Novell snaps up Linux security company

Linux vendor Novell Inc. has acquired Immunix Inc., a security software vendor based in Portland, Oregon. The 15-person company was bought last week, but terms of the deal are not being released, according to Novell.

Immunix was founded in 1998, in part with money from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to develop security software for Linux. It is best known for developing much of the Linux Security Modules (LSM) software that is used in the Linux 2.6 kernel, a key component of the Linux operating system.

By acquiring the company, Novell hopes to strengthen its security product offerings, said Charlie Ungashick a director of product marketing at Novell. “Security is becoming a really hot topic, particularly around Linux,” he said.

Immunix sells software, called AppArmor, that can be used to secure Linux-based applications by limiting how they can interact with hardware within the computer.

AppArmor is already designed to work with Novell’s YAST (Yet Another Setup Tool) management software, making it a natural acquisition target, Ungashick said. Novell expects to begin selling AppArmor, which will be rebranded Novell AppArmor, within the week, he said.

The Immunix team will continue to operate out of its Portland offices, Ungashick said. Novell is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.