Blue Coat Systems
|This article is outdated. (June 2016)|
|Subsidiary of Symantec|
|Fate||Acquired by Symantec in 2016|
|Headquarters||Sunnyvale, California, United States|
|Greg Clark (CEO)
(President and COO)
|Products||ProxySG, Advance Threat Protection (ATP) System, SSL Visibility Appliance, MACH5, K9 Web Protection, PacketShaper, CacheFlow|
|Revenue||US$496M (FY 2010)|
|US$39.3M (FY 2010)|
|US$42.9M (FY 2010)|
|Total assets||US$696M (FY 2010)|
|Total equity||US$386M (FY 2010)|
Number of employees
|more than 1,400 (as of 2014)|
Blue Coat Systems Inc., formerly CacheFlow, is a Sunnyvale, California-based provider of security and networking solutions. In December 2011, Blue Coat was acquired by the private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $1.3 billion and began operating as a privately held company. In March 2015, Thoma Bravo sold Blue Coat to private equity firm Bain Capital for $2.4 billion.
The organization has been subject to controversy due to its products being used to conduct mass surveillance and censorship of the Internet by governments that engage in human rights abuses.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2016)|
Blue Coat Systems was founded in 1996 as CacheFlow, with the original headquarters in Redmond, Washington. In 1999, Rick Kimball and Jay Hoag of Technology Crossover Ventures invested in CacheFlow.
On December 9, 2011, Blue Coat agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for $1.3 billion. With the closing of the transaction, Blue Coat stock was delisted from NASDAQ and it was no longer a publicly traded company. On February 6, 2015 the Wall Street Journal reported that an attempt to sell Blue Coat to defense contractor Raytheon had failed, and Thoma Bravo was restarting the sales process. On March 10, 2015, private equity firm Thoma Bravo sold Blue Coat to private equity firm Bain Capital for $2.4 billion.
Blue Coat Systems offer a range of products in the computer security sector. Many Blue Coat products focus on attack detection, threat analysis, analytics and network defense. Blue Coat also produce business-oriented solutions, such as Data Loss Prevention, caching management and system administration tools.
In 2000, Blue Coat acquired Entera for its streaming technologies. The deal was valued at $170 million.
Following its entry into the security market, Blue Coat acquired several companies to build additional functionality into its product portfolio. From 2003-2006, Blue Coat acquired three companies: Anti-virus appliance vendor Ositis Software, Inc. for $7.1 million, URL filtering vendor Cerberian for $17.5 million and Permeo Technologies for its SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN appliance.
As Blue Coat moved into the WAN optimization market, it shifted its acquisition focus to companies with caching and performance technologies. In 2006, Blue Coat acquired the NetCache business from NetApp. In 2008, Blue Coat acquired Packeteer, a bandwidth management company, for $268 million. In 2010, Blue Coat acquired S7 Software Solutions, a provider of software migration products and services.
Beginning in 2012, Blue Coat refocused its acquisitions on expanding its product portfolio into adjacent security markets. In December 2012, Blue Coat acquired Crossbeam Systems, maker of a scalable network security platform that can virtualize network security applications from third-party security software vendors (including McAfee, Sourcefire, Check Point, and Imperva). In May 2013, Blue Coat acquired SSL technology from Netronome. Also in May, Blue Coat acquired Solera Networks, a maker of security analytics products that help businesses detect and resolve threats already on the network.
On July 30, 2015 Blue Coat announced it had acquired Perspecsys as a key part of its Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) offering for an estimated to be $180–200M.
November 9, 2015, Blue Coat acquired cloud security company Elastica, Inc. for $280 million further broadening its CASB portfolio.
In October 2011 it was reported that the U.S. government was looking into claims made by Telecomix that the Syrian government is using Blue Coat's products in order to censor the internet. The hacktivist group released 54 GB of log data alleged to have been taken from seven compromised Blue Coat web gateway appliances that depict search terms, including "Israel" and "proxy", that were blocked in the country using the appliances. Blue Coat later acknowledged their systems were being used within Syria, but assert the equipment was sold to intermediaries in Dubai, which they believed was destined for an Iraqi governmental agency, not the Syrian regime. Despite the systems consistently sending "heartbeat" pings directly back to Blue Coat, they claim to not monitor their logs to identify from which country an appliance is communicating. Blue Coat further announced they would halt providing updates, support and other services for systems operating within Syria.
