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SKIP encryption opens company doors

Sun Microsystems has been pushing its SKIP security protocol, and companies are starting to listen.

Sun Microsystems has been pushing its SKIP security protocol to ensure safe and tamper-proof network distribution of applets--and companies are starting to listen.

Bay Networks, BBN, Premenos Technology, Milkyway Networks, and VPNet today announced their support for SKIP (Simple Key Management and Internet Protocol), which can be used to authenticate and encrypt software packets, as well as set up virtual private networks over the Internet.

With the increase of software libraries on the Internet and recent concerns about hostile Java applets, Sun is positioning SKIP as a way to encrypt and transmit applets and other software without fear of interception or alteration. SKIP generates encryption keys that can be used only by a specific sender and receiver of information across a network. It is platform-independent and runs on any IP device.

Sun is hoping that private companies will also adopt SKIP when creating virtual private networks builts on top of Internet protocols to establish secure "tunnels" of communication and eliminate the need to set up dedicated leased lines.

SKIP has already been submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force, but the standards-setting body has not decided whether to adopt it.

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