DigiNotar Voluntarily Files Bankruptcy

DigiNotar, the embattled Dutch certificate authority at the center of a global scandal after issuing hundreds of forged digital certificates has filed for voluntary bankruptcy today, according to a press release from parent company VASCO.

DigiNotar, the embattled Dutch certificate authority at the center of a global scandal after issuing hundreds of forged digital certificates has filed for voluntary bankruptcy today, according to a press release from parent company VASCO.

DigiNotar will cease business operations and will be managed by a court appointed trustee and bankruptcy judge as the company goes through the liquidation process. VASCO says they have no intention of reentering the certificate authority business in the foreseeable future.

DigiNotar’s CFO and Executive Vice President, Cliff Brown, says they are attempting to calculate the total damages caused by the intrusion.  Brown plans on providing an estimate as soon as he has an accurate one, but says that the company has no estimate to date. He remains optimistic that all is not lost, and that much of the company’s intellectual property is still of value and can be incorporated into VASCO’s existing product line.

“Although we are saddened by this action and the circumstances that necessitated it,” T. Kendall Hunt, VASCO’s Chairman and CEO, said in the statement, “we would like to remind our customers and investors that the incident at DigiNotar has no impact on VASCO’s core authentication technology. The technological infrastructures of VASCO and DigiNotar remain completely separated, meaning that there is no risk for infection of VASCO’s strong authentication business.”

The bankruptcy will add to a short list of companies that have been put out of business as the result of a data breach. Notably, CardSystems Solutions, a credit card processing company, was dropped by its two main customers – Visa and MasterCard, following a data breach there in 2005. The company was subsequently purchased but was out of business by 2008.

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