Monthly Archives: July 2022

Cyber-tales from the dark (and light) side: audacious crypto hack, K goes neuromorphic, and how to enter a data-center via a… toilet!

Hi folks!

For those still sweating it out in the office, not lucky enough to have left for some serious digital detox vacationing, herewith, to keep your mind off the heat, some juicy iNews, aka Dark (and Light) Tales from the Cyber Side – yet more extraordinary, hard-to-believe stories from the world of cybersecurity.

Crypto-decrepito

The gaming community will no doubt recall how, this spring, Axie Infinity, the online crypto-game (perhaps most notable for permitting virtual winnings to be exchanged into real money), suffered one of the largest robberies of all time. It appears highly likely that North Korean hackers broke into the Ronin blockchain that controls the game, and proceeded to steal around $625 million (the exact figure varies depending on the source) from users’ accounts! The incident went unannounced for a time, highlighting the vulnerability of the game’s security system, and putting the reputation of its developer behind – Sky Mavis – on the line too.

Oh my gigantic sum! But wait – that’s not all; there’s more!…

Earlier this month it was revealed precisely how the hackers managed to break into the blockchain. Are you sitting down?!…

Several months ago fake employees of a fake company on LinkedIn sent info about fake job vacancies to employees of Sky Mavis. A senior Axie Infinity developer decided to apply. He even got through several rounds of (fake) interviews, after which he was offered an extremely attractive (fake) salary and benefits package. Basically, he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Said offer eventually arrived in the developer’s inbox in the form of a pdf document, which he had no qualms about downloading and opening on his work computer. And that was that – the bad guys were in. Henceforth it was all just a matter of technique: an espionage program infiltrated Ronin, via which they were able to seize four of the nine validators that protect the network. Access to the fifth validator (needed to complete the hack and then steal all the money) was gained by the hackers via the Axie Decentralized Autonomous Organization – a group set up to support the gaming ecosystem. Result – bingo; jackpot!

Read on…

Innoprom: third time – and still lucky!

The other week I found myself at Innoprom-2022 – the industrial exhibition in Yekaterinburg. I’d been twice before – in 2017 and 2021 – and, come this year, I can now say that it’s progressed well.

I was there for just one day, and was as busy as a bee – as per the template. Still – I did manage to find the time to take a few pics of some of the more intriguing stands and exhibits…

But, first – it wasn’t the exhibits or stands that impressed most of all. Can you guess what did? Have a look at the following photo. Got it?…

Masks no longer needed. Hurray! Away with you, maddening muzzles! Yes, the virus has weakened, immunity has risen, and the situation is (seemingly, mostly) under control. Let’s hope it stays that way. And I’m sure it will. After all, mega-awful mutants tend to visit us every ~50 years: there was the Spanish flu in 1918–1920, then the Hong Kong flu in 1968–1970, and then of course corona in 2020–2021 (yes, there’ve been other virus pandemics, but they came and went much less noticeably). Anyway, no matter: the latest semi-centennial pandemic – done and dusted!

Right. Next thing to impress? Actually – it wasn’t impress, it was more depress. Just look at these lines to get into the event! Folks had to wait sometimes over an hour. Nope. Sorry: organizers – get a grip. This won’t do at all. Sort it. // I was lucky: as a speaker I entered through a designated door without having to wait.

Once inside – first thing’s first: head over to our stand, where I had my first meeting scheduled. And here we are! ->

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Jordan / Nov 2022
  • Jordan / Nov 2022
  • Jordan / Nov 2022
  • Jordan / Nov 2022

Instagram photostream

Everest’s gone green!

Are heroes born or made?

Not a question that’s easy to answer. It’s a bit like what comes first – the egg or the chicken? Or, perhaps – the soul or the body? But one thing is clear: without hard work – often even pain – and indefatigable striving (read: understanding what you want to do and then actually doing it), you’ll get nowhere. Any talent needs to be developed. But is a capacity to develop a part of talent? Ooh, we’d best leave that to the philosophers; if we carry on down this rabbit hole in this post’s first paragraph, we may never reemerge from it!

Let’s make this easier on ourselves!…

We love heroes. But of course we do, for aren’t we – rejecting all false modesty – heroes ourselves for coming this far in a full quarter century?! From garage start-up to the coolest tech cybersecurity company the world has seen? Heroes change the world for the better, shape the future, and by their own example mobilize humanity toward ever greater victories for higher causes. Therefore, we have always supported and always will support special folks who share this ethos.

Remember Felicity Aston, who in 2012 with our support skied across Antarctica on her own? Then there was Olga Rumyantseva, who in 2013 completed her ascents of the highest volcanos of all seven continents. And of course there was the expedition of female skiers from all over the world to the North Pole in 2018 (in which both Felicity and Olga took part).

Fast-forward to this year, and we were assisting Olga again, this time in her ascent up to the highest point in the world – the peak of Mount Everest! And on May 17 – she did it! Today, Olga is still in the highest (!) of spirits after such a momentous feat, and is already thinking of her next adventure.

Read on…

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Pamukkale, part two: hot-air balloons and ancient spa-resorts too!

Hi folks!

Pamukkale’s known for its travertine terraces, but that’s not all; it’s also known for the hot air ballooning that goes on here aplenty. 100% Must-do. The only problem for some folks – you have to get up at the crack of dawn to experience it… ->

Even how they inflate the balloons before dawn is a spectacle worth seeing. First it’s all quiet, calm and peaceful. Then they start up the noisy furnaces! And slowly, several, then a dozen, then scores of hot-air balloons all start bulging and rising up from their sides into the air (with the basket still on the ground). And they get big. Real big! ->

Read on…

Travertine that must be seen!

Travertine? Never heard of it? Is it an indie band? Is it a type of floor covering? Is it an errant world-traveler? Actually, none of those. Actually, if you don’t know what it is, that might just point to the fact that you’ve never visited Pamukkale in Turkey. For if you had, that’s where you’d have learned that this, is travertine! ->

The terraces of Pamukkale, which means “cotton castle” in Turkish, are without a doubt among the most beautiful and unique natural objects on our planet (so, of course, they feature in my Top-100 Most Beautiful Places in the World). The travertine is the sedimentary rock deposited by mineral water at the exits of the hot springs here that has formed a colossal cascade of pools with stalactites hanging down off them – and everything as white as snow.

Read on…

New K-horizons, and a little tourism in Abu Dhabi.

Hi folks!

These are difficult, challenging times; however, they’re also hopeful, ambitious times – as we Kontinue to adjust and adapt. Example: we’re radically restructuring our various budgets: we’re trimming off sponsorship and advertising spends that have no direct relation to the development of new technologies and products. And we’re also continuing to aim for ever faster roll-outs of upgraded cybersecurity products.

Then there are the efforts to fill the spaces left in the market since some foreign companies left the Russian market. But replacing Rexiteers’ products is not as new as you might at first think. For example, we’ve been replacing Splunk‘s software since the American company left certain markets – even before the pandemic (in 2019)! So now instead of Splunk, there’s our… KUMA (no, not that Kuma:), which, incidentally, has greatly surpassed Splunk in terms of functionality. In a word, hurray!

Then there are our acquisitions, for example of Brain4Net back in the fall of 2021, and our majority stake in MyOffice early this year. And a little birdie is whispering into my ear that all-things-diversification are only going to get more and more interesting. Stay tuned folks!…

But all strategic management work and no play makes Eugene a dull boy, so… off I flew with the family to Abu Dhabi, of course ) ->

Read on…

Airport notes of a frequent flyer – ver. 2022.

Hi folks!

The last time I was in Pamukkale, Turkey, was way back in June 2004 after a regional partner conference. And as, back then, I never carried a camera around with me like today, I’ve no pics to show for it; all I have are hazy memories. Ever since then, I’d wanted to return, as I was so impressed with what I saw (it’s even made my Top-100, no less), and was curious to see how things had changed since. For now – a single photo; more – later…

Read on…

A Kuarter of a century? Where did that go?!…

Hi folks!

25 years and nine days ago – on June 26, 1997 – the company that happens to have the same name as me was registered. And it was “humble beginnings” in the truest sense: around a dozen folks with zero turnover – but with some special tech-expertise and some equally special and veeeery ambitious plans. And we looked something like this:

Fast-forward two years to 1999 and there’s already around 40 of us ->

And that’s how it all started. // Btw: you can find out more details about our history here.

Twenty-five years – a quarter-century! – doing some great work! Based on our own world-beating antivirus engine, we developed breakthrough internet security products for home users. It didn’t always go smoothly, but we got there! There was our Ver. 6 – remember that? (And what a grandiose tale there is to tell there:) Then we gradually moved into the enterprise market, managing to develop some great products there too: first in the endpoint category, and then also network-traffic control, protection against targeted attacks and so on. Then we turned to protecting industrial objects. And now (without being too modest), I can say we’re the only company in the world that provides such a broad range of top-notch cyber protection: for user devices, workstations, server infrastructure and network traffic, as well as industrial control systems like SCADA. Moreover, we cover the widest range of operating systems and device types.

Read on…