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Palo Alto-Morta Security deal is latest 2014 information security acquisition

On the heels of FireEye's purchase of Mandiant, Palo Alto Networks has announced the acquisition of stealth startup Morta Security.

Network security vendor Palo Alto Networks Inc. Monday announced it has acquired startup Morta Security for an undisclosed amount. It's the second notable information security acquisition of 2014.

Palo Alto, coming off of a strong year in which its revenue is expected to top $450 million, said in a release that it added Morta for its cybersecurity expertise and technologies in expediting the detection of new cyberattacks. Morta was founded by former NSA and U.S. Air Force engineers, though the company was operating in "stealth mode" and has not released a product.

Palo Alto is seeking to build on its strong firewall and network security business with capabilities to quickly detect new and advanced attacks. The Morta team will be tasked with integrating its technology with Palo Alto's WildFire threat protection platform.

The acquisition comes on the heels of FireEye Inc.'s $1.05 billion acquisition of Mandiant Corp. The cash-and-stock deal was completed Dec. 30 but only announced Thursday.

FireEye has been on the forefront of real-time detection of advanced cyberattacks. The vendor's central offering uses virtualization to guard against attacks, executing them in a virtual environment to identify and block malicious traffic.

Mandiant built a reputation as a high-profile incident response and cyberforensics provider, often the first call a company or government organization would make following the discovery of a security breach. The company made headlines last February upon publishing a report offering the first detailed evidence of rampant cyberespionage activity by actors linked to the Chinese government.

Mandiant reported more than $100 million in revenue in 2013, in contrast with FireEye, which has not yet turned a profit despite 1,500 customers across more than 40 countries, including 20% of the Fortune 500. Its 2013 revenue is expected to be between $155 million and $160 million.

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