McAfee anti-fraud researcher charged with fraud

The man responsible for developing McAfee's ScanAlert certification service has been charged with fraud

One of the researchers behind ScanAlert, the "Hacker Safe" certification company McAfee recently acquired, is facing fraud charges in Indiana.

Brett Oliphant, whose title had been vice president of security services before the Napa, California, company was acquired by McAfee in January, is facing 11 counts of securities fraud in transactions that allegedly brought in more than US$1.215 million.

Oliphant and his brother Bryan were charged in December. Their trial is set for Nov. 18 at the Elkhart County Superior Court in Indiana.

ScanAlert built technology for auditing and then certifying Web sites as "Hacker Safe." McAfee paid US$54.9 million for the company in January and has since renamed the certification service "McAfee Safe."

The Hacker Safe and McAfee Safe marks are designed to reassure potential customers that the Web site they are visiting has been tested for vulnerabilities and is unlikely to have been hacked by online fraudsters.

Oliphant's arrest was not widely known until blogger Ronald van den Heetkamp posted news of it on Monday. Van den Heetkamp has been critical of McAfee's certification service in the past.

The ScanAlert vice president had led the development of his company's vulnerability scanning technology and managed the company's research division.

A McAfee spokesman declined to comment on the matter or confirm whether Oliphant was still with the company. "McAfee does not comment on the private affairs of others, legal or otherwise," he said in an instant message.

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