December 3, 2010 in ATDC News

The Startup Chronicles: Whisper’s Cone of Silence

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In 2005 through 2008 a string of identity thefts jolted credit card users. The thefts were a result of wireless security breaches, the largest of which was perpetuated when a team of hackers stole 200 million consumer credit card numbers. The thieves used a laptop and small antenaa to access TJX transactions and ultimately the corporate network from the parking lot of a Marshals department store.

ATDC company Whisper Communications LLC has a solution to prevent eavesdropping of sensitive information transmitted wirelessly on all manner of devices including contactless card readers, cell phones, and computers. Whisper specializes in physical layer security solutions where wireless data privacy is tied to proximity to the data source. Beyond a certain tunable distance, information transmitted with Whisper’s encryption technology is garbled beyond repair. CEO Jeff McConnell describes the effect as “a secure zone, beyond which communication of data cannot occur.”

Whisper promotes its technology as an additional security layer that will make wireless payments and other data transmission more secure. Other possible applications are being explored for health care information transfer and sensors, location based marketing, video transfer and 802.11x based router communication products.

Whisper was founded in 2009 by Steve McLaughlin, Cenk Argon and Demijan Klinc. The technology has been developed with more than $1 million in grants from organizatoins including the National Science Foundation and the Georgia Research Alliance. The company is an Imlay Investments portfolio company.

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