Monthly Archives: October 2013

Breathe the pressure!

Prevention is better than cure. And that goes for fighting patent trolls too.

With this old adage in mind we recently filed a lawsuit against Device Security LLC seeking invalidation and non-infringement of the patent covering the tech involved in protecting data on mobile devices. This marks a distinct change of tactics on our behalf: Though we’ve been warring with patent parasites for eight years already, this is the first time we’ve gone for a preventative attack.

Kaspersky Lab vs Device Security LLC

Read on: So why have we done this, and why?…

The safest city in the world.

Hi folks, from Cartagena, Colombia!

You may be puzzled why this particular city in South America suddenly became the safest on the planet… Read on…

But first:

Ohhh how HOT it is here, but worse – it’s INSANELY humid too. But then it would be: from September through December here it’s the rain season. If you go out onto the street for as little as 10 minutes you literally end up drenched with sweat! You kinda just get used to it after the first day here, but at first it’s… most unusual and uncomfortable, to say the least.

Cartagena Colombia

Inside, with a/c on, of course things are different, but then I’m told you can easily catch a cold with all the extreme changes of temperature and humidity. Must say, it is odd how when you open the balcony window condensation swiftly forms on the ceiling, which collects into drops, and which then fall unpredictably onto the old loaf!

More: what are we doing here?…

Doctor Doctor.

բարեւ բոլորին!

// Not sure if Google translated ‘Hello everybody’ into Armenian correctly. This is just to flag that I was in this exotic (for most readers) country, as usual for a nice mix of business and pleasure – both covered below.

Last week I had the honor of receiving a prestigious academic award from the State Engineering University of Armenia, which awarded me an honorary doctorate! Namely, ‘for an outstanding contribution in the field of information security’, and handed to me by the uni’s rector.

honorary_doctorate_eugene_kaspersky1KL/SEUA backgammon!

Hurray! And thank you!

This makes me a doctor in two countries! I’m now a ‘British-Armenian academic’, as some scoffed :) (my first doctorate was from Plymouth Uni).

Oops, beg your pardon – the above pic was a bit of fun. Here come the ‘proper’ photos…

Read on: proper photos тв Armenian landscapes…

Muchas pictures of Machu Picchu – an online book/photo-travelogue

Hola, a todos!

A couple of years ago a bunch of like-minded adventure seekers and I decided to make the long trip to Peru in South America to the long-abandoned City of the Incas – Machu Picchu. We took plenty of photos, and I took detailed notes of our experiences along the way.

The result (finally!) is a book that’s to be published – currently online here in pdf format – chock full of hi-res pics from our travels accompanied by my commentary.

Read on: An unforgettable trip that easily made it into my

K-LOVE & KISSES 2014: REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL, PART 3.

“The person needs to be brought round to the idea that he has to part with his money. He needs to be morally disarmed, and his proprietary instincts need to be stifled.”

No, not Don Draper; this is a quote of Ostap Bender, a classic fictional hero from 1930s Russian literature. And no, there’s no relation to the other famous Bender!

Thus, it would appear that, curiously, Mr. Bender knew a thing or two about capitalism, despite being from a Communist country. Hmmm…

Anyway, what he knew is that it’s sometimes possible to make folks part with their hard-earned shekels if they are manipulated the right way – the folks, that is.

Fast-forward to today… and we find this kind of manipulation alive and well – in a modern, hi-tech, cyber kinda way: Today, folks gladly hand over their Benjamins to the crims behind blockers, aka ransomware, an especially sneaky form of computer malevolence. But have no fear, KL users: in the new version of KIS, we’ve got a nice surprise waiting for the blocking blockheads and their blockers.

Ransomware criminal market turnover made up more than $15 million, while the number of victims reached the tens of millions

The principle and tech behind blockers/ransomware are rather simple.

Using one of the various means available (for example, via a software vulnerability), a malicious program is sneaked into computer, which then displays an amusing (not) photo with scary (not – with KIS:) – text, and blocks the desktop and all other programs’ windows.

Unblocking is only possible (well, was possible – see below) by entering a unique code, which of course you can only get from the cyber-tricksters who infected the comp in the first place, and of course – for a fee, through premium SMS numbers or online payment systems. Until you pay the ransom, the comp remains kidnapped – no matter what you do (including Ctrl+Alt+Del), and no matter what programs you try to run (including antivirus); all you see is something like this:

ransomware1

The rise, the decline & the return of ransomware…

“To live is to war with trolls”*

The euphoria after our recent single-handed victory over a patent troll has died down – a little. It was real nice to read lots of different accounts of the good news (like this, this, this, this and this) and multiple encouraging  comments from users. However, the real struggle has only just begun – ahead lies a lot of hard work and hassle, albeit interesting hassle. So now’s probably a good time to sum up everything.

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Read on: The first and main thing – never let your guard down…

The patent trolls can be defeated – just never give up!

Hurray! Drum roll… cymbal crash + orchestral hit! We’ve beaten yet another US patent troll! The enemy is defeated, demoralized, and on the run! Churchill was right: “Never give up!” We’ve followed his advice in our fight against a particular troll. As a result the troll gave up and ran away with nothing and its tail between its legs.

“Shock, happiness, joy and adrenaline – all in one”

– That’s how N.K. (our Chief Intellectual Property Counsel) described this victory. For this time the troll was of a higher caliber and its ‘connections’ were way more heavyweight.

lodsys

Shock, happiness, joy and adrenaline all in one – I couldn’t agree more. Our 18-month court case with Lodsys (one of the ‘tentacles’ of the world’s largest and most notorious of patent trolls – Intellectual Ventures (“IV”)) was brought to a sudden halt by a full and unconditional capitulation by this abominable patent parasite. As per the norm, we won once again alone, with another 54 defendant companies deciding to settle with the extortionist, while others shamefully fled the battlefield altogether. In all the patent troll has shaken down more than 400 IT companies!

Now for the details…

More: Once upon a time there was an inventor, who invented feedback…