Great GReAT Guys: Costin G. Raiu in the Spotlight.

During my career I’ve given thousands of interviews. Really! There’ve been times when I’ve even had like a dozen or so interviews in a single day (and this still happens when I’m at CeBIT or taking part in our press tours) – enough chattering in a day to make one hoarse.

Not that I’m complaining. I love talking to journalists. I find they always give me the opportunity to think more and in slightly different ways about the things I considered to be all thought out already.

From the business perspective interviews are something that raises public awareness. But I always pursue the plain and simple goal of educating users about cyber threats and trying to spread the word on best practices of how to protect their computers.

The journalists don’t let me trick you: I avoid pushing products and instead talk exclusively about trends and countermeasures. Remember our motto, “We’re here to save the world”. Money is not an end in itself. We strive to do a great job protecting customers. Money is something that comes to you when you succeed in doing a great job.

Anyway, I’ve decided to indulge myself by being on the other side of the interview. I’ll start a series of posts interviewing key people at KL.

Today I have the pleasure of asking Costin Raiu all about the many interesting things in his life, his professional experience, and about his hobbies and other stuff, presenting him to the public in a very informal way.

Costin Raiu

Short bio

Costin joined Kaspersky Lab in the year 2000 as a leading antivirus researcher.

Since 2010 he has been leading the Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) – one of the company’s most important technological assets comprised of top-notch security researchers around the globe constantly analyzing new cyber threats and developing protection.

Prior to becoming Director of GReAT, Costin held the position of Chief Security Expert, overseeing research efforts in the EEMEA region. Costin specializes in malicious websites, browser security and exploits, e-banking malware, enterprise-level security and Web 2.0 threats.

Costin has extensive experience in antivirus technologies and security research. He is a member of the Virus Bulletin Technical Advisory Board, a member of the Computer AntiVirus Researchers’ Organization (CARO), and a reporter for Wildlist Organization International. Prior to joining Kaspersky Lab, Costin worked for GeCAD as one of their chief researchers and as a data security expert with the RAV antivirus developers group.

His hobbies include playing chess, high precision arithmetic, cryptography, chemistry, photography and science fiction literature.

You can follow Costin on Twitter (@craiu) and read his personal blog at Securelist.

Read more > How Costin became a security analyst

A Blast from the Past. Part III – Back to the Future – a Virus Remake.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Er, no. It wasn’t all that long ago, not all that far away, and was in no way connected with Star Wars. As Tony Montana once said, shall we “walk in and start over?”

Ok: Once – ten years ago – in the not-so-far-away city of Prague, the British antivirus magazine Virus Bulletin held its annual conference. In early 2001 the event was going through all the usual planning stages a conference of its sort needs to, and all was going to plan when, suddenly…

… suddenly Helen Martin, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, writes to me and unexpectedly suggests I speak at the conference, and not just to say a few words about this or that, but to give a full-blown keynote presentation. That is, to open the conference in front of an audience of 300+ delegates, made up of some of the brightest minds in the antivirus industry. Well, the renown of Virus Bulletin was quite something even back then. A mention on one of its pages was considered either good luck or good work, but a presentation at one of their gigs – that was simply an honor!

Photo by Iulian Ursu via Flickr

Read more > What the

Flickr photostream

Instagram photostream

Italy Is Known for Its Supercars, Russia – Its Chess Players.

Italy is famous for (among other things, hmm, let’s see… pasta, scooters, diving footballers, fiery women…!) its supercars, while Russia is famous (besides vodka and bears in the street, of course) for its chess players. Therefore, in Italy we sponsor Scuderia Ferrari, while in Russia we have taken under our guardianship the young (born 1997) and extremely promising chess player Mikhail Antipov. He travels all around the world to take part in tournaments, and this of course entails visas, flights, hotels, etc., which his parents’ resources can’t fully stretch to. So we decided to step in and help out.

Mikhail Antipov

Read more > Chess and rugby

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A Blast from the Past. Part II – the AV Artefact.

And here we are, with the second in the series of nostalgic tales from the history of the company. As promised, in this installment we are taking you on a journey back to the beginning of the 90s – to the era of good old DOS, and the prototype of our anti-virus, which was used on this early operating system.

Generally my first encounter with viruses came in October 1989. (In just a few months it will be 22 years since that fateful event, and I still don’t know how to celebrate this anniversary!). It all started with someone bringing me a floppy disc (when they actually were floppy!) containing a strange program that caused a bizarre effect of falling characters. I had a look at the program, dug into it, felt around, and eventually cured it. This satisfied me greatly and I was most happy with the result. And I enjoyed the process of doing it too.

I began successfully treating other viruses that kept being brought to me, and soon news about my virus cures spread all around the research institute I was studying at the time. It was around this time that I generally became known as the “the guy who gets rid of viruses”. Then folk with viruses started coming from other departments, then other institutes, and then other cities.

Read more > How many viruses I’ve healed?

A Blast from the Past. Part I – the Pack-shot Odyssey.

Kaspersky Lab has just turned 14 years old. On June 26, 1997, after eight years of perfecting our technology with my colleagues, we decided it was ready to go to the market, and so we registered a company. The first years were really hard for all the team members. The business was developing slowly (but surely) and sometimes it was difficult to make ends meet. But we never had a single moment of hesitation to want to stop and switch to faster money – despite the numerous temptations surrounding us at the time.

I remember Alexey De Mont De Rique and me standing at a tram stop one snowy day when in a flash I was overcome by some kind of irrational confidence that we would develop the world’s best anti-virus software. Call it a revelation, if you will. And yes, it was that simple, yet bold: the best anti-virus – head and shoulders above the competition on its detection rate. We never made money our target. We just played the game we really liked.

We started with absolutely nothing in 1991 – besides ambition, knowledge and confidence. Nobody knew us. Fast forward to the 2010 world market race, and Kaspersky Lab finished fourth in the overall ratings and third in the consumer market segment. We made great strides in both the retail and SMB markets, and have already started doing the same in the corporate market. Wish us luck in getting out front!

These last 14 years have resembled a thrilling roller-coaster ride of ups and downs. And on the occasion of our anniversary I thought it might be a good idea to take a trip down memory lane and give you some insight into our history: I will publish a series blast-from-the-past blog posts, starting with a historical overview of our retail product boxes.

Read more > 12 boxes in 14 years

Welcome Fellow Twitters!

Good news! I am expanding my social media presence and yesterday just launched a Twitter account. Feel free to follow me on @e_kaspersky. So, this is just a perfect moment to say “Hello world” to the Tweetersphere!

Note to many Russian users who agreed to subscribe to my updates: I am in the process of setting up the Russian language only account and hopefully I will launch it for the upcoming event in Kosmodemyansk (follow the #kozmo hash tag!).

Sorry guys, English and Russian are the only two languages I am fluent in!

Read more > Handshaking with Mikko

Vanya is back home safe and sound. Thanks for your support!

First of all I would like to thank all of you for your support during the recent events related to my son’s kidnapping. We received thousands of e-mails, phone calls, social media messages from all around the world expressing your concern and sincere sympathy, which I do appreciate and value. The community support gave us the strength to get through these hard days …

More: Vanya is back home safe and sound. Thanks for your support!. . .