Micro blogging site Twitter has acquired Whispersystems, a maker of mobile security software, according to a statement posted on the WhisperSystems Web site.
The Bay Area startup notified its users of the acquisition in a blog post on Monday, saying that Whisper would be integrating its technology into Twitter’s products and services. The company said it will be taking its products and services offline temporarily, including its RedPhone voice encryption product for Android and FlashBack cloud-based mobile backup service.
FlashBack users who have already backed up mobile data to the cloud will have one month to copy their backup data off of Whisper Systems’ servers before the backup service is discontinued, the company said.
Whisper Systems was co-founded by noted mobile and embedded device hacker Moxie Marlinspike and made a variety of products. In addition to RedPhone, its WhisperCore suite was a security product that integrated with the Android OS and included device-level disk encryption, nework security tools, backup and platform management for Nexus S and Nexus One phones. WhisperMonitor was a free tool that allowed Android phone owners to control what actions installed applications could perform on their device.
The acquisition by Twitter was a surprise. The Web based micro blogging service is not directly involved in the mobile device or mobile application marketplace. However, mobile device and application security and management are pressing problems for organizations of all sizes, as employees increasingly use personal devices to conduct business, outstripping the ability of IT organizations to manage and monitor the devices within the workplace.