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After 9 years of building Sunbelt Software, and then working for GFI, I have decided to move on.

It’s been a great adventure.  I joined Stu Sjouwerman, who had built a distribution company, to start the “Software” part of Sunbelt Software.  We started in 2002 with an antispam product, iHateSpam, for desktops.  Then the same technology for Exchange.  Along the way, we released other products, but the big change came in 2004, when we released CounterSpy.

I started the blog with my first post, “Why Adware Works” (it seems so innocent now…).  We got a reputation for publishing our responses to cease and desist letters (as an example, our Hotbar C&D and our response).   Along the way, we did fun things like give away motorcycles  (a chopper and a Ducati), an inspired employee tattoed himself with VIPRE, and much more.   It wasn’t all about Sunbelt.  We worked on PIRT with Paul and Robin Laudanski (they did all the work, actually). A group of dedicated security researchers and I helped a very nice lady get out of real trouble, and then we started a group to help other people in trouble.  We broke the news on some pretty nasty stuff, like the infamous WMF exploit.  Sometimes I would get bored and write about something else.  People were nice and gave us all kinds of awards.  And so on.

Going through the archives of this blog is a virtual history of the industry during one of its more interesting times.

In 2005, we started working on a new technology, VIPRE, based on a new philosophy for antimalware products. In 2008, we released VIPRE and the rest is history.

But with everything in life, there is a start, a middle and an end.   I’ve turned the reins over to some incredibly capable people here at GFI.  Eric Sites, the original Sunbelt Software CTO, is still here as Chief Scientist.  Mark Patton, Sunbelt’s VP of R&D, is now running global R&D for GFI.  The threat team has been getting some great people, and the original team (which we started with Eric Howes, Patrick Jordan, Adam Thomas and a small number of others) has now grown to a large and impressive group.  Jovi Umawing and Chris Boyd are now writing the posts for the blog, and doing a great job.

I’m very proud of the team we built here, and I will certainly miss all the great people I worked with over the past many years. We made great products together and built a wonderful culture.

Finally, I have to thank you.  As a member of this community, you were a key part of this extraordinary experience and I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions I had with many of you.

Now, I am going to take a bit of time with my family, and discover my next great adventure.  Feel free to reach out.

So long for now,

Alex Eckelberry