The Holy Grail of AV Testing, and Why It Will Never Be Found

So, my expectations were fulfilled. My recent post on an AV performance test caused more than a bit of a stir. But that stir was not so much on the blog but in and around the anti-malware industry.

In short, it worked – since the facts of the matter are now out in the open and being actively discussed. But that’s not all: let’s hope it won’t just stimulate discussion, but also bring the much-needed change in the way AV tests are done, which is years overdue, and is also what I’ve been “campaigning” for for years.

So, how should AV be tested?

Well, first, to avoid insults, overreaction and misplaced criticism, let me just say that I’m not here to tell testers how to do their job in a certain way so that our products come out top – to have them use our special recipe which we know we’re better than everyone else at. No, I’m not doing that, and anyway, it’s rare when we don’t figure in the top-three in different tests, so, like, why would I want to?

Second – what I’ll be talking about here isn’t something I’ve made up, but based on the established industry standards – those of AMTSO (the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization), on the board of which sit representatives of practically all the leading AV vendors and various authoritative experts.

See more > One don’t, one maybe and one definitely yes …

V8, or, If the Road Is Long and Hard, the Journey’s Normally Worth It

I’ve a superstitious belief. If a journey isn’t easy (starting with getting a visa at the consulate, if necessary) and various hindrances arise all along it – it normally means that what goes on at the destination at the end of the journey is mega-worthwhile and effective.

And that, gladly, is how things turned out this time too.

At JFK International Airport – the gateway to the Big Apple and of course the whole country – we were welcomed by a 2.5-hour line! And there was me thinking Sheremetyevo was bad!

A colleague told me he’d be lucky if his laptop battery life would make it until past immigration since he fancied watching a movie to ease the boredom. We should have taken a photo of his display of experienced-traveler know-how: he placed his laptop on top of its bag, which was positioned on top of his upright-standing suitcase, and this structure was somehow made all secure – yet mobile. Then, to the envy of all around, he successfully enjoyed a full feature film standing up! From beginning to end. Oh yes – and the battery made it – just!

But I digress. So, what were we doing there?

Eugene Kaspersky talking at a conference

See more > Why were we in NYC for two days?

Infected Drones: Is Die Hard 4 Becoming a Reality?

I can honestly say that news of infected military drones is in no way amusing to me. This is for real, not Hollywood.

Indeed, it appears that for once the film industry can’t keep up with the latest reports from the computing world. And making an action film these days about cyber warfare is a tricky business: in the time between a pre-release trailer and the release of a movie, the script of the movie can be played out on the evening news.

So what am I talking about here? That malware has in fact – not fiction – gotten inside Predator and Reaper drones.

Infected Drones

See more > Any chance to solve the problem?

Steve’s Magic Formula – a Lot of Hard Work and Patience: Stephen Orenberg in the Spotlight

I am really excited about interviewing my guest today – Stephen Orenberg. This is a special man I both very much respect and admire for his business talent, besides being the perfect gentleman, of course. Steve performed nothing less than a miracle for the company’s U.S. operations, transforming the business from a lesser-known start up into one of the major players in a mature and crowded market.

Stephen OrenbergActually, this is the third company in the security industry he has worked for. Steve started U.S. operations for Dr Solomon’s Software in 1995 (later the company was acquired by McAfee), and just prior to joining Kaspersky Lab he held a similar role at Sophos.

When he came to the company in 2004 it was to start the business in the U.S. and get it up and running. Now, more than six years later, as Chief Sales Officer Steve is responsible for all sales and business development activities in North America and Western Europe. He has also been a member of the Kaspersky Lab board of directors since 2007.

As Chief Sales Officer, he now has the ambitious goals of, first, launching corporate solutions in the company’s two key markets, and second, contributing substantially to strengthening our global market positions so we can become the world’s #1 anti-virus vendor. And I have honestly no doubt we can do this. Just wait and see!

Steve, it’s been quite a long time we’ve been working together. Please remind me of how we first met and what your first impression of the company was.

See more > How we made our way to No.1 in U.S. retail?

Benchmarking Without Weightings: Like a Burger Without a Bun.

Hi everyone!

With the help of my colleagues I’ve been slowly but surely getting up and running a series of posts (here and here) about key technologies – to introduce them to the public, judge the reaction, and then gather ideas. But besides singing the praises here, I’d also like to give you my opinions on comparative tests – those that inform the public how efficient these technologies are. Alas, there are not that many tests I trust and can recommend.

There are just too many shortcomings in today’s testing methodologies, meaning the tests provide only a snapshot of the tested products and miss the whole picture. But it precisely the whole picture that is what customers need. Unfortunately, the majority of tests still employ old testing practices (like on-demand testing with outdated malware collections), which don’t reflect current real-life user scenarios.

And so now let me say a few words about PassMark. This is a very respected organization and I really admire the job it does. However, its recent anti-virus performance test has at least one significant flaw, which could mislead readers and cause them to make purchases based on faulty comparisons.

See more > Performance tests revisited …

Dubai – in a Suit.

I recently needed to get myself down to Dubai to take part in an awards ceremony for the most, most-est CEOs. The organizer was the biggest local publishing house ITP, whose magazines alone number 50 or so. These were very prestigious awards, so I had to be there in person. And in a suit!

Eugene Kaspersky at the CEO Awards

But only after a quick tour of the surroundings.

See more > Dubai surroundings, dancing fountains and awards ceremony …

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.?