The personnel changes come on the heels of a separate announcement that Stuart McClure will take the reins of McAfees AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team). McClure takes over from Vincent Gullotto, who also resigned suddenly earlier in 2006.
McAfee, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said Heron will serve as vice president and chief scientist and will lead product initiatives, product architecture development and product research.
Heron joins McAfee after a stint as chief technology officer at SafeNet, a provider of network security products, based in Belcamp, Md.
McAfee said Viega, its new vice president as well as chief security architect, will be responsible for product security strategy, security audits of code, and the future shape of technical directions for the product lines at McAfee.
Viega, who co-founded Secure Software, of McLean, Va., is a renowned cryptographer and security researcher who has written several books on application security. Most recently, Viega co-authored "The 19 Deadly Sins of Software Security" with Microsoft security gurus Michael Howard and David LeBlanc.
Viega is also credited with building the CLASP (Comprehensive, Lightweight Application Security Process), which provides guidance on an organized and structured approach for moving security concerns into the early stages of the software development life cycle.
Viega co-developed GCM, a mode of operation for block ciphers such as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) that has been incorporated into IP Security and the 802.1AE draft document. He was also the original author of the Mailman mailing list manager.