Connect with us

News

John McAfee, antivirus software pioneer, found dead in Spanish prison

Published

on

By Monica Greig & Kartikay Mehrotra

John McAfee, the creator of the eponymous antivirus software, was found dead Wednesday in prison outside Barcelona. He was 75.

In recent years, McAfee became a prominent booster of cryptocurrencies, ran unsuccessfully for U.S. president, had numerous run-ins with the law and traded in extreme conspiracy theories.

McAfee was discovered dead in his prison cell hours after Spain’s National Court approved his extradition to the U.S. over multiple tax fraud charges. Security personnel at the Brians 2 prison in northeast Spain tried but failed to revive him, the Associated Press reported, citing a statement from the region’s government.

McAfee had been in Spanish custody since October on a June 2020 U.S. indictment in which he was charged with failing to file four years of tax returns while concealing assets. Then in March, he was indicted and accused of fraud and money laundering over his use of social media to promote cryptocurrencies, which prosecutors said generated $13 million in illicit gains for McAfee and a co-conspirator.

Nishay Sanan, McAfee’s attorney, said his colleagues in Spain confirmed that McAfee had been found dead in his jail cell. Sanan claimed the U.S. government had identified McAfee as a target and “tried to erase him, but failed.”

“John lived his life the way he saw fit,” Sanan said. “In the end that is all that matters. You don’t have to agree with his way — he did not care.”

The Justice Department declined to comment and a spokeswoman referred questions to Spanish authorities.

Before his legal turmoil, McAfee was a pioneer of the cybersecurity industry. He founded McAfee Corp. in 1987 in Santa Clara, California, and led the company as it dominated the market for antivirus protection of personal computers. Half of all Fortune 100 companies were using his software during that time. McAfee resigned in 1994. Decades later he told the South China Morning Post that running the company no longer was fun as it grew to a huge corporation with thousands of employees.

Intel Corp. bought the company in 2010 and later rebranded all McAfee products as Intel Security. After his name was removed, McAfee told the BBC, “I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet.”

McAfee relocated to Belize in 2008 after his $100 million fortune was reduced to $4 million following a series of failed investments in property, real estate and bonds. There he had one of his biggest conflicts with authorities in 2012 after the killing of a neighbor, Gregory Faull, a 52-year-old contractor and Florida native. McAfee’s home on the island of Ambergris Caye was searched after Faull was shot to death and police said they wanted to question him as part of a murder investigation.

He then sought asylum in Guatemala in 2012, claiming he wasn’t on the run from authorities in Belize. He turned to social media and public interviews to salvage his reputation, sending updates to Wired magazine, allowing two reporters from Vice magazine to accompany him and posting missives to his own website. He discussed eluding police by burying himself in sand with a cardboard box and changing his appearance.

McAfee was expelled from Guatemala and arrived in Miami in December 2012. In an interview with Bloomberg News the day of his departure, McAfee, then 67, said he was being forced out of Belize, but was “perfectly happy with the decision.” He apologized to Guatemala’s then-president for putting him in “a slippery position.” He was later ordered by a Florida judge to pay more than $25 million to Faull’s estate.

In 2016, McAfee announced a run as a presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, campaigning on a privacy-focused platform that included pushing for the government to create a cybersecurity defense strategy. The party’s nomination was won by former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.

By 2017, McAfee jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon as chief executive officer of MGT Capital Investments Inc. He’d promised to turn the former video game operation into a profitable cybersecurity firm by ramping up its Bitcoin mining business. He stepped down later that year to become the CEO of a cryptocurrency company, Luxcore.

Part of his cryptocurrency venture included charging more than $105,000 per tweet to promote initial coin offerings. McAfee later told his Twitter followers he’d been forced to “go dark” on social media after receiving unspecified “threats” from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

During the period from 2014 to 2018 McAfee failed to file U.S. tax returns, according to a federal indictment. After eluding law enforcement, he was arrested and detained last October in Spain. From prison, McAfee was able to use Twitter to continue promoting cryptocurrencies, but also to share his experience. In April, he tweeted: “this has been the most trying period in my life.” At that point, he had been in the Catalonian prison for six months.

In November 2019, McAfee took to Twitter to show off his latest tattoo on his right bicep. It read, ‘$WHACKD.’ In a related tweet, he wrote: “Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: “We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself”. I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.”

Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported that McAfee appeared to have died by suicide, citing a statement from the regional Department of Justice of Catalonia, where he was being held.

“Sometimes genius and madness aren’t far apart and it seems he unfortunately fell prey to his demons,” said Doug Clinton, managing partner at Loup Ventures.

Source: B;ppmberg, (With assistance from Chris Strohm, Olga Kharif and Jamie Tarabay.)

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Appointments

Airtel appoints former Cabinet Secretary as independent director

Published

on

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, India’s premier communications solutions provider, today announced the appointment of PK Sinha and Shyamal Mukherjee as Independent Directors on its Board of Directors. The appointments are subject to approval by shareholders at Airtel’s upcoming Annual General Meeting.

PK Sinha, IAS (Retd.), served as the Cabinet Secretary for more than 4 years before moving to the Prime Minister’s Office. He retired from there in March 2021 after 44 years of continuous service to the nation. He has been a Government nominee Director in numerous major Public Sector Undertakings and is well versed with the principles of healthy corporate governance.

