Anti-virus and Mac.

We’ve recently participated in IFA 2011 in Berlin, Europe’s biggest trade fair for consumer electronics. It was the second time we’ve exhibited – after last year’s successful event. According to the official figures, nearly a quarter of a million visitors attended the show this year, with 1,441 companies exhibiting their products.

IFA 2011

It’s not exactly our target audience – we were the only IT security company there – but we are fans of unorthodox marketing and original approaches to things. The very fact that none of our competitors were taking part we actually took as a plus when taking the decision to go to IFA.

See more > Some good reasons to have an anti-virus on your Mac …

Features You’d Normally Never Hear About – Part Two.

Hi everyone!

In this post we continue to bring to light different tasty technological morsels from the lesser known nooks and crannies of our products (the first is here). Today we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of a thing we call Safe Run.

But first let me say a bit more about this whole idea of thematic posts about features before we get too far into them. Some well-intentioned folks here at KL came up with so many ideas for posts that it soon became clear that they should be organized in the form of a series or, rather, a season – in the TV sense: they will run on for a long time. Indeed, a bit like a season of The Office or 30 Rock, there’ll be many short, sharp, to-the-point installments, and no clutter.

And for those for whom this post may be their first, let me repeat that, as you’ll have guessed already by the title, they’re about the kinds of things you may never know existed, but which are in fact very useful and make life easier and better! And of course safer.

Actually choosing which features to write about first out of the multitude was pretty darn tricky – since there are that many of them. In the end I’ve gone for the “best of the best” useful features first. So, after System Watcher last time, here we are with another premium feature – Safe Run.

Kaspersky Labs Safe Run

So, what’s the nature of this beast? And does it come with rice or French fries?  Maybe couscous?

See more > An easy way to do risky things …

Autumn Konbanwa.

今晩は (Konbanwa [good evening]) everyone!

Last week, right before going to the Monza GP, I was in Japan meeting the team at our Japanese office and launching a new generation of our personal products.

I was here last in April, and since then nothing much seems to have changed, but there was a noticeable lack of both cherry blossoms and sun, which would have been nice.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is nearly finished. The old TV tower’s spire is still bent, but wobbles less (so they say – I haven’t experienced it myself), and the worries about Fukushima seem somehow to have eased – people are much calmer than before. The flight went smoothly, helped by a viewing of Die Hard!

Eugene Kaspersky watching Die Hard

See more > KL Japan, Emperor’s Palace and Awa Odori …

Features You’d Normally Never Hear About.

For different reasons, announcements of new products often never go into the finer details of those products, and leave out info on the slightly less significant though still immensely useful features that go towards making a product complete. However, thanks to our press releases and press conferences, we get the chance to delve into the tasty, lesser-known, more introverted features that might normally pass you by.

First up out of these small but irreplaceable vita-features is System Watcher, whose main function is monitoring applications’ activity on a computer.

Kaspersky Labs System Watcher

See more > What’s common between System Watcher and House M.D.?

A Sudden Career Change that Started a New Generation of KL Products: Nikolay Grebennikov in the Spotlight.

My special guest today is Nikolay Grebennikov, the company’s Chief Technology Officer.

He is probably the most illustrative example of how a hard-working, results-driven professional can wind up in a fast-growing business environment. Indeed, his career path resembles somewhat the classic search for and reaching of the American Dream, since he’s achieved a breathtaking career rise. A significant step in this rise at KL came in the form of an unexpected job change – to go and run the company’s software development department – which resulted in the rolling out of a new generation of security products that became the foundation of our tremendous success on the global market.

Judge for yourself: a typical 33-year old yuppie who barely made his way through KL HR in the first round, but who quickly proved himself and gained weight in the company, proving his ability to lead the most sophisticated of projects, and ultimately going on to lead the R&D department – our largest unit – comprised of more than 830 employees.

He’s certainly a workaholic – but only in the positive sense of this word. At first I was rather pleasantly surprised to come across him working in the office at weekends. After a while I realized he was working seven days a week all the time! Not long ago he changed this overdoing-it habit and now works the standard five working days – but still late into the nights.

Nikolay doesn’t really do banter, so when circumstances force him to engage in small talk in the back of his mind I’m sure he thinks about how he could be making better, more productive use of his time. He’s a man of action and efficiency (can’t complain there!). When speaking he is very concise, specific and to-the-point. This is something you’ll surely notice in this interview.

Short Bio

Nikolay GrebennikovNikolay joined the company in 2003 as a systems analyst for the Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows Workstation 5.0 project team, and within six months was heading the Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 team.

He was then appointed Deputy Director of Innovative Technologies in charge of all new research, including proactive defense, heuristic detection, and defense against data leaks, keyloggers and rootkits.

From 2009 Nikolay has been Chief Technology Officer, managing the company’s research and development.

