Apple has agreed to purchase security technology company AuthenTec for $356 million.

"AuthenTec entered into a merger agreement plan with Apple and Bryce Acquisition Corporation, a Delaware corporation that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, on July 26, according to the company's 8-K filing with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)," writes Computerworld's Loek Essers. "The plan is to make AuthenTec a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, according to the filing. Both companies also entered an intellectual property and technology agreement that provides Apple with the right to acquire non-exclusive licenses and certain other rights on hardware technology, software technology and AuthenTec's patents, according to the document."

"AuthenTec is the leading supplier of smart sensors, identity management software and hardware, and embedded security devices such as fingerprint readers," writes ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. "These fingerprint swipe sensors use a patented sub-surface technology to read the live layer of skin beneath the skin's surface where the fingerprint is first formed, making them much harder to fool than traditional fingerprint sensors."

"AuthenTec's customers include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Fujitsu, HBO, HP, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Samsung, Sky, and Texas Instruments," The H Security reports. "According to its web site, it has shipped over 100 million fingerprint sensors with some 20 million of those destined for mobile phones. One recent deal AuthenTec made was to supply VPN client software to Samsung for its range of Android phones."