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Core Security's Testing Tango

Venture capital is still flowing into security startups, with Core Security Technologies the latest to feel the benefit of a buoyant market.

The firm, started in Argentina but with an office in Boston, has clinched a $4.5 million Series B round from Morgan Stanley Venture Partners. At a time when businesses are coming under a bewildering array of electronic attacks, Core Security joins a long list of startups with bulging wallets (see Security Startups Flood the Market).

The funding brings Core Securitys total financing to $10 million. A previous round, which took place in 2000 and 2001, involved Pegasus Capital and an unnamed angel investor.

So, what’s the Core Security story? The company was founded in Buenos Aires back in 1996 as an information security consultancy. Then, in 2000, Core Security branched out into the software business, and a U.S. operation was set up a year later. The firm’s flagship Core Impact product was launched in 2002.

The software works by planting agents on servers, which act as proxies for simulated attacks, in an approach often referred to as "penetration testing." Users can then trace the attack’s path, find out which machines have been compromised, and work out which patches are out of date, according to Paul Paget, the firm’s CEO.

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