Before joining Kaspersky Lab, Nikolay worked as a device driver developer, database programmer, general software programmer, and project manager for several IT companies based in Moscow.

He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Bauman Moscow State Technical University based on his work on information security. He was recently shortlisted as one of the world’s top 100 most influential voices in IT security. Nikolay is a passionate chess player and was the only person in KL who drew with Anatoly Karpov in a multiplayer game during the recent Security Analyst Summit.

You can learn more about him here.

So Nikolay, how did you get to start working at the company?

I responded to an ad in the paper and came for an interview. At first they didn’t want to employ me!

See more > Career, family and chess

Gaming Needs to Be Secure Too!

Hi everyone,

As you know, we take part in many different exhibitions and similar events around the world. Of course not everyone can attend them all, so follow-up reports prepared by those who were there are what’s called for. They help me keep track of all the events and activities too.

One such event was gamescom Expo, a major European trade fair dedicated to gaming, which took place on 17-21 August in Cologne. This year it was attended by 275,000 visitors and 557 participants from 40 countries. Details can be found here and here.

Gaming has to be secure as well! And that’s why we had a stand at the expo, with both animated and unanimated fun content. Photos of this content were sent to me, and that was how I got to know about this event and our stand at it. And this is how this post came about.

Thus – to the photos…

Kaspersky at Gamescom Expo

See more > Striking stats for online gamers

Googlamatics. For Those Who Like Conspiracy Theories, or Just Special Big Numbers!

As everyone knows, Google is not your average company. It fairly amazes and amuses with its short history of fantastic success (or instills fear and loathing – if Google happens to gobble up your market share). Its totally unexpected projects and even the design of its offices appear mad-hat, slightly odd, or uniquely original, depending on your particular view, but never just average.

Then there are the totally bizarre Googlized numbers.

Let’s start with some amusing arithmetic available from different sources.

At Google they don’t joke with the size of their figures, but do joke – big-time – with which particular figures they use: For its IPO in 2004, the price of the stake sold on the stock market should have come to 2.718281828 billion dollars, which figure is the mathematical constant e. A year later the company sold on the stock market another stake, made up of 14 159 265 shares – a fraction of pi accurate to eight decimal places.

Read more > More numbers madness and spooky comments!

Great GReAT Guys: Aleks Gostev in the Spotlight.

I’m glad the first part of our In-the-Spotlight series featuring Costin G. Raiu received so much attention and positive feedback on both Twitter and Facebook.

My special guest today is Aleks Gostev, Chief Security Expert at KL and highly valued member of the company’s Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT).

Aleks is a unique multi-disciplinary infosec guy – one of the world’s most prominent security experts, who regularly appears in the mass media in interviews or writing op-eds. He became involved in anti-malware research in 1996 when he founded an anti-virus expertise center in the Komi Republic – a large territory in the North-West of Russia. Since 1998 he’s been Project Coordinator of Wildlist Russia – an initiative aimed at collecting and analyzing data about malware outbreaks in the country.

We first met in 2002, and I recall I felt he was the right guy for the company from the word go. Our first chat went something like:

– Married?
– Yes.
– Birth date?
– Mine or the wife’s?

Nice! That convinced me to give him a job tout de suite, and frankly speaking I’ve never regretted it. Aleks’ first big assignment was dealing with the notorious Slammer (Helkern) worm, which caused a major Internet outage in South Korea and infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. He managed the case perfectly: we were one of the first AV companies to report the outbreak and provide protection.

Aleks GostevShort Bio

Aleks founded and led the Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) from 2008 before moving to his current position as Chief Security Expert with the team in 2010. Aleks analyzes all aspects of information security, with a focus on new threats and global outbreaks. His responsibilities include deep investigation of new malware and expert positioning of Kaspersky Lab. He is also editor-in-chief of Securelist. Before joining the company in 2002 he held various IT and security related positions in both public and private organizations.

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

He also does lots of rock climbing, traveling and extreme sports:

Aleks Gostev at the South Pole

However, in this spotlight piece we will concentrate on Aleks’ expertise in cloud security.

Read more > The message to iCloud users

Hybrids Are Cool. Hybrids Are Awesome. But What about Hybrid Protection?

There’s been a lot talk for quite a while now surrounding how cloud technologies can help increase protection against malware. One tendency is to fall into the trap of considering the cloud as a silver bullet that can effectively solve all security related issues at once.

I agree that cloud-based protection certainly brings many advantages – both to end users and security vendors. Yes, it permits us to detect new threats much faster and deliver necessary updates to users. However, I don’t share the euphoria that is promoting this approach as a self-sufficient technique capable of tackling security threats by itself.

Protection needs to be multi-layered, with each layer complimenting the others, contributing to the overall security level and shielding computers in any environment – and in a well-balanced manner so as to maintain top computer performance.

Kaspersky cloud protection

There are three main issues that significantly limit the scope of cloud protection being used on its own.

Read more > The three key issues