F5 snaps up Magnifire for $29m

F5 Networks has bought MagniFire Websystems, a maker of web application firewall hardware, for $29m.

F5 Networks has bought MagniFire Websystems, a maker of web application firewall hardware, for $29m.

The company will add MagniFire's TrafficShield security appliance to its Application Traffic Management architecture, allowing companies to spot attacks on web-based applications.

TrafficShield is a rack-mounted security appliance that scans incoming HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) web traffic for evidence of attacks or suspicious activity. The product can spot a long list of potential threats to web-based applications and services, including denial-of-service attacks, buffer overflows and invalid user inputs.

That focus meshes well with F5's existing products, including its Big-IP line of appliances, which manages and directs traffic to applications on Lans based on customer policies, network performance and availability to prevent service outages and overloads.

The acquisition of MagniFire gives F5 ready-made technology for applying those same traffic management principles to the issue of application security, allowing companies to ensure that legitimate traffic reaches web applications and that illegitimate or harmful traffic is weeded out, F5 said.

In July 2003, F5 acquired SSL VPN company uRoam, maker of the FirePass SSL VPN product.

Meanwhile, F5 has unveiled its latest version of the FirePass Controller, which adds support for clients running on Apple Macintosh operating system and on the open-source Linux operating system.

Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service

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