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This article is about the computer security company McAfee, Inc.. For other uses, see McAfee (disambiguation).
McAfee, Inc.
Wholly owned subsidiary of Intel
Industry Security software
Founded 1987[1]
Founder(s) John McAfee
Headquarters 2821 Mission College Blvd.[2] Santa Clara, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Michael DeCesare
Todd Gebhart
Products Data Protection, Database Security, Email & Web Security, Endpoint Protection, Mobile Security, Network Security, Risk & Compliance, Security-as-a-Service (Security SaaS), Security Management, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Parent Intel Corporation

McAfee, Inc., formerly McAfee Security /ˈmækəf/[3] is an American global computer security software company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and the world's largest dedicated security technology company.[4] As of February 28, 2011, McAfee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel.[5][6]

McAfee's competitors in the antivirus industry are Avira, BitDefender, BullGuard, F-Secure, Frisk, Kaspersky, Panda Security, Sophos, Symantec, and Trend Micro to name a few.


The company was founded in 1987 as McAfee Associates, named for its founder John McAfee, who resigned from the company in 1994.[7] McAfee was incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1992. Network Associates was formed in 1997 as a merger of McAfee Associates and Network General. In 2004, a major restructuring occurred. In the spring, the company sold its Magic Solutions business to Remedy, a subsidiary of BMC Software. In the summer of 2004, the company sold the Sniffer Technologies business to a venture capital backed firm named Network General—the same name as the original owner of Sniffer Technologies. Also, the company changed its name back to McAfee to reflect its focus on security-related technologies.

Among other companies bought and sold by McAfee (formerly known as Network Associates) is Trusted Information Systems, which developed the Firewall Toolkit, which was the free software foundation for the commercial Gauntlet Firewall, which was later sold by McAfee to Secure Computing Corporation. Network Associates, as a result of brief ownership of TIS Labs/NAI Labs/Network Associates Laboratories/McAfee Research, was highly influential in the world of Open Source software, as that organization produced portions of the Linux, FreeBSD, and Darwin operating systems, and developed portions of the BIND name server software and SNMP version 3.

Leading up to the TIS Labs acquisition, McAfee had acquired Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based FSA Corporation, which helped the company diversify its security offerings away from just client-based antivirus software by bringing on board its own network and desktop encryption technologies. The FSA team also oversaw the creation of a number of other technologies that were leading edge at the time, including firewall, file encryption, and public key infrastructure product lines. While those product lines had their own individual successes including PowerBroker (written by Dean Huxley and Dan Freedman and now sold by BeyondTrust), the growth of antivirus ware always outpaced the growth of the other security product lines. It is fair to say that the company remains best known for its antivirus and antispam product lines.

On March 17, 2010, McAfee launched Cloud Secure program, a new service for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers to add additional security to their cloud deployments. The new program includes cloud security certification services that are provided on an annual basis and will include existing security controls, processes and certifications, as well as future cloud security standards; and automatic and daily security audits, remediation of vulnerabilities and reporting of the security status of their service and network using the McAfee Cloud Secure service.[8]

On August 19, 2010, Intel announced that it would buy McAfee for $48 a share in a deal valued at $7.68 billion.[9]

Due to the increased use of internet by teens and youngsters, on June 22, 2011, McAfee revealed a parental software called McAfee Family Protection in India which is useful for parents to keep track of how their children are connected with the Internet and what they are browsing about.[10]

