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BT Buys Security Specialist Counterpane

BT Buys Security Specialist Counterpane
BT Buys Security Specialist Counterpane 

AP Technology Writer
Oct. 25, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif.  BT Group PLC, the former British telecom monopoly, 
said Wednesday it bought Silicon Valley-based Counterpane Internet 
Security Inc. to boost its computer security services for corporate 

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition is the latest example of industry giants looking to beef 
up their security offerings.

Data storage provider EMC Corp. completed two deals with information 
security companies this year, buying RSA Security and Network 
Intelligence for a total of $2.3 billion. International Business 
Machines Corp. is set to soon close a $1.3 billion acquisition of 
network monitoring company Internet Security Systems Inc.

Counterpane monitors 550 computer networks worldwide for multinational 
and Fortune 100 customers to help them guard against hackers and other 
security threats. The privately held company, launched in 1999, had 
assets of $6.8 million at the beginning of last year, BT said in a 

One of Counterpane's founders was Bruce Schneier, a leading cryptologist 
who in recent years has become a wide-ranging security guru and critic 
of national security practices.

Under the buyout, Schneier will continue in his role as Counterpane's 
chief technology officer and Paul Stich will remain chief executive.

"They didn't hire me to be a yes man," Schneier said Wednesday in a 
phone interview from France, where he was a speaker at a security 
conference. "I'm going to be an independent security thinker, and they 
know that."

Talk of a possible acquisition began about a year ago.

A deal with a global services company made sense for the startup, 
Schneier said. "A large public company gives us instant credibility, and 
they've got access to customers, giving us enormous opportunities to 
sell Counterpane."

BT said Counterpane will help expand its security management services, 
particularly in the U.S.

"Security threats get more sophisticated and a larger number of 
companies are outsourcing the management of their security 
infrastructure to specialized security service providers. Counterpane is 
a leader in this space," said Andy Green, chief executive of BT Global 

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