Apple has agreed to buy AuthenTec (, a maker of fingerprint sensor chips used in personal computers, for US$8 per share, in a deal valued at about $356 million, according to “Reuters” (

Here’s the company’s official description of itself: “AuthenTec encryption technology, fingerprint sensors and identity management software are deployed by the leading mobile device, networking and computing companies, content and service providers, and governments worldwide. AuthenTec’s products and technologies provide security on hundreds of millions of devices, and the Company has shipped more than 100 million fingerprint sensors for integration in a wide range of portable electronics including over 15 million mobile phones. Top tier customers include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Fujitsu, HBO, HP, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Samsung, Sky, and Texas Instruments.”

According to “The New York Times” (, Apple’s purchase of AuthenTec “could help Apple bolster the security of its products, which have been major targets for criminals and malicious software attacks.” AuthenTec specializes in fingerprint scanning technology. Its range of sensors, which can be embedded into computers, can read the image of a fingerprint and can also detect motion and patterns. For businesses, it offers standalone fingerprint readers that can be attached to computers to enhance log-in security, notes the “Times.”