UK Firm Provides Security For New Global Banking Initiative

Baltimore Technologies, (London: BLM) a provider of e-commerce and enterprise security solutions with main offices in London and Dublin, this week announced a strategic partnership with Identrus, the global trust organization.

Baltimore’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) has been deployed by Identrus to secure the operational pilot of its new international business-to-business trust network. Identrus will securely link the founding financial institutions that make up the network, which include ABN AMRO, Bank of America, Banker’s Trust (recently acquired by Deutsche Bank), Chase Manhattan, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Hypo Vereinsbank.

The Identrus project will additionally provide foundation for a trust hierarchy, supporting more than 5 million corporate customers internationally. Full commercial launch of the Identrus service — which utilizes digital certificates, for instance — will be sometime in early 2000.

Offloading The Complexity of E-Commerce

“The worldwide scope of e-commerce and the Internet has created the need for global trust and financial institutions are aggressively adopting PKI technology for e-security,” commented Fran Rooney, Baltimore’s CEO. “The Identrus initiative brings the major players in the financial sector together to accelerate the adoption of business-to-business e-commerce.”

A relationship with any of the network’s founding companies will bring guaranteed secure e-commerce for parties engaged in transactions with any other firm that is or becomes a member of the Identrus network. According to a company statement, “these companies will be able to confidently implement new methods of business practice, attract new customers and suppliers, create new markets, while eliminating transaction costs of offloading much of the complexity of e-commerce.”

Random Number Generator

In a recent announcement issued from its Dublin offices, Baltimore stated that its cryptographic toolkits will support the hardware-based Intel Random Number Generator (RNG) to be included in the Intel 810 chipset.

The interest in faster cryptographic key generation — not to mention a more secure method of creating the keys — is what’s driving the fusion of these technologies. Software-based seeding has been the traditional method used for key generation. Baltimore’s PKI-Plus and the Crypto Systems Toolkit will “access the Intel RNG to get the small number of unpredictable, high entropy bits required to produce the keys,” stated a company representative.

“Developers worldwide can easily integrate and enhance the security of their applications with the Intel Random Number Generator and Baltimore’s cryptographic toolkits,” said Michael Glancy, general manager of the platform security division at Intel.

According to a Baltimore Technologies statement, the keys generated “are used by applications to sign, verify and encrypt data, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, authentication and non-repudiation necessary for e-commerce and enterprise security.”

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