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Red Hat acquires Netscape enterprise security apps

Oct 04, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxSecurity

* Red Hat pays $20 million for Netscape security assets

Linux leader Red Hat last week gave its security story a boost when it announced plans to purchase security software and technology from AOL’s Netscape subsidiary.

Red Hat is paying $20 million to AOL for all the assets of the Netscape Communications’ Security Solutions business unit. Red Hat also agreed to pay an additional $2.5 million to AOL if a certain amount of Netscape product orders are placed by the second quarter of next year.

Specific products Red Hat is getting include Netscape Directory Server and Netscape Certificate Management System. The former software package is a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol platform that is used for consolidating application logon and user profile settings and can act as a central directory for making moves, adds and changes to other LDAP-based applications.

The Netscape Certificate Management System is software for managing digital certificates and user authentication tasks. It can be used as a tool for building applications such as secure e-commerce Web sites. Both software packages are already available as open source software. Some of the Netscape directory and security code is also the base of Sun’s Sun One Directory Server.

Red Hat currently offers Enterprise Directory and Authentication services as part of its enterprise Linux offering. Red Hat said it will market the Netscape products as part of its enterprise software offerings over the next six to twelve months. The company did not say if the software would be available as part of its enterprise Linux offering, as a stand-alone product, or both.