Palo Alto Networks Acquires Startup Morta Security

Computer security company Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW) agreed to acquire Morta Security Inc., which was founded by former National Security Agency officials.

It’s the first acquisition for Palo Alto Networks, based in Santa Clara, California, which began selling shares to the public in July 2012. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed today. Palo Alto Networks rose 0.7 percent to $57.84 today.

Morta Security is a closely held Redwood City, California-based company that calls itself “a stealth-mode start-up” that uses “military-grade technology to solve the world’s toughest network security challenges.”

“The Morta team brings additional valuable threat intelligence experience and capabilities,” Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks, said today in a statement.

The deal is the latest merger within the cybersecurity industry. Computer security firm FireEye Inc. (FEYE), based in Milipitas, California, announced Jan. 2 that it acquired closely held Mandiant Corp., based in Alexandria, Virginia, in a transaction worth $1.05 billion. FireEye shares closed at $58.51 today.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), based in San Jose, California, bought Sourcefire Inc., based in Columbia, Maryland, in July for $2.7 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Strohm in Washington at cstrohm1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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