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March 19, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

General Electric’s GE Information Services has signed a co-operative marketing agreement with Racal-Guardata Ltd to sell a UK-developed hardware security system with its worldwide network services. The system, which Racal developed initially for GE’s Money Transfer System, is pres-ented by Racal-Guardata as a predecessor to the forthcoming Super Smart Card and competitor to the existing ones, and is designed to prevent criminal tampering with electronic funds transfer over GE’s network. Racal will sell the system separately in the US through a new company based in Orange County, California, Racal-Guardata Inc, and says it is talking to banks and network operators worldwide about the system. It consists of a plug-in tamper-resistant Personal Computer board or a fault-tolerant security module peripheral for mainframes – dubbed Watch-word and launched last July as an access control device, and is used as a personal identification device to authorise a transaction. It is based on the ANSI data encryption algorithm standard. The system costs around $2,500 for a Personal Computer package and $10,000 to $30,000 for a mainframe package. Managing director of GE’s International Banking and Financial Services, Jamie Graham, said that network costs to the user will be reduced using the security system because processing is distributed to the back office processor rather than in the network.

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