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[ISN] Google acquires Web security startup GreenBorder


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 
GreenBorder's site.

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 
non-commercial users.

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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