Tech CEO who helped defend federal government against hackers is stabbed to death ‘by her son’

The son of an acclaimed cybersecurity expert has been charged with the murder of his mother after she was stabbed to death in her home.

Juanita Koilpillai, 58, was described by colleagues as “a genius.” She was born in Sri Lanka and moved to the US in the early 1980s to study at the University of Kansas.

Her son Andrew Beavers, 23, was arrested July 31.

Her son Andrew Beavers, 23, was found in her car on July 26, with the suspected murder weapon in the vehicle.  He was charged with murdering her on July 31

Juanita Koilpillai, 58, was found dead on July 25. Her son Andrew Beavers, 23, has been charged with her murder.

Koilpillai’s friend had called the police on July 25 to report her missing and said there was blood in the house she shared with her son in Tracy’s Landing, Maryland.

Police found her body dumped outside with multiple stab wounds.

Her car was gone and the next day they found her son with the car and what appeared to be the murder weapon. A forensic analysis of the knife found both him and his mother’s DNA on the weapon.

He had a cut on his hand that he couldn’t explain.

Beavers was arrested at a home in Leesburg, Virginia and remains in custody.

Koilpillai lived with her son Andrew in the house of Tracy's Landing.  Her body was found outside the house after her boyfriend called the police

Koilpillai lived with her son Andrew in the house of Tracy’s Landing. Her body was found outside the house after her boyfriend called the police

“I’ll say she was a certifiable genius,” said Dr. Ron Martin, a close friend and professor at Capitol Technology University.

He said she was a mentor to a new generation of cybersecurity professionals.

‘She was always willing to help students.

“I always referred students to her who were in the cyber world, and she would give them guidance and advice.”

Koilpillai was described by friends as a talented gardener, a celebrated chef, a charismatic hostess and a brilliant technology professional who flew airplanes and traveled extensively

Koilpillai was described by friends as a talented gardener, a celebrated chef, a charismatic hostess and a brilliant technology professional who flew airplanes and traveled extensively

Friends who spoke to The Capital Gazette described her as a talented gardener, a celebrated chef, a charismatic hostess and a brilliant technology professional.

She flew planes and produced community movies with her ex-husband and traveled the world with her friends and their families.

She spent 30 years in computer security and network management and also served as an advisor to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, her friend Connie Moore told the paper.

According to her biography for Cloud Security Alliance, Koilpillai was a member of the FEMA enterprise security management team and served as the principal investigator for several U.S. Department of Defense initiatives.

Together with her ex-husband, Koilpillai created Cyberwolf, an advanced automated attack warning system used by the government. They later sold the company to the cybersecurity software company Symantec.

“Growing a start-up into a great company and then selling it to a bigger technology company was an incredible achievement,” Moore told the paper.

“But to do it as a woman, to do it as a person of color, speaks volumes about her tenacity, about her brilliance, about her business acumen, about her technological expertise.

“It was extraordinary.”

Moore said she took sailing lessons, started a thriving garden, and loved taking photos of marina sunsets and wildlife.

She also founded The Merge Foundation, which worked to mentor students, help them build relationships with potential employers and hone their expertise in art, filmmaking, investment and business, according to the foundation’s website.

“She was just so happy in that element,” Moore said.

“We never understood how she did it all. Because her friends were friends who all did it too, but we didn’t all do it at her level.

“She was off the charts, living a full life in every aspect.”

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