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Sunday, August 1, 2021

John McAfee ends his life in Barcelonia jail ..

 What is success ? – what is the purpose of life – answers could be many and varied and can vary depending on age, culture, geographical areas and more !

Have you heard this advt ? – what does your computer have – Virus or ____ brand  anti-virus ? – there are brands like – Norton, McCafee, QuickHeal, Kaspersky, K7, Bitdefender ? Heimdal,  PCProtect, Intego, Bullguard, Mackeeper, TotalAV, Panda and many more !!

He rose to big fame, was active in Twitter – read his tweet that read  : this  might interest my software engineer followers. In my years as a programmer I observed numerous anomalies that may have practical applications. Since I'm getting no younger I thought I'd begin passing them on. The first, involving an anomaly with boolean algebra.

Boolean algebra – what ?   A google search revealed that in Mathematics and mathematical logic, Boolean algebra is the branch of algebra in which the values of the variables are the truth values true and false, usually denoted 1 and 0, respectively. Instead of elementary algebra, where the values of the variables are numbers and the prime operations are addition and multiplication, the main operations of Boolean algebra are the conjunction (and) denoted as , the disjunction (or) denoted as , and the negation (not) denoted as ¬. It is thus a formalism for describing logical operations, in the same way that elementary algebra describes numerical operations. (obvious I did not understand much, other than thinking this was the basis of binary that we read !)

A virus is a small collection of genetic code, either DNA or RNA, surrounded by a protein coat. A virus cannot replicate alone. Viruses must infect cells and use components of the host cell to make copies of themselves. Often, they kill the host cell in the process, and cause damage to the host organism. Viruses have been found everywhere on Earth.  Covid 19 (Corona) is a virus.  It may sound silly but in early days of Computerisation in 1990s, in my Organisation, Computers had airconditioned cabins and people were not allowed to enter with foot-wear !  .. .. and we were told that a wrongful entry or operation might result in a Computer Virus.  A computer virus  is a type of computer program that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code. If this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected" with a computer virus.  Computer Viruses are real and many a times get downloaded from dubious sites – once they are in your computer, they start destroying your files at random or at whole !  Computer viruses cause billions of dollars' worth of economic damage each year.

The Man, the subject-matter of the post was hugely successful in financial manner – His website reads :  “Together is power” - We believe that no one person, product, or organization can fight cybercrime alone. It’s why we rebuilt McAfee around the idea of working together. People working together. Products working together. Organizations and industries working together. Our goal is to spread this collaborative attitude to our customers, partners, even competitors. All uniting to overcome the greatest challenge of the digital age—cybercrime—and making the connected world more secure.

It is big business.  Computer security software or cybersecurity software is any computer program designed to influence information security. This is often taken in the context of defending computer systems or data, yet can incorporate programs designed specifically for subverting computer systems due to their significant overlap, and the adage that the best defense is a good offense. The defense of computers against intrusion and unauthorized use of resources is called computer security. Similarly, the defense of computer networks is called network security. .. .. and a leading player in this is “McCafee”

McAfee Corp. formerly known as McAfee Associates, Inc. from 19872014 and Intel Security Group from 20142017) is an American global computer security software company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. The company was purchased by Intel in February 2011, and became part of the Intel Security division. On September 7, 2016, Intel announced a strategic deal with TPG Capital to convert Intel Security into a joint venture between both companies called McAfee.

John McAfee, the name behind McAfee anti-virus software, killed himself in a Barcelona jail on Wednesday (June 23), authorities claimed. The 75-year-old was found dead hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States to face charges of tax evasion between 2014 and 2018. The computer programmer rose to fame in the 1980s when he founded McAfee Associates, a software company that made its name by selling commercial computer security software.   John McAfee, the outlandish security software pioneer tried to live life as a hedonistic outsider while running from a host of legal troubles, and has ended his life in a Barcelonian jail.   

John McAfee, who was among other things a cryptocurrency promoter, tax opponent, earlier resigned from the company in 1994, and the company was bought by Intel for $7.7 billion in 2010.  John was born in the United Kingdom in 1945 and his parents moved to Virginia when he was young. When he was 15, his father, who was an alcoholic, took his own life. “Every day I wake up with him,” McAfee told Wired magazine in a 2012 interview. Post his exit from the company he founded — McAfee sold his entire stake — McAfee and  dabbled in various ventures. In the mid 90s, he founded a company behind PowWow, one of the first instant messaging and chat programmes for Windows operating systems.Later, he invested in firewall maker ZoneAlarm, and joined the company’s board of directors.  

McAfee’s finances were depleting fast and by 2009 he was left with just $4 million (down from $100 million). He was hit hard by the recession, and he had to sell off his properties and expensive antiques and art collection. He started the company called QuorumEx, based in Belize, which promised to make herbal-based antibiotics. But his research facility was raided in 2012 by the police department’s Gang Suppression Unit on suspicion that he was manufacturing methamphetamine, a highly addictive and illegal drug that can produce euphoria and stimulant effects. Although he was never charged, the research facility was shut down. It has been reported that when police raided his compound, officers found McAfee in bed with a 17-year-old girl.

Also in 2012, McAfee was named a “person of interest” in the killing of his neighbour Gregory Faull. Faull apparently had issues with McAfee’s lifestyle. McAfee denied his involvement in the killing, and went into hiding from the local authorities. He was eventually arrested in Guatemala after being on the run for almost a month. When he was about to be deported back to Belize, McAfee faked two heart attacks. The trick worked — and McAfee was subsequently deported to Miami. There, he met Janice Dyson, at a restaurant. McAfee and Dyson ended up getting married.

In 2015, McAfee made headlines when he announced his run for President as the candidate from a newly announced Cyber party, but later that year, he switched to the Libertarian Party. McAfee ran again for the US Presidency in the 2020 election.  In July 2019, McAfee was arrested in the Dominican Republic after he and five others were suspected of travelling on a yacht carrying high-calibre weapons, ammunition, and military-style gear. In October 2020, McAfee was arrested at Barcelona’s international airport when he was about to fly to Istanbul. He was arrested by the Spanish authorities at the behest of the US government.

He was charged in the US state of Tennessee with avoiding taxes for four years, and failing to report his income made through cryptocurrencies, consulting work, and selling his life rights in the form of a documentary. McAfee was someone who invested in cryptocurrency early on. McAfee argued that an attempt to extradite him to the US was politically motivated. After Spain’s highest court approved his extradition to the US, McAfee was found dead at the Brians 2 penitentiary in northeastern Spain.

A man who reached sky of richness, a pioneer in cyber-security before parts of the Globe could understand it even – made riches, but was on constant run and has now ended his life ! – what would we learn ? 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th June 2021.



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