Cisco Systems has agreed to pay $US30 million for a year-old start-up, Netsift, which develops deep packet processing technology.
Netsift's system can be used for detecting network attacks as they happen. The privately held company, was founded last June and employs 15 people. The deal, worth $US30 million in cash and stock options, was subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, but should be completed by the end of July, Cisco said.
Cisco would incorporate Netsift into its Internet Systems Business Unit, it said.
The acquisition would allow Cisco to add new packet processing capabilities into its future software platforms, such as modular switching, Cisco said. The company could be planning to use Netsift's technology to stop malicious software from crossing networks built using its hardware.
In March, Netsift ran a recruitment advertisement looking for security engineers capable of identifying holes in Microsoft's Windows operating systems and translating the code to exploit those holes into Netsift vulnerability signatures.
It was developing a way to detect and quickly stop large-scale worm and denial-of-service attacks by examining traffic at high speed using proprietary hardware, it said in the advertisement.
The company's co-founder and chief scientist, Sumeet Singh, has published papers on a variety of network security and intrusion detection topics, including automated worm fingerprinting.