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Intego releases messaging encryption for iChat

Users of the Apple instant messaging program iChat can now encrypt their conversations, security company Intego says

Intego has launched an all-in-one security product for the Mac that includes encryption technology for instant messaging.

The tool, ChatBarrier X3, works with Apple's iChat program to provide real-time encryption of text conversations. It uses a 512-bit encryption key, which Intego says reduces the chances of conversations being intercepted and easily read.

"A lot of the people who called Intego were reacting to the US Patriot Act," said Laurent Marteau, chief executive officer of Intego. "That law is all about intercepting electronic communications and people weren't happy with it. Intego had a number of calls from their customers saying they were worried about online chats, even inside their companies. And that's why we made ChatBarrier."

The company's platinum edition of Internet Security Barrier X also comes with a software firewall, antivirus, anti-spam, back-up and Internet content managing software. The product costs £99 and is available next week.

Although security has been less of an issue for OS X users than Microsoft customers, antivirus company Sophos reported that a worm called 'Opener' could seriously damage Macs running OS X if executed. Apple responded to the claim, saying that the program was not a virus because it did not self-propagate, which prompted a variety of comments from ZDNet UK readers.