Israel's Finjan allies with anti-virus software maker McAfee

Finjan chief Touboul sees great opportunity in latest rash of malicious code attacks
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Santa Clara, California-based anti-virus software maker McAfee said today it has signed an agreement with Finjan Software of Ramat Gan.

Finjan will be marketing McAfee products along with its own proactive defense technology.

Finjan founder, CEO and chairman Shlomo Touboul said that integrating the proactive defense mechanism with McAfee's virus scanning product will create an optimal security solution to protect companies from first-strike attacks by malicious code, a new favorite among hackers.

Touboul said he expects the transaction to generate handsome yields, though he refused to cite figures.

Finjan, founded in 1996, specializes in content security. Unlike other security products, Finjan products do not rely on database updates, but defend against new variants - unknown and "yet-to-be-created" attacks.

Finjan is considered a promise that failed to materialize, particularly after its 1997 success in raising $10 million, a splendid amount in 1997 terms. At the end of 2000 it raised $5 million according to a $20 million post-money company value.

Among Finjan's investors are Bessemer Venture Partners, run by VC investor David Cowan, a specialist in software security firms, and the Japanese firm CSK Corporation (Nasdaq:CSKKY) investment company.

Five months ago Finjan fired 30 of its 70 staffers to lower overhead. Touboul, who left the company in 1998, returned a month later to act as advisor. He recently resumed his position as CEO.

Touboul told last week that a malicious code epidemic (like Melissa and Nimada) running rampant recently, opened a window of opportunity to market the company's proactive defense technology.

The purpose of his return to the company, he said, is to direct the company in more aggressive marketing of these products.