News Briefs

Motorola Inc. is building security engines into processors made for network gear in homes and small and medium-sized businesses, the company announced late last month. By integrating user authentication and data encryption into the new MPC885 PowerQUICC I and MPC8272 PowerQUICC II processor families, the Schaumburg, Ill., company said it will allow equipment vendors to both boost the performance and lower the cost of their gear. The chips are designed for a variety of devices, including virtual private network routers, residential gateways and wireless access points. Security functions generally work faster on hardware than when carried out through software on a general-purpose processor.

HP shields Linux users from SCO attacks

During a teleconference late last month, Hewlett-Packard Co. executives disclosed that the company would indemnify its Linux users against potentially harmful moves by The SCO Group. In March, SCO turned the Linux world upside down when it filed a lawsuit against IBM Corp., alleging that IBM illegally contributed SCO’s System V Unix code into the Linux open-source project to benefit IBM’s business. In addition, SCO said it would charge Linux users US$699 per processor for the SCO Intellectual Property Licence. To prevent this, HP will offer defence for its Linux customers if SCO actively goes after users. HP will indemnify all customers purchasing its Linux distributions after Oct. 1, provided the source code has not been modified. For customers with earlier distributions, the company requires a signed addendum to ensure the source code remains as it was when sold.

Ciena ponies up the cash

Ciena Corp. made another move to expand its market presence with an investment in and resale arrangement with Luminous Networks Inc., a provider of multiservice optical transport platforms. Ciena, along with DCM-Doll Capital Management, was the lead investor in Luminous’s US$25-million Series-E round. The amount of stake for Ciena as a new investor was not disclosed. The Luminous arrangement is the latest in a string of similar deals Ciena has formed recently in an effort to broaden beyond its metro and long-haul optical switching and transport markets. The company acquired WaveSmith Networks, a maker of multiservice edge switches, and has investments and resale arrangements with Equipe Communications and Laurel Networks. Equipe makes multiservice core switches and Laurel makes service edge routers.

Symantec apps to collect virus, worm reports

Symantec Inc. is adding virus and worm reporting to the threat information that the security company already collects through its DeepSight Threat Management System service. The offering already features intrusion-detection alerts and firewall-related data, gleaned from 20,000 partners around the globe. DeepSight 5.0 starts at US$15,000 per year for research reports containing the aggregate security-event data.