Facebook acquires server security startup PrivateCore


Facebook has just announced its acquisition of PrivateCore, a start-up that specializes in server security technology.

PrivateCore, a Palo Alto, California-based company that was established two years ago, offers a technology called vCage that protects servers from malicious hardware devices, persistent malware and insider threats. The vCage software tests the integrity of servers and uses encryption to protect data-in-use.

"What makes this development so exciting for us is that Facebook and PrivateCore have an aligned mission. Facebook has done more than any company to connect the world, and we want to use our secure server technology to help make the world's connections more secure," PrivateCore Co-Founder and CEO Oded Horovitz said in a blog post.

The firm is expected to help protect Facebook's servers from security threats. Facebook said that it plans to leverage PrivateCore's technology by deploying it directly into its own server stack. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. According to Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan, PrivateCore's vCage technology was a big reason why the deal transpired.

"Their vCage technology protects servers from persistent malware, unauthorized physical access and malicious hardware devices, making it easier to run any application in outsourced, hosted or cloud environments," Sullivan said in a Facebook post.

"I believe that PrivateCore's technology and expertise will help support Facebook's mission to help make the world more open and connected, in a secure and trusted way."

Facebook has been continuously grappling with security breaches, both self-inflicted and from external sources. Last year, the company admitted to inadvertently exposing the phone numbers and other private data of about six million users. The data leaks, which lasted for a year, exposed the information of users to unauthorized viewers. It was said to be due to a glitch in the company's archive of information from its more than one billion users. Last December, hackers were also able to steal more than 300,000 Facebook users' names and passwords through an attack based on malicious keylogging software.

As part of the deal, Facebook will absorb some of PrivateCore's employees. Horovitz, along with PrivateCore Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Steve Weis, will be assigned to Facebook' headquarters in Menlo Park, California to join the company's security team.

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