By Eric Auchard
May 29, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc. (GOOG.O) said on Tuesday it has
bought Internet security startup GreenBorder Technologies Inc., which
creates secure connections to protect e-mail and Web users from
malicious or unwanted computer code.
Terms of the deal, which closed in mid-May, were not disclosed,
according to Google spokesman Aaron Zamost.
GreenBorder, a venture-backed startup founded in 2001 and based in
Mountain View, California, where Google is also headquartered, offers
security software that sets up temporary, virtual sessions each time a
computer users surfs the Web, then discards the resulting data once the
user is finished surfing.
The software allows technicians to insulate corporate networks so that
malicious code hidden inside e-mail, instant messages or Web sites is
automatically detected and contained.
Gartner analyst Neil MacDonald has said GreenBorder's "virtualization"
technology competes with software offerings from Microsoft Corp.
(MSFT.O) and EMC Corp.'s (EMC.N) VMware, as well as various rival
Virtualization, one of the hottest trends in software, refers to
techniques that separate physical computer hardware from the software
used to run the machine.
As computer networks become more complex, virtualization disguises the
underlying complexity of basic computer functions for users while
allowing network technicians to manage the software more efficiently and
Unlike virtualization software from rivals requiring multiple Windows
licenses for each corporate user, GreenBorder insulates the Microsoft
Windows system from the underlying computer hardware and only requires a
single license for Windows, MacDonald said.
Zamost declined to comment on how Google plans to incorporate
GreenBorder software into its own Web services but said it could be used
across a range of Google products.
The technology creates a secure zone, called a sandbox, for online
interaction. "Any type of activity and interaction, while you are on the
Internet, will be directed to the protected environment," according to
It creates a green border around the edge of each Web page a user visits
to assure the user that they are protected from viruses and other
malicious code -- hence the name.
GreenBorder has suspended new purchases or downloads of its software
following the Google acquisition but continues to provide some support
for existing customers on its site through the end of their current
subscriptions, the site said.
When it unveiled its corporate product in 2005, GreenBorder charged a
little under $100 per user. It also offered a free version for
GreenBorder was financed by venture capital firms including Sevin Rosen
Funds and Labrador Ventures.
Google's purchase came to light in a post on independent blog Google
Operating System on Monday.
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