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Thursday, October 27, 2011

McAfee Lost Key Employees

McAfee, the worldwide-known insecurity outfit, which was purchased by chip giant Intel, has just lost a couple of key employees. Meanwhile, the company is expected to introduce a new generation of security products in the nearest future.

George Kurtz, the worldwide chief technology officer, known for helping lead the McAfee’s product strategy, is going to leave the company by the end of October. However, he isn’t the first key staff member leaving the company: vice president Dmitri Alperovitch, a highly regarded threat researcher known for his work at McAfee that helped give the outfit a reputation for conducting cutting-edge research on hacking, has already slipped out the back door. Surprisingly enough, few noticed his move, as the media didn’t observe the event at all.

Dmitri Alperovitch was leading a research team which released a number of high-profile studies on alleged Chinese-government backed hackers. He is also known worldwide for coining the term “Operation Aurora” to describe hacker attacks suspected by Chinese intruders on the largest search engine Google and many other organizations.

Alperovitch was last mentioned in the press when his team discovered so-called “Operation ShadyRAT” – one of the largest cyber attacks throughout the globe, which caused the infiltration of the networks of seventy-two outfits, including the UN and numerous governments and companies all over the globe. However, the papers say Alperovitch will be doing a bit of work for McAfee as a consultant.

The industry observers only noticed the lack of the two key figures of the company when they were not found on the speakers list at the McAfee’s annual security conference. The rumors are that the two left because they weren’t happy about Intel’s involvement with China. The insecurity outfit has operations in China, but Intel features a much bigger manufacturing and marketing presence there. Operation ShadyRAT pointing the finger at that country must have caused some problems for the company. So, it seems that since Alperovitch has never openly pointed at China for some cyber espionage cases, it might have more to do with Intel than Alperovitch really wanted to say.

The company announced that the two key positions have been filled internally. Alperovitch was replaced by David Marcus, director of security research for McAfee Labs, and George Kurtz’s place is filled by Stuart McClure. 

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