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Friday, March 19, 2004, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple working closely with Symbiot Security

Apple Computer may have made a private investment in a small startup company specializing in Intelligent Security Infrastructure Management Systems (iSIMS), sources tell AppleInsider.com

In about 12 days, Austin-based Symbiot Security will roll-out the the first corporate defense system that fights back against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and hacker attacks by launching counter-strikes.

According to sources in the Valley, over the past few months there had been whispers that Apple was seeding the upstart with prototypes of the Xserve G5. "I thought this was crap until this morning when I saw a press release from Symbiot, where Apple's Ron Okamotos states that iSIMS running on Xserve G5's creates a compelling value."

In a press release quietly published yesterday, Symbiot announced that it had selected Apple Computer’s Xserve G5 for deploying iSIMS in the enterprise.

"Symbiot’s customers will appreciate the speed and performance of Xserve G5’s dual 64 bit processors, which produced noticeable improvements in our performance benchmarks,” said Michael Erwin, president of Symbiot, Inc.

Interestingly, a handful of Symbiot's employees had previously defected from Apple Computer, including Erwin and VP of Corporate Development, William W. Hurley. A third employee is said to be part of security company's R&D team.

Rumor has it that Apple may have privately invested up to $3 million in Symbiot to aid the development of its iSIMS technology. Sources speculate that Apple's investment would garner the means to offer a top-notch application for enterprise Xserve customers, which the company currently lacks.