Tag: McAfee

Intel finally gets rid of McAfee

After seven years and a lawsuit from its founder, Intel is finally getting rid of McAfee.

The chip maker has divested its majority holdings in McAfee to investment firm TPG for US$3.1 billion.

McAfee will become a standalone security company, but Intel will retain a minority 49 percent stake. Chipzilla is apparently only interested in internal operations on hardware-level security.

The selloff is a loss for Chipzilla, which spent $7.68 billion to acquire McAfee in 2010. Some analysts think it was the worst thing that Intel ever bought.

Although the idea was good. Intel wanted to add layers of security to hardware and components. It McAfee technology in firmware at the PC and server chip level, and developed security management tools. McAfee technology was used in hardware using real-time operating systems. But most of McAfee was software based and had little ties to Intel’s core hardware strategy.

To fix the problem, Intel ran a parallel hardware security strategy that had little to no ties to McAfee.

Wall Street snubs McAfee

Desinstaller-John-McafeeInternet colourful character John McAfee’s company MGT Capital Investments saw its shares drop 21 percent after the New York Stock Exchange denied approval of the listing of shares for a planned merger with anti-spyware company D-Vasive.

This means that in the last three days or so MGT shares have lost half their value. Most of this is because the outfit has received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is an amazing turnaround. In May, MGT surged more than 1,200 percent after the mobile gaming company announced it would transform into a cybersecurity company and be led by John McAfee.

As part of the deal, MGT said it would issue 43.8 million shares to acquire assets from McAfee’s D-Vasive. McAfee would become chief executive and MGT would change its name to John McAfee Global Technologies, Inc.

MGT said it was committed to the deal. McAfee is currently MGT’s executive chairman and he has been the company’s main voice in press releases and on Twitter since May.

The New York Exchange did not say why the company was being denied the share listing. He did recently sue Intel to get the rights to use his name back, but that can’t be it.

John McAfee was the subject of a media frenzy in 2012 when he fled his home in Belize after police sought to question him about the shooting of a neighbour. They ultimately admitted he was not a suspect.

Intel spins off McAfee

ElderlyspinneraIntel has admitted that its $8 billion acquisition of security outfit McAfee never quite worked out and is spinning the business off.

Under the deal Intel will collect $3.1 billion in cash and retain a 49 percent ownership stake of McAfee. Meanwhile TPG will own 51 percent of the new company.

TPG will make a $1.1 billion equity investment in McAfee, which will also take on $2 billion of debt. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, Intel said.

Analysts and investors have favoured disposing of the business. It sort of made sense in the days when the PC did well but it did not add much to Intel’s chip sales and now the PC is less important it was better off somewhere else.

It does make money. The unit reported $1.1 billion of revenue in the first half of the year, up 11 per cent  from the same period of 2015, and operating income of $182 million, a 391 per cent jump.

Chris Young will be CEO of the new company. He said as standalone company supported by these two partners, we will be in an even greater position of strength, committed to being the best provider the cybersecurity industry has ever seen.

Intel said it still plans to collaborate with McAfee to add security features across its product lines.

Dusting off the McAfee name explains why Intel was not so keen to give the brand back to its colourful founder, John McAfee earlier this week.



Chipzilla says McAfee can’t have his name back

Desinstaller-John-McafeeEven after it abandoned the name for its security products, Intel has told John McAfee that he can’t have his name back.

John McAfee wants to put his name on a business again, but Intel says it owns it and has launched its mighty briefs to stop him.

According to court documents, Intel wrote to McAfee’s MGT Capital Investments, telling it not to try changing its name to John McAfee Global Technologies.

Intel gave up on the name in 2014 in in favour of “Intel Security” probably after McAfee’s name appeared rather a lot in the press after he escaped questioning from the Belsize plod over the death of an American neighbour.

Intel said that the brand is still being used in various domains which carry the McAfee name and now Intel’s trying to sell its security business.

Intel counsel Kerry Smith wrote to McAfee saying: “any use of the McAfee name would be likely to dilute the McAfee mark … by reducing its unique association with McAfee and Intel Corporation.@

There is a bit of bad blood between McAfee and the company. McAfee made a video telling people to uninstall the product. He did have a gun in the video.

McAfee security has become spyware

spyMcAfee software which comes bundled with some PCs seems to be converting itself to spyware to help serve up advertising and could be used as a geolocation tool.

Help Net Security wrote that  seven laptops, the Lenovo Flex 3, Lenovo G50-80 (UK version), HP Envy, HP Stream x360 (Microsoft Signature Edition), HP Stream (UK version), Acer Aspire F15 (UK version), and Dell Inspiron 14 (Canadian version) were tested by the security research team of Duo Security.

Duo sniffed the traffic sent from and to them once they have been taken out of the box, plugged in, and connected to a network.

“Within the first few packets on all seven laptops, there were issues. It took awhile to figure them out, as much of the traffic was encrypted and one had to go by server hostname or calling program name, or by reverse-engineering the calling code to find out what was going on,” they pointed out.

It found several security issues which should have been fixed last year and some of the Windows 10 security settings were being reset to their “phone home” defaults.  But that was not the worst thing.

The McAfee software was using web beacons that can be used to track and serve advertising to users and to track users.

Basically to fix the problems is to turn off all privacy settings, make some registry settings adjustments, and turn off some services. You have to do this each time you patch your PC, the researchers advised. Of course removing McAfee, setting up Windows Defender, and adjusting firewalls to stop the transmission of data is probably better.

John McAfee could be president

Desinstaller-John-McafeeTechnology’s answer to Hunter Thompson, John McAfee is thinking about running for president.

The founder of the anti-virus software company McAfee, and who once played Russian roulette with a loaded gun says he is considering joining the 2016 presidential race.  That is unless he can find someone who is “smarter and more charismatic” than he is to run with his backing.

McAfee told Wired   that he is personally in a quandary about whether to run himself  or find someone else for his party. His advisors are pressing him to run.

McAfee,  won’t name his advisors and we suspect that they might be dragons, but he’s been mulling a run for some time at the urging of his online followers.

“I have many thousands of emails saying please run for President,” he says. “It’s not something I would just choose to do on my own.”

McAfee believes the government is broken, largely because its leaders do not understand technology as well as, well, he does.

He points to the recent hacks of the US Office of Personnel Management and Homeland Security as proof.

“Things like this cannot happen or should not happen. It’s clear that the leadership of our country is illiterate on the fundamental technology that supports everything in life for us now, that is cyber science, our smartphones, our military hardware, our communications.”

McAfee said that the government urging tech companies to create “backdoors” into their systems that would allow the government to collect information on users is another sign that public servants just do not get it.

Of course the US election has already a batshit crazy candidate in the form of the Bouffant and

McAfee might be too colourful for US politics and besides his standing on an issue of Internet privacy might not be an answer for a country that really has many things it needs to sort out.  Still it would make the US’s token show of democracy a little more interesting.


Cyber security risks hyped up by Intel Security

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is pictured during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong KongA report from Intel Security – or in other words McAfee – has warned of a world where we’re constantly bombarded by cyber attacks and security threats.

As Intel Security (McAfee) has a vested interest in selling people security products, it would say so though, wouldn’t it?

In its annual report on the state of cyber terror, McAfee Intel now reckons that by 2020 there will be 31 billion connected devices.

And we face threats from not only crazies who want fame and notoriety but also from state sponsored crazies who want to exploit vulnerabilities in the fabric of nations. Intel Security has produced a chart to frighten the daylight out of those who generally feel insecure.

Cyber Security 2015

Intel Security said that the internet of things is just beginning to be exploited and believes “it is only a matter of time” until IoT threats are widespread.

It said that cybercrime is now a “fully fledged industry” with suppliers, markets, service providers, financing, trading systems and the rest. The annual cost of cybercrime to the world economy is now estimated to be $400 billion.

Intel appoints top cop

Intel's Richard SterankaChip giant Intel recently quietly borged anti-virus outfit McAfee from being a separate company into its body corporate.

And now it has appointed a man to run its newly-fledged Intel Security division.

Intel poached Richard Steranka from Avaya, and will now run the division, reporting to Scott Lovett, a senior VP of global sales.

Steranka’s job will be to bring better security to both Intel “partners” and mutual customers, including embedded OEMs.

Steranka, who worked at Cisco before being poached by Avaya, said that security is probably fastest moving field in IT. “Staying relevant and on the offence is imperative so that our partners can not only reach their own profitability goals, but also better protect our mutual customers from next generation cyber threats.”

Steranka is predominantly a salesman because his expertise is in sales, channels, marketing and operations.

Intel rejigs its management, borgs McAfee

Intel bus - Wikimedia CommonsChip giant Intel – which faces big challenges to its core business of making X86 chips for PCs – has made changes to its senior management.

Its CEO, Brian Krzanich, said that Intel president Renee James will stay at Intel until next January to take a job as CEO of an unnamed company. She has been at Intel for 28 years and said that when Brian Krzanich and her were given their current jobs, she wanted to be a CEO somewhere else.

Krzanich explained that he’d made the changes to make the company more efficient.

Long time employee Arvind Sodhani, who is the president of Intel Capital, will retire in January after 35 years with the company and will be replaced by Wendell Brooks.

Intel Security – formerly McAfee – has been integrated into Intel rather than being an independent division and Chris Young will become general manager of the unit.

Aicha Evans has been promoted to the firm’s management committee. She was formerly head of the communication and devices group.

Josh Walden, who was in charge of Intel’s New Technology division, will look after interactive computing devices, perceptual computing and wearables.

Executives Hermann Eul and Mike Bell will step down.

McAfee relieved Intel has cleared his good name

Hell-raising security expert John McAfee has said that he is pleased that Intel is no longer using his name for its security products.

After all, McAfee has his good name to live up to and no longer really wants to be associated with a fashion bag maker which appears to be only on the highway to hell.

McAfee sold his anti-virus software to Chipzilla for $7.7 billion.

Intel Chief Executive Brian “gadget mad” Krzanich announced the decision to abandon the McAfee name late on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, saying the company plans to move those products to the “Intel Security” brand.

Many observers think that McAfee’s association with drugs, prostitutes and murder raps might not be the sort of image that Intel might want for its products. However, McAfee said it was the other way around.

He said that he had been begging Intel to drop the brand or fix the product for ages.

Last June, McAfee appeared in a profanity-laced video attacking the quality of the software produced by the company he founded in the late 1980s.

He said he was fed up with emails from customers who complain that it degrades the performance of their computers and is difficult to remove.

Intel said at the time that these “ludicrous statements” had no basis in reality. Mind you, some people think Intel these days has no basis in reality, either.

McAfee said that he was who he was and he lived on the edge and enjoy life and did not care what people think of him.  A bit like Intel, then.