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Red Hat Pact With RSA To Enhance Security

By Matthew Beale
Nov 12, 1999 12:00 AM PT

Linux software vendor Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) has entered into a new strategic agreement with RSA Security, Inc. (Nasdaq: RSAS) to enhance security for professional users of the Red Hat Linux OS package.

Red Hat Pact With RSA To Enhance Security

The move comes as members of both the open-source community and the professional Linux world are gathering in Las Vegas, Nevada at COMDEX for the first annual Linux Business Expo.

Under the terms of the agreement, Red Hat will collaborate with RSA on designing security features to fine tune the software for Linux. A primary goal will be to include RSA's BSAFE SSL-C software for enhanced security functionality in the Professional Edition of the Red Hat Linux product.

"Red Hat is pleased to expand our strategic partnership with RSA Security," commented Bob Young, chairman and CEO of Red Hat. "Our use of RSA Security's trusted e-security technologies in our products will help position Red Hat Linux as one of the world's most secure platforms for conducting e-commerce."

The two companies have agreed to pool their resources in the future to develop security functionality for the open-source and e-commerce communities. Additionally, Red Hat and RSA will work together on joint-marketing programs.

Red Hat Updates Its OS

Red Hat recently launched version 6.1 of its open-source operating system (OS) distribution. The updated release, which focuses on ease-of-use and installation features, is aimed at pushing business-level Linux adoption.

The Red Hat Linux 6.1 includes Apache Web server support enhancements, Sun Microsystems' Star Office 5.1a office suite, 128-bit secure signature technology, and Red Hat Update Agent, a feature that will allow customers to access software updates online.

The new release also features graphic-based instructions to simplify the process of installation and the PXE 2.0 technology component of Wired for Management Baseline 2.0 for installing the software across a network.

"We expect that the improvements in installation, service, support and performance built into Red Hat Linux 6.1 make it an asset to enterprise networks," stated Young.

The Professional Edition also features e-commerce software from Magic Software Enterprises (Nasdaq: MGIC). The inclusion of the Magic Enterprise Server v.8.3 will allow e-commerce developers who are working on other platforms to port their existing business solutions to Linux.

This flexibility, according to Magic, could compel more e-commerce professionals to deploy Linux-based solutions for their online business operations.

Securing the Browser For Linux-Based E-Commerce Patrons

Power PC open-source software solutions provider LinuxPPC, Inc. recently developed and released an update to its version of the Netscape Web browser for Linux that focuses on security issues that are vital to conducting e-commerce transactions.

LinuxPPC has improved its Netscape Communicator 4.7 browser package with 128-bit encryption technology. Due to export restrictions, however, the software will only be made available for download by U.S. and Canadian citizens. An Internet download currently qualifies as an export.

According to Netscape, encryption bit count refers to the strength and possibility of the technology. Encryption strength of 56-bit means that "there are billions of possible keys to decipher the coded information, and only one of them works." With 128-bit encryption, however, "there are 4.7 billion trillion times as many keys as with 56-bit encryption."


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