Mergers and acquisitions

Stonesoft acquisition
On Monday, May 6, 2013 McAfee began a tender offer for Finnish network firewall design company Stonesoft Oyj worth $389 million in cash, or about $6.09 a share.
ValidEdge acquisition
On February 26, 2013 McAfee announced it had acquired the ValidEdge sandboxing technology.[11]
NitroSecurity acquisition
On October 4, 2011, McAfee announced its intention to acquire privately owned NitroSecurity,[12] NitroSecurity develops high-performance security information and event management (SIEM) solutions that protect critical information and infrastructure. NitroSecurity solutions reduce risk exposure and increase network and information availability by removing the scalability and performance limitations of security information management. The acquisition closed on November 30, 2011.
Sentrigo acquisition
On March 23, 2011, McAfee announced its intention to acquire privately owned Sentrigo,[13] a leading provider of database security, including vulnerability management, database activity monitoring, database audit, and virtual patching—which ensure databases are protected without impacting performance or availability. The acquisition enables McAfee to extend its database security portfolio. The acquisition closed on April 6, 2011.[14]
tenCube acquisition
On July 29, 2010, McAfee announced a definitive agreement to acquire tenCube, a privately held online security company that specialized in anti-theft and data security for mobile devices.[15] The acquisition allowed McAfee to complete its diversification into the mobile security space, and announce its plans to build the next generation mobile platform. The acquisition closed on August 25, 2010.
Trust Digital acquisition
On May 25, 2010, McAfee announced a definitive agreement to acquire Trust Digital, a privately held online security company that specialized in security for mobile devices. The acquisition allowed McAfee to extend its services beyond traditional endpoint security and move into the mobile security market.[16] The acquisition closed on June 3, 2010.[17] The price for Trust Digital was not disclosed[18]
MX Logic acquisition
On July 30, 2009, McAfee announced plans to acquire managed email and web security vendor MX Logic. The acquisition provided an enhanced range of SaaS-based security services such as cloud-based intelligence, web security, email security, endpoint security and vulnerability assessment.[19] The deal closed on September 1, 2009 at a price of $140 million.[20] MX Logic staff has been integrated into McAfee's SaaS business unit.
Solidcore Systems acquisition
On May 15, 2009, McAfee announced its intention acquire Solidcore Systems, a privately held security company, for $33 million.[21] Solidcore was a maker of software that helped companies protect ATMs and other specialized computers. The acquisition integrated Solidcore's whitelisting and compliance enforcement mechanisms into the McAfee product line.[22] The deal closed on June 1, 2009.
Endeavor acquisition
In January 2009, McAfee announced plans to acquire Endeavor Security, a privately held maker of IPS/IDS technology.[23] The deal closed in February 2009 for a total purchase price of $3.2 million.
Secure Computing acquisition
On September 22, 2008, McAfee announced an agreement to acquire Secure Computing, a company specializing in network security hardware, services, and software products. The acquisition expanded McAfee's business in securing networks and cloud computing services to offer a more comprehensive brand of products. The deal closed on November 19, 2008 at a price of $497 million.[24]
Reconnex acquisition
On July 31, 2008, McAfee announced it would acquire Reconnex, a maker of data protection appliances and software. Reconnex sold data loss prevention software, designed to prevent sensitive documents and data from leaving corporate networks.[25] The acquisition added content awareness to McAfee's data security portfolio.[26] The $46 million deal closed on August 12, 2008.
ScanAlert acquisition
On October 30, 2007, McAfee announced plans to acquire ScanAlert for $51 million. The acquisition integrated ScanAlert's Hacker Safe service and McAfee's SiteAdvisor rating system to attack website security from both sides.[27] It was the industry's first service to help consumers stay safe as they searched, surfed and shopped. The deal closed on February 7, 2008.[28]
SafeBoot Holding B.V. acquisition
On October 8, 2007, McAfee announced it would acquire SafeBoot Holding B.V. for $350 million.[29] SafeBoot provided mobile data security solutions that protected data, devices, and networks against the risk associated with loss, theft, and unauthorized access. Through the acquisition, McAfee became the only vendor to deliver endpoint, network, web, email and data security, as well as risk and compliance solutions. Gerhard Watzinger, CEO of SafeBoot, joined McAfee to lead the Data Protection product business unit.[30] The deal closed on November 19, 2007.
Onigma Ltd acquisition
On October 16, 2006, McAfee announced it would acquire Israel based Onigma Ltd for $20 million.[31] Onigma provides host-based data leakage protection software that prevents intentional and unintentional leakage of sensitive data by internal users.
SiteAdvisor acquisition
On April 5, 2006, McAfee bought out SiteAdvisor for a reputed $70 million[32] in competition with Symantec, a service that warns users if downloading software or filling out forms on a site may obtain malware or spam.
IntruVert Networks acquisition
On April 2, 2003, McAfee acquired IntruVert Networks for $100 million. According to Network World, "IntruVert's technology focus is on intrusion-prevention, which entails not just detecting attacks, but blocking them. The IntruVert product line can be used as a passive intrusion-detection system, just watching and reporting, or it can be used in the intrusion-prevention mode of blocking a perceived attack."[33]
Dr Solomon's Group PLC acquisition
On June 9, 1998, Network Associates agreed to acquire Dr Solomon's Group PLC, the leading European manufacturer of antivirus software, for $642 million in stock.

