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R.I.P. Mark McLaughlin (@MarkMcRSA)

Jun 14, 20124 mins
Data and Information SecurityIT Leadership

I have sad news to report for those of you who know Mark McLaughlin (@MarkMcRSA on Twitter). McLaughlin, 41, principal security engineer at RSA, died unexpectedly Saturday, June 9, 2012, in Salem, Mass.

I didn’t know him that well, but knew of him. He had gained a lot of respect in the industry for his work — and his gentle nature. He’s also from my state, and at least one of my friends outside the security industry is mourning the loss.

McLaughlin also was a past white team leader for the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NECCDC).

For those who want to pay their respects either in person or from afar, here’s the obituary from the Salem News:   

Salem, MA — Mark F. McLaughlin, age 41, of Salem, died unexpectedly Saturday, June 9, 2012, in Salem. He was the husband of Julia Anna Tache.

Born in Salem, he was the son of Patricia A. (Mahoney) of Swampscott and the late William V. McLaughlin. A graduate of Swampscott High, Class of 88, he also was a graduate of Boston School of Architecture and Wentworth Institute. Mark worked as a computer security engineer for M.I.T., early in his career and was currently employed by R.S.A. the security division of EMC.

His work life was more of a mystery, and he never talked about what he did. He would say “it’s complicated” and it was. Mark was widely known for his ability as a security researcher. He understood how criminal elements would act to attack corporate and government information systems, and would arm his clients with better tools to protect themselves. His knowledge and ability to recognize an inconspicuous pattern or number deviation was a talent that very few acquire. He was a mentor and educator to others, and felt it was his duty to share what he knew in this very specialized field.

Mark was a quiet man who shared his strength, love and loyalty with his wife Julie, his family and friends. He did not call attention to his contributions, but gave without expectation, and his smile and timely hugs could cure the worst of days. He had a certain knack for finding humor in just about everything, and loved telling a “good” joke. We just wish more of his jokes had been good.

Adventurous at heart, he enjoyed scuba diving, skiing, racing fast cars, deep-sea fishing and traveling with family and friends. When at home he loved to cook, and was an excellent cook who saved a few Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners from certain disaster.

Despite his humor, his adventurous heart and many talents, what will be missed by those who loved him, was his quiet, calming nature and warm smile that helped them all make sense of this world.

In addition to his wife Julie and mother Patricia McLaughlin, he is survived by a sister Lauren M. Lawrance and her husband Nathan of York, ME, his mother and father-in- law Joseph and Julie Tache of Salem, his brothers-in-law, Joe & John Tache of Redondo Beach, CA, Jerry Tache and his wife Dee of Salem, a sister-in-law Jennifer Ginley and her husband Michael, of Salem, and nephew John Ginley of Salem, two uncles, Raymond Mahoney of Braintree, Walter Mahoney of Lynn, an aunt, Mary Purucker of Malibu, CA, as well as cousins and many friends.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to gather at the Levesque Funeral Home, 163 Lafayette St. (Rt. 114 / 1-A), Salem, on Friday, June 15, 2012, at 7:45 A.M., to be followed by his funeral Mass in Ste. Anne Church, Jefferson Ave., Salem, at 9 A.M. Visiting hours, Thursday from 4 to 8 P.M. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, NE Chapter, 60 Walnut St., Wellesley, MA 02481. For guest book and additional information, please visit