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Symantec secures nearly $1bn after selling certificate business

Google have finalised plans of distrust in Symantec's certificates following problems with validation.

By Tom Ball

Symantec is set to gain close to $1bn and a 30 per cent stake in a new certificate business formed by Thoma Bravo, an American private equity firm.

Thoma Bravo is purchasing the Symantec Web certificate business, and it has plans to merge it with DigiCert in the creation of a new business targetting certificates.

DigiCert is a US security firm also based in certification owned by Thoma Bravo. The new ownership of the Symantec certificate business will commence in quarter three of 2018

This structural shift comes amid a tense period between Symantec and Google regarding distrust of Symantec certificates based on the company’s validation process. As a result of this, Google has laid out plans to disengage from these certificates.

A gradual shift is planned by Google, which will ultimately mean that in early 2018, Chrome will only trust Symantec certificates issued for 279 days or less. Google was initially scrutinising a mere 127 certificates before the number grew to a colossal 30,000.

Symantec secures nearly $1bn after selling certificate businessRecently Google released a final proposal regarding this process of distrust with Symantec, specifying that Chrome 66 would not trust certificates from the 1st of June 2016 or before.

When Chrome 70 arrives it is reported that no certificates from after June 1st 2016 would be trusted from Symantec’s previous infrastructure. Symantec first entered the arena of Web certificates upon buying the Versign security business back in 2010.

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This year has been full of activity for Symantec, as it recently moved to purchase an Israeli cybersecurity startup called Fireglass. Fireglass specialises in real time isoltation, specifically targeting ransomware, phishing and malware.

READ MORE: Symantec dealt major blow as Google loses trust in security certificates

The object of this move was to bring on board a cutting edge capability to protect users from the risks of clicking malicious links, an entry point for a huge volume of cyberattacks in recent times. Both ransomware and phishing attacks have been immensely successfull using this method of delivery.

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