K-LOVE & KISSES 2014 – PART 1.

Hip, hip, hurray! Yee ha! Woo hoo! The latest incarnation of KIS has landed – everywhere (almost)!

As per our long held tradition of launching new kit during the summer months – we’ve now managed to get KIS 2014 officially released in all the main regions of the world and in all the most widely spoken languages. For those interested in KIS itself, go here to download the new version. Upgrade guidelines are here.

And as is also becoming a bit of a tradition early fall, the time has come for me to tell you all what’s in this here new version…

There’s plenty of new stuff in KIS 2014 – with a special emphasis on protection against future threats.

First thing I can say: new stuff – there’s plenty of it. So much so that there’ll be several posts covering the key new features separately, as the low-down on all of them won’t fit into one bite-sized blogpost that won’t send you to sleep…

So, here we go… with post No. 1:

Basically, KIS 2014 packs yet more punch than its already punchy predecessor – KIS 2013 – which even without all this year’s additions was unlucky for no one. The protection provided is harder, better, faster, stronger. KIS has gone under the knife for a nip and tuck complete face-lift of its interface, and the logic of its main operations has been overhauled too.

There are new features to ensure secure online money operations (we’ve beefed up Safe Money); there are new features in Parental Control; there’s integrated protection against malicious blockers; and there are various new performance accelerators and optimizers to make the protection even more invisible and unobtrusive.

kis-2014-main-screenshot-eng-1

But the best feature of all in this version is what we put most effort into: providing protection from future threats, having added to the product – much to the chagrin of cyberswine – several specialized avant-garde technologies (none of which appears to be included in competitors’ products). No, we haven’t used a time machine; nor did we track down cyberpigs and do a Jack Bauer interrogation on them to get to know about their planned mischief. We shamanized, looked into the future, came up with rough calculations of the logic of the development of cyber-maliciousness, and transferred that logic into practice in our new technologies of preventative protection.

Among the preventative measures against future threats I’d like to emphasize the souped-up Automatic Exploit Prevention – two special technologies from our corporate solutions that have been adapted for our home products – ZETA Shield and Trusted Applications mode, plus a built-in proactive anti-blocker.

So how do all these fancy sounding features actually help in daily computer hygiene? Let me start by telling you first about Trusted Applications mode – the world’s first for such technology being featured in a home product providing complex security.

More: Fighting the parcel in ‘pass the parcel’ syndrome…

Deutsche QR hotel.

Guten tag folks!

I’m currently on a trans-Europe express road trip. And along the way I keep coming across such unusual sights that I feel I’m simply duty-bound to share them with the world’s more progressive readers of blogs. Ok?

Oddity No. 1

What cars do you generally see on the German autobahn between Frankfurt and Hannover? A lot of fast modern ones, that’s for sure. And what cars do you tend not to see? Easy: older models. So you can perhaps understand my shock surprise at seeing vintage (and all tuned-up) Zaporozhetses – with Moscow plates! What the flip? I was expecting pigs to fly past next… There they were – several of them – going hell for leather at full throttle, chugging and rattling and attracting the attention of the modern-car drivers – so much so that the traffic was slowed down to a very un-autobahn-like speed. Good gracious me. The Ukrainian retro invasion!

germany_zap1CCCP’s answer to the VW Beetle

More: Berlin & Berliner Kunst…

Flickr photostream

Instagram photostream

Instead of pouring it, ya cut milk in Yakutia

Privyet everyone!

Yakutia (home to the Yakut people), or, officially, Sakha (home to the Sakha people) is very proud of its humungous dimensions, liking to compare itself with assorted European countries, a favorite for some reason being France: on Wikipedia (in Russian, at least) it says Yakutia is ‘five times as large as France’. (Why France? Why not Spain, Turkey or Ukraine?) There are plenty of other comparisons kicking about the Internet too, like the one approximately equating Yakutia with the Mediterranean and Black Seas together.

Anyway, whichever way you look at it – or measure it – there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that what we’ve got here is one titanic territory. Indeed, turns out it’s the largest subnational entity in the world in terms of land area – stretching across three time zones!

But I think to do the place some justice it needs to be compared with other massive things, not much smaller ones. So, here we go…

With a territory of around three million square kilometers (but a population of just under a million; that is, three square kilometers per person), what other ginormous territory can it be compared with?

First off – Australia. Yakutia is only two and a half times smaller than the whole of Oz, while having 20 times less population. But that makes sense, for down under they don’t have to suffer the intense Yakutian winters. Then again, Australia is nothing but desert… that must be why the population there is only 20 times larger and not more (and lives all along the coast).

Next up: Canada. Yakutia is just three times smaller than this country together with all its islands. However, most of Canada is much further south – thus, 35 times as many folks live there.

Next: China. This country is also three times bigger than Yakutia, whereas the population… hmmm, best not get into that. China not the best example to take…

On per capita income – Yakutia is somewhere near Thailand, Cuba and Peru (individually), while it comes four times less than Australia and Canada, and a little more than China.

Yakutia can boast not only a massive territory; it also rocks in terms of diamonds, is real cool on the permafrost front, and is extreme to the extreme on wintery cold – particularly in Oymyakon. There’s also the Kolyma Highway (the one Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode along on their round-the-world motorcycle trip in 2004), the Lena River, and – last and most – the Lena Pillars – which were where we were headed. Here are the pics:

lena_pillars_yakutia_1

More: Pillars, permafrost and people who live there…

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Alaska, alas, shrugged…

…at our disappointment about the weather in this corner of the atlas.

