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HP acquires online security company

Hewlett-Packard is promising to bolster the security of its HP-UX Unix operating system, positioning it as a platform for Web servers, with software technology acquired today from SecureWare.

Hewlett-Packard is promising to bolster the security of its HP-UX Unix operating system, positioning it as a platform for Web servers, with software technology acquired today from SecureWare.

As part of the acquisition, HP will get trusted operating system technology from SecureWare that will boost HP-UX to the B1 security level, the U.S. government's highest security rating for commercial operating systems. Previously, HP-UX users had to modify the OS themselves to reach B1-level security.

HP also will incorporate gateway software into its OS to monitor network activity behind a Web server, such as SQL database queries. This added level of security will help keep viruses from spreading on Web servers and corporate intranets, HP officials said.

"We've tried to focus away from encryption," said Reese Jacobs, HP's research and development section manager. "We focus on where the need for encryption stops."

HP will also eventually integrate the gateway software with HP OpenView network management tools and HP OpenMail electronic messaging software.

In addition to the technology, HP also acquired 40 members of SecureWare's team of security programmers and other personnel. And the company licensed SecureWare's Hannah file-protection software.