Cybersecurity magnate, software inventor, John McAfee found dead at 75

Security software inventor and cryptocurrency pioneer killed himself in prison hours after the trial

John McAfee dead in jail hours after the extradition trialThe cybersecurity industry reacts to the sudden passing of anti-virus pioneer.

Software tycoon that set different standards for cybersecurity back in the late 1980s and 1990s was found dead in prison.[1] John McAfee was the inventor of the world's first commercial anti-virus system released back in 1987. Later on, he worked with Xerox, NASA.[2] Inventor has lived and made his name in various industries while his name is best known as the “father” of anti-virus software.

The most recent years of the well-known software creator were spent in a Spanish jail. The so-called genius was found dead in his cell hours after the court announced his extradition. The mogul spent these years in jail for tax evasion, breaking security laws while pocketing $23 million from cryptocurrency promotions and other deals.

McAfee, before his arrest in October at Barcelona airport, had lived on the run for years. He was indicted in the US, Tennessee, on tax evasion charges and was sentenced for a cryptocurrency fraud incident in New York. However, before all that, he has built a career in the technology and internet security field with the rare success that even current-day geniuses could be envious of. John McAfee had dug into the cryptocurrency field way before it was trendy as right now.[3]

The biggest success came from founding McAfee Associates, a company that focuses on anti-virus software solutions. On the other hand, after his 1994 resignation, he became one of the biggest companies' critics. When McAfee's wealth peaked, he became more interested in cryptocurrency, smartphones, and internet technology.[4]

McAfee software and research team importance

The company has the purpose of informing users and keeping the cybersecurity of companies and everyday users controlled. Continuous reports from the threat researchers inform about unique ransomware families that emerge, prepare daily/weekly/monthly reports on most dangerous crypto-threats, release analysis on new ransomware strains, vulnerabilities, and security incidents that affect many people or companies all over the world.

The security vulnerability in Peloton products,[5] recently was found by this company. The particular flaw allowed attackers to install threats via a USB port and spy on riders. The Android attachment was to blame here. Threat actors could have accessed the bike, and once the fake version of a popular application got installed, the user unknowingly gets spied on. Such details as personal information can also get stolen via such programs.

The official from Peloton said when the update to devices was released after the vulnerability was addressed:

McAfee reported a vulnerability to us that required direct, physical access to a Peloton Bike+ or Tread to exploit the issue.

This is the purpose of the Advanced Threat Research team at McAfee – to find and report any bugs or flaws that can endanger people worldwide or affect huge networks of companies. By doing their research, the team can help others avoid such attacks and incidents.

The cybersecurity industry reacts to the death of anti-virus founder

John McAfee is considered a forefather of the cybersecurity industry. He founded one of the first anti-viruses and started the company that remains one of the leaders in software based on cybersecurity vendors. Even though he has not been associated with the company since 1994, his name is known for the founding and the later incidents, highly controversial lifestyle, and behavior.

Many figures in the industry reacted to the news and have spoken to news media reflecting on the passing and his legacy to the IT and security industry. The IT security leader Quentyn Taylor stated:

Whilst he was one of the pioneers of the industry, the path he then walked up to the present day was mired in controversy as well as legal and regulatory drama. Someone who will be remembered for a long time in the infosec industry, but not necessarily for what he may have wished for.

People like security awareness advocates, cybersecurity software creators called John a charming and polarising figure that leaves a void after the passing. Besides his controversial life, people state that the work that he started is critical now. Raef Meeuwisse, cybersecurity expert and author, said:

He was certainly able to see some lucrative tech opportunities ahead of the curve.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

Gabriel E. Hall is a passionate malware researcher who has been working for 2-spyware for almost a decade.

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