Product reviews

Computer Shopper Magazine gave "McAfee Total Protection" a score of 2.5 of 5 stars. They concluded "McAfee Total Protection 2012 has plenty of security tools and protects against malware well enough, but once an infection takes place, it’s not good at removing it. Add in a not-so-intuitive interface, and you have a security suite that best suits security mavens, not casual users."[34]

CNET Magazine gave "McAfee Total Protecion 2012" a rating of 3.5 of 5 stars. They concluded "McAfee has made good products in the past, and it may well do so again. However, the combined performance marks are a horror show, and there are too many inconsistencies throughout the rest of the suite to overlook benchmarks in favor of reputation."[35]

Expert Reviews evaluated "McAfee Security as a Service" and concluded "An easy to use web interface fails to make up for shockingly poor defence against malware."[36]

PC World gave "McAfee Internet Protection 2012" a rating of 3.5 of 5 stars. It finished 14 th in their 2012 "Roundup of Internet Security Suites". They concluded "we find it difficult to give this package a recommendation considering its low ranking." [37] gave "McAfee Internet Security 2013" 4 of 5 stars. However, they concluded "with the same old interface and the same old features as last year, McAfee isn't doing much to compete with the other top security software suites, which makes the 2013 version a bit of a disappointment for us."[38]

Neil Reubenking of PC Magazine gave "McAfee Total Protection 2012" a favorable review overall, because the suite "offers a huge array of security-relevant features, among them file encryption, shredding, intruder detection, and more. Its spam filter is accurate and parental control is much improved." However, he added that "its essential antivirus protection doesn't measure up to the very best."[39]

Laptop Magazine gave "McAfee Total Security 2012" 3 of 5 stars. They concluded "McAfee's new security suite introduces several new features, but its performance impact during full scans gives us pause."[40]


On January 4, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against McAfee for overstating its 1998–2000 net revenue by $622 million.[41] Without admitting any wrongdoing, McAfee simultaneously settled the complaint, and agreed to pay a $50 million penalty and rework its accounting practices.[42] The fine was for accounting fraud; known as channel stuffing that served to inflate their revenue to their investors.[42]

In October 2006, McAfee fired its president Kevin Weiss,[43] and its CEO George Samaneuk resigned under the cloud of a recent SEC investigation which also caused the departure of Kent Roberts, the General Counsel, earlier in the year. In late December 2006 both Weiss and Samaneuk had share option grant prices revised upwards by McAfee's board. Weiss and Roberts were both exonerated of all wrongdoing from the claims of McAfee in 2009.

In January 2007, under pressure from ex-employees worldwide, several of which backed a class action in the United States, McAfee agreed to honor share options granted, but which are unable to be exercised due to the self-imposed blackout on employee options dealing.

On April 21, 2010, beginning at approximately 14:00 UTC, millions of computers worldwide running Windows XP Service Pack 3 were affected by an erroneous virus definition file update by McAfee, resulting in the removal of a Windows system file (svchost.exe) on those machines, causing machines to lose network access and, in some cases, enter a reboot loop. McAfee rectified this by removing and replacing the faulty DAT file, version 5958, with an emergency DAT file, version 5959 and has posted a fix for the affected machines in their consumer knowledge base.[44][45] The University of Michigan's medical school reported that 8,000 of its 25,000 computers crashed. Police in Lexington, Ky., resorted to hand-writing reports and turned off their patrol car terminals as a precaution. Some jails canceled visitation, and Rhode Island hospitals turned away non-trauma patients at emergency rooms and postponed some elective surgeries.[46] Australian supermarket Coles reported that 10 percent (1,100) of its point-of-sales terminals were affected and was forced to shut down stores in both western and southern parts of the country.[47]

As a result of the outage, McAfee implemented additional QA protocols for any releases that directly impacted critical system files. The company also rolled out additional capabilities in Artemis that provide another level of protection against false positives by leveraging a whitelist of hands-off system files.[48]

In March 2011, a group of "white hat" hackers released a report that they had identified serious vulnerabilities to security at, pointing out flaws that could lead to information disclosure and other issues. [49]

In August 2012, an issue with an update to McAfee antivirus for home and enterprise computers turned off the antivirus protection and, in many cases, prevented connection to the Internet. McAfee was criticized for being slow to address the problem, forcing network operations to spend time diagnosing the issue.[50]

On June 18, 2013, John McAfee, the founder of McAfee, Inc. released a video making fun of how to uninstall McAfee Anti-Virus on YouTube.[51]

See also


External links

Template:Major information technology companies

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