Protect Data Security Inc., a specialist in data protection systems for desktop computers, said it has licensed elliptic curve encryption technology from Certicom Corp.

Protect Data said the technique will enable secure loading of software updates using digital signatures. Elliptic curve cryptography is sold on the basis of processing speed and efficiency, also making it feasible in smart cards, pagers, and other compact computing spaces, Certicom said.

"One major issue with all distributed security systems is the risk of Trojan horses that implement bogus changes to system settings or user profiles," said John Muir, president of Protect Data Security, a subsidiary of Protect Datasakerhet of Sweden.

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