 per year, for free to all new and existing customers until the "release of a new product."

"To our 14 million downloaded users, from everyone at Team PasswordBox, 'Thank You' doesn't even come close to expressing our gratitude," PasswordBox wrote on its blog. "You've trusted us to manage your digital lives, shared your feedback and ideas, and let us know how using PasswordBox has improved your daily lives."

"2014 was the year of the breach with near constant news about consumer data loss," Intel Security vice president and general manager of Safe Identity Mark Hocking told CNET. "We understand how important it is for consumers to once again feel safe and secure when going online. Intel Security and PasswordBox share the same goal of improving protection across all platforms and this acquisition underscores our mission to deliver consumer innovations everywhere and on every device."

PasswordBox did not respond to a request for comment.

Update 5:16 a.m. on December 2 to include Intel Security's statement