To relieve 'password fatigue', Intel buys identity management company

Passwordbox offers one-click login to multiple sites

Intel is strengthening its effort to reduce what it calls the "pain of passwords" by acquiring PasswordBox, a Canadian company that offers an online identity manager designed to let users log on to a range of websites and services with just one click.

PasswordBox lets users store login credentials in what the company calls a virtual safety deposit box. When surfing the Web, users can click on the sites they want to login to and PasswordBox handles the login.

The tool, which has over 14 million downloads, will become a part of the Safe Identity organization within Intel's Security Group, the company said.

Intel Security is planning to use PasswordBox's one-click login system for mobile devices and browsers to reduce what it calls "password fatigue."

PasswordBox was founded in 2012 and operates out of Montreal, where it employs 44 people. All of them have joined Intel Security.

Together with the PasswordBox team, Intel wants to work on technology to compete with online identity managers like Lastpass and Dashlane, which offer similar services.

PasswordBox also offers a secure way to share account passwords with family, friends or co-workers, and also lets users create encrypted notes and keep track of credit cards, passports, memberships and other sensitive personal data in a digital wallet. A feature called Legacy Locker can be used to transfer account logins after someone dies.

The startup also ventured into biometric security when it partnered with Bionym, the makers of a wristband that uses the unique signature of someone's heartbeat to validate logins, replacing the PasswordBox master password and providing 3-factor authentication.

For now, PasswordBox will remain available as-is, the company said in a blog post. Until the release of a new product from Intel Security, all new and existing customers will be offered a premium subscription at no cost, giving access to all features and additional storage.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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