tech2 News StaffApr 04, 2017 18:13:15 IST
McAfee, the famous anti-virus software company that was acquired by Intel in 2010 has announced the completion of a deal that transforms it from a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel into a joint-venture between Intel and TPG.
McAfee was founded in 1987 as a developer of firewall software. The security firm since expanded into other areas, later establishing itself as a major anti-virus software maker.
Intel bought out the firm in 2010 in a deal valued at $7.68 billion. In 2014, the company was renamed to Intel Security.
The reasons for Intel’s purchase were a mystery at the time, but it was later revealed that Intel had only one thing in mind when it bought McAfee: Security. As ArsTechnica explains, 2010 was the year of Operation Aurora, a series of state sponsored attacks (form China) designed to breach and modify software repositories belonging to western defence contractors.
Intel’s chips incorporated a great many security features like vPro, random number generators and “crypto acceleration modules”. In itself, the chip alone is not enough. The problem was that software vendors needed to build software that took advantage of these features. Among the only companies that did this was McAfee.
Intel’s idea was simple. To provide an adequate security solution, the entire system must be secure, not just the hardware. To that end, the purchase on McAfee made complete sense.
However, as it later turned out, the deal didn’t pan out the way Intel hoped.
In 2016, Intel announced that it was in the process of separating the Intel Security unit (McAfee) from the company and giving it the freedom to hash about with cybersecurity independent of Intel’s chip-design work.
As part of the deal, asset management firm TPG will take a 51 percent share of the company (valued at $4.2 billion) and the rest will be owned by Intel.
TechCrunch reports that the newly freed McAfee intends to use a machine learning approach to computer security and that the McAfee brand will be brought back.
“McAfee is a global organisation with a 30-year history and a brand known the world over for innovation, trust and collaboration. Given our years of focus on the security software sector, we see great opportunity for McAfee to continue to advance and innovate,” said Seth Boro, a Managing Partner at Thoma Bravo.
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