PGP finds new home with startup

Network Associates has unloaded its software portfolio based on the security technology PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) to a startup launched Monday by a collection of security industry veterans.

PGP Corp., a new company formed last month to take over development of the technology, is being backed by US$14 million in venture funding from Doll Capital Management and Venrock Associates, according to a statement issued Monday by PGP.

The company's management includes executives formerly in charge of early efforts around the technology, including its president and chief executive officer, Phil Dunkelberger, who headed one of the first companies to sell PGP encryption software.

The Palo Alto, California, startup uncloaked itself Monday in conjunction with an announcement regarding new products and the upcoming release of PGP version 8.0, an update to the widely used encryption application. PGP 8.0 will include new support for Windows XP and Mac OS X. Additionally, it will include a server-side plug-in for Lotus Notes, support for Novell Inc.'s GroupWise 5.5 and 6.0 clients, as well as enhanced support for internationalization, the company said.

PGP has acquired all of Network Associates' desktop and wireless encryption product lines. Those are PGPmail, PGPfile, PGPdisk, PGPwireless, PGPadmin and PGPkeyserver with versions for the Windows and Macintosh operating systems; the PGPsdk encryption software development kit; and PGP Corporate Desktop for Macintosh.

Network Associates will continue using the PGPsdk to develop several of its server and desktop products that employ the technology, it said in a separate statement. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

New products being released by the startup, including PGP version 8.0, are expected to be available in November, PGP said. Additionally, the company will take over support of current versions of the PGP products previously sold by Network Associates, and will offer support services to customers that purchased the software from Network Associates.

Current Network Associates customers that have purchased PGP products will have their software license agreements transferred to the new company.

PGP, the encryption technology, was developed by cryptography pioneer Phil Zimmerman, who launched a company around the technology in 1996 called PGP Inc. Network Associates purchased the company from Zimmerman in 1997.

In October 2001, Network Associates announced that it would reorganize its business and product lines and look to sell off its PGP software line. By March of this year, a company official confirmed that it had stopped actively trying to sell the technology after failing to find a buyer, and the company demoted its PGP products to "maintenance mode."

A free version of PGP, which can be downloaded from a number of Web sites, is still available and employed by users around the world. PGP, the company, will sell its software as well as contribute to the community that supports the free version of the software, it said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about NovellPGPPioneer

Show Comments

Market Place