In April 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced a $2.8 million civil settlement with Computerlinks FZCO for violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) related to the transfer to Syria of Blue Coat products. The penalty was the maximum allowed. According to the BIS, Computerlinks FZCO provided Blue Coat with false end user information. Computerlinks FZCO knew that the items were destined for end users in Syria but stated that the end users for the items were the Iraqi Ministry of Telecom or the Afghan Internet service provider Liwalnet.
Use by foreign governments
On March 12, 2013, Reporters Without Borders named Blue Coat Systems as one of five "Corporate Enemies of the Internet" and “digital era mercenaries” for selling products that have been or are being used by governments to violate human rights and freedom of information. Blue Coat equipment has been sold to the governments of Bahrain, Burma (Myanmar), China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Blue Coat has consistently denied these claims, asserting that it respects internationally recognized rights to privacy and freedom of expression, and does not condone any government’s use of its products to abuse Internet privacy or freedom of expression.[non-primary source needed]
In September 2014, BuzzFeed reported that Egypt has contracted with an Egyptian-based company "Systems Engineering of Egypt" (SEE Egypt) and has begun monitoring online communications within Egypt on platforms such as Skype, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube among others. The article quoted "SEE Egypt" interviews in which the organization referred to itself as a "sister company" of Blue Coat. The day following the report, BuzzFeed note Blue Coat distancing themselves from the controversy and published a response from the organization, which read in part:
See Egypt is a Blue Coat reseller, but is not otherwise affiliated with Blue Coat. See Egypt has assured us that they have not bid or resold Blue Coat products to the Egyptian government for any social network monitoring operation... Blue Coat sells its products to end users through more than 2,000 resellers worldwide. We require our resellers to adhere to the same legal requirements and ethical standards to which we hold ourselves.
In March 2015, Forbes reported that Blue Coat had pressured security researcher Raphaël Rigo into canceling his talk at SyScan '15. Although Raphaël's talk did not contain any information about vulnerabilities on the ProxySG platform, Blue Coat still cited concerns that the talk was going to "provide information useful to the ongoing security assessments of ProxySG by Blue Coat." The canceling of the talk was met with harsh criticism by various prominent security researchers and professionals alike who generally welcome technical information about various security products that are widely used.
There exists a publicly-trusted intermediate certificate, issued by Verisign, which permits the company to issue transparent man-in-the-middle certificates that will not cause browsers to warn about an untrustworthy connection.
- Blue Coat Systems (BCSI) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest.
- Blue Coat Systems (BCSI) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest.
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- "Blue Coat Acquires Netronome SSL Technology to Extend Leadership in Enterprise Security". Press Release (Blue Coat Systems). May 9, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
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- "Blue Coat Delivers Industry’s First Complete Cloud Security Solution with Acquisition of Cloud Security Innovator Elastica".
- "US probes Syria's use of Internet blocking equipment". BBC. October 24, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
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- Ellen Nakashima, "Web monitoring devices made by U.S. firm Blue Coat detected in Iran, Sudan", Washington Post, 8 July 2013
- "EXCLUSIVE: Egypt Begins Surveillance Of Facebook, Twitter, And Skype On Unprecedented Scale". BuzzFeed, Inc. September 17, 2014.
- Michaelson, Dr. Jay (18 October 2014). "Egypt’s LGBTs Fight Grindr Crackdown". The Daily Beast.
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- Fox-Brewster, Thomas (30 March 2015). "When Censorship Backfires: How Blue Coat Silenced A Security Researcher". Forbes. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
- Thomson, Iain (27 May 2016). "Don't panic, says Blue Coat, we're not using CA cert to snoop on you". The Register. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
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