Howdy all!

Briefly, what’s coming up below: a quick Alaskan photo-fest + brief commentary, after a recent trip to the 49th state. This place is the latest been-to of my upcoming Top-100 Must-See Places in the World.

So, herewith, I submit, your honor, both my witness testimony and photographic evidence…

AlaskaAlaskan Duel

More: First thing to say: it’s royally rainy here…

West Coast volcano boast.

It’s easy to brainstorm a long list of things you can associate instantly with the USA. Easy peasy…

Washington, D.C., the White House, NYC, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Wild West, the Great Depression, Lend-Lease, the first man on the moon, the Space Shuttle, Coke and Pepsi, McDonald’s, Hollywood and Disney, Microsoft, iPhone, Google, Facebook… I could go on for ages, as I’m sure you could….

But one thing I never associated with the U S of A is volcanoes. However, it turns out there are quite a few here – and rather impressive they are too. They’re on the West Coast – in Washington state, up next to Canada.

For those who might not yet know, I’m a big fan of volcanism (see my tales, pics and vids from Kamchatka, New Zealand, Santorini, Mount Etna, Pico de Orizaba and so on).

And I can now add a plus-2 to my collection of been-to volcanism – with these two gems:

1) Mount Rainier (Indian name – Tahoma);

2) Mount St. Helens (Indian name – Louwala-Clough).

Mount St.Helens

Mount St.Helens

 

More: Stateside volcanism…

Thinking hard… in Prague.

Hi all!

Once upon a time long, long ago (in 1998 to be precise) some comrades and I, much in need of some rejuvenation on the basic ideas front, decided to take leave of the hustle and bustle of Moscow for a short while and get ourselves to a quiet place (so that nobody could disturb us) in a charming location. We needed to get away from it all, and to go back to basics – to discuss and hammer out blueprints for the future of our technologies, antivirus engines, how various antivirus subsystems effectively interact with one another, and other such fundamentally crucial topics.

So this is what we did…

First, we needed to get the venue right. What we were after was a place that was sufficiently comfortable (not some doss house with one bathroom per floor or something), but nothing more. We also needed a conference room that could seat six – that’s how many were heading out. Basically it needed to be reasonably economical, since back then we weren’t exactly flush with cash, to say the least. Thus: three-star it was to be.

We checked out various places in the Moscow region, but to no avail. So then we looked further afield. Eventually we decided that the most suitable place – out of those not too far from Moscow – was the Czech capital. So off we flew down there…

Kaspersky Lab Innovation Summit 2013

More: Prague brainstorm, 15 years later…

The phantom of the boot sector.

My power over you
grows stronger yet
(с) Andrew Lloyd Webber – Phantom Of The Opera

In the ongoing battle between malware and anti-malware technologies, there’s an interesting game that keeps getting played over and over – king of the castle.

The rules are simple: the winner is the one who loads itself into the computer memory first, seizes control of the ‘levers’, and protects itself from other applications. And from the top of the castle you can calmly survey all around and guard the order in the system (or, if you’re malicious, on the contrary – you can cause chaos, which goes both unnoticed and unpunished).

In short, the winner takes all, i.e., control over the computer.

Cybercriminals have long taken an unhealthy interest in boot sector – the ideal way to hide the fact that the computer is infected. And they use a special strain of malware – bootkits.

And the list of applications wanting to do the boot process first begins with (as the name might suggest) the boot sector – a special section of the disk that stores all the instructions for what, when and where to load. And, terror of terrors, even the operating system sticks to this list! No wonder cybercriminals have long taken an unhealthy interest in this sector, since abusing it is the ideal way to get first out of the blocks while completely hiding the fact that the computer is infected. And the cybercriminals are helped in this by a particular class of malware – bootkits.

How your computer loads

loading_comp_en

To find out what bootkits are and how we protect you against them – read on…

More: the prosperity, the fall and the return of bootkits…

KL: Sweet Sixteen!

Yep, we’ve reached the age of consent folks! No more little 15, just sweet 16 :).

As per tradition, we celebrated our birthday in style – for the 15th time (no typo – see the ‘P.S.’ below). KLers from all over the globe descended on a spot in the countryside to the north of Moscow last Friday – which thankfully was a beautiful sunny day (not like last year’s washout:).

kaspersky-lab-16-barthday-party1Another year, another beer

More: I’ll let the pix do the talking…

Santorini: The ancient civilization time forgot, and a volcano wiped out.

Yia folks!

Fate saw to it that I recently found myself on the island of Santorini for a couple of days, which just so happens to be one of the most interesting and unusual places on the planet, and as such finds itself residing comfortably on my list of the top must-see places in the world.

For anyone hearing of Santorini for the first time, it’s a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 100 kilometers north of Crete and around 200km southeast from Athens – here!

This was my third time on the island, so by now I know quite a bit about the place – and it’s all rather fascinating… so let me give you the inside story here, so you don’t have to trawl through site after site and still not get the real deal…

So, let’s start with the basics: Santorini is a volcano-island. (Yes, that is no doubