News of the day: SMS histories of subscribers of Megafon, one of the largest Russian mobile operators with a 57 million+ user database, have been leaked. Thousands of messages are now available online, causing a major nationwide scandal. Another company that may have been involved in the scandal is Yandex, the largest national search engine, which may have indexed either some classified stored items or SMS messages sent from users’ computers. Update: Yandex has already removed the link to the leaked SMS histories from their search queries …
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.
All-righty! Here we are with the latest news.
What we have been for ages talking about, explaining, and encouraging, at last is finally showing some signs of actually being put into practice.
A new body – the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) (news, site) – has been founded in London: an international non-commercial organization that brings together “governments, international business and law enforcement bodies, including Europol”. The aim of the new organization is simple: to tackle nationalistic narrow-mindedness, unite parochial strengths, and fight cyber-crime on a global level – together.
This is what we’ve been been advocating constantly for more than ten years. It’s impossible to tackle international criminals with traditional methods alone, when every country just thinks of itself, covers its own backside, and the rest of the world can go whistle.
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.
In early July, a rather surprising and significant event took place: the big boys of the IT industry were for several days bidding and out-bidding each other to acquire six thousand patents of Nortel. And these patents really are the tastiest of morsels: a whole range of wireless, communications, Internet and semiconductor technologies …
This season’s eighth Formula 1 Grand Prix took place on June 24-26 in Spain on the relatively new and very innovative Valencia Street Circuit – one of the four urban curcuits to be used this season: 57 laps and 308 kilometers (191 miles) of tense rip-roaring supercar contest providing more than an hour and a half of delight for F1 fans.
The Valencia track is one of the newest in Formula 1. The city hosted its first race only in August 2008, after its industrial port area was transformed into a genuine cultural must-see centering on its race track. Incidentally, the first winner on the course was Felipe Massa – driving for Ferrari.
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.
The Security Analysts’ Summit is one of the most important occasions on the list of Kaspersky Lab’s events calendar. Starting back in 2004 as an internal training and networking meeting, it has grown into a notable industry event that gathers authoritative infosec people from all around the world to share opinions and discuss trends and happenings.
Following the tradition of the event taking place near the Mediterranean Sea (Dubrovnik in 2009, Cyprus in 2010), this year’s conference took place in Estepona, a nice little town in Spain on the Costa Del Sol not far from Gibraltar and Morocco. The funny thing was that sometimes mobile phones were automatically switching to Moroccan GSM operators and sending confusing SMS messages welcoming you to that country. We stayed in the Kempinski hotel, which was nice enough to set up for the guests a Wi-Fi connection with the kaspersky@kempinski ID.
There are many ways how to attract people to a hotel and now I know one of the best creative ideas in this field. The Brussels Sofitel’s lobby features a museum of curiosities that would definitely make you remember this place.
A broom Harry Potter will miss. GPS navi is included.