Shyamal Mukherjee is the former Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC lndia and was at the forefront of making PwC a future-ready firm. Shyamal began his professional journey with PwC in 1984 and became a partner in 1993. He held several leadership roles at PwC India, including Brand & Strategy leader and Leader of India Tax practice. Shyamal also serves as an Independent Director on the board of ITC Ltd and a member of its Audit Committee.

The Company added that Manish Kejriwal, Lead Independent Director, would be retiring on September 25, 2022 on completion of his second tenure. Shishir Priyadarshi would be leaving the board with effect from October 31, 2022 to devote time towards his other professior,21 commitments. D. K. Mittal IAS (Retd.), would be designated as Lead Independent Director with effect from September 26, 2022.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel said: “Airtel takes pride in having one of the most distinguished Board of Directors that is committed to high standards of corporate governance. These appointments are made with a long term view – to make the board future-ready, address the long term requirements of the Company and ensure smooth transition in key board positions. On behalf of the Board, I welcome PK Sinha and Shyamal Mukherjee and their valuable experience will add immense value to Airtel’s growth journey. I also want to thank fv1ani:;h Kejriwal and Shishir Priyadarshi for their tremendous contribution to Airtel.”

Continue Reading

5g

Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first 5G testbed; says aims to roll out 6G end of decade

Published

on

NEW DELHI: India is targeting the rollout of 6G telecom network, which will provide ultra high speed internet connectivity, by the end of the decade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

India currently has 3G and 4G telecom networks and companies are gearing up to launch 5G over the next few months.

Speaking at the silver jubilee event of telecom sector regulator TRAI here, he said it is estimated that the 5G network rollout will add USD 450 billion to the Indian economy.

“This is not just increasing internet speed but also the pace of development and creating jobs,” he said, adding the 5G technology will bring positive change in governance of the country, ease of living and ease of doing business.

It will boost growth in agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics, he said.

Connectivity, Modi said, will decide the progress of the country in the 21st century and so modern day infrastructure needs to be rolled out.

According to the prime minister, a task force has started work on rolling out 6G network by the end of the decade.

Taking potshots at the previous Congress-led UPA government, Modi said the 2G era was symbolic of policy paralysis and corruption.

The country, under his government, has moved transparently to 4G and is now going to 5G.

Teledensity and internet users are fast expanding, he said, adding that mobile manufacturing units in India have expanded from 2 to over 200 and the country is now the world’s biggest mobile manufacturing hub.

The prime minister also said that his government has encouraged healthy competition that has led to India having one of the cheapest telecom data charges in the world.

Indigenous 5G test bed in telecom sector is an important step in India’s self-reliance, he added.

PM Modi virtually inaugurates India’s first 5G testbed costing Rs 220 crore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the country’s first 5G testbed to enable startups and industry players to test and validate their products locally and reduce dependence on foreign facilities.

The testbed has been set up at a cost of around Rs 220 crore. Speaking at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the Prime Minister said the 5G testbed is an important step for self-reliance in the direction of critical and modern technologies.

“I invite youth friends, researchers and companies to utilise the testing facility for making 5G technology,” Modi said.

The 5G testbed has been developed as a multi-institute collaborative project by eight institutes led by IIT Madras.

In the absence of a 5G testbed, startups and other industry players were required to go abroad to test and validate their products for installation in a 5G network.

The other institutes that participated in the project are IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).

The testbed facility will be available at 5 different locations.

Source: Press Trust of India

Continue Reading

5g

5G now in 1947 cities across 72 countries

Published

on

NEW DELHI: Viavi Solutions said that it has released new industry data revealing that the number of cities with 5G networks now stands at 1,947 globally. Despite the pandemic, 5G cities came online at a rate of nearly two per day, with the addition of 635 new 5G cities in 2021, according to the new VIAVI report “The State of 5G,” now in its sixth year.

By the end of January 2022, 72 countries had 5G networks in place, with the newest crop of 5G countries comprising Argentina, Bhutan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta and Mauritius, which all came online in the second half of 2021. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) has overtaken Asia Pacific including Greater China (APAC) to become the region with the most 5G cities at 839. APAC has 689 5G cities and the Americas has 419.

Not surprisingly, the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China are the countries with the most 5G cities. China now has 356 5G cities and the United States has 296. The Philippines remained in the third spot globally with a total of 98 5G cities.

Currently, most 5G networks deployed are Non-Standalone (NSA) networks, meaning that 5G equipment is added to existing 4G network infrastructure. There are currently 24 Standalone (SA) 5G networks globally, meaning that they have been built using a new 5G core network. It is widely considered that many of the next-generation use cases and monetization models associated with 5G, beyond enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) will only be possible when Standalone 5G networks built on new 5G core networks are in place.

The State of 5G also highlights the growing Open RAN ecosystem, combining mobile operators as well as software and infrastructure vendors, seeking to develop an open, virtualized Radio Access Network (RAN) with embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI) control. As of March 2022, 64 operators have publicly announced their participation in the development of Open RAN networks. This breaks down to 23 live deployments of Open RAN networks, 34 in the trial phase with a further seven operators that have publicly announced they are in the pre-trial phase.

“5G continued to expand, despite the headwinds of a global pandemic,” said Sameh Yamany, CTO, VIAVI Solutions. “What comes next in 5G is the reinforcement of networks. This will take a couple of forms. Firstly, we expect to see more Standalone 5G networks, which will deliver on much of the promise of 5G, both for the operator and for the wider ecosystem of users. And secondly, we expect to see Open RAN continue its rapid development and start to become a de facto standard. VIAVI will continue to play a central role in testing those new networks as they are built and expanded.”

Continue Reading

Trending