A sad story to report

Some somber news to report in the information security community.

Sunbelt Software points us to this sad account of Webroot co-founder Steven Thomas. Apparently the 36-year-old, during the past year, has fallen victim to bipolar disorder and delusions. As a result, Thomas is lost somewhere in Hawaii, and his family is heartbroken.

Thomas founded anti-spyware company Webroot in 1997 as a way to raise money to buy a car. Eight years later, he sold Webroot, now with 330 employees and best known for its Spy Sweeper software, to a group of venture capitalists for more than $100 million.

Thomas is now involved with real estate investments, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Even though Thomas has removed himself from the security software space for some time now, his accomplishments in the field of anti-spyware will live on. He was on to the problem in its earliest days and surely helped build the foundation of many of today's offerings.

And remember, the IT security community is small. Everyone seems to know everybody, maybe through a degree or two of separation, but nonetheless, it's a tight-knit group. Surely this news will hit home for many.

We hope for Thomas' safe return and that he gets the help he needs.

Updated Monday, July 14 at 5:17 p.m. EST: Thomas found dead Sunday in Hawaii by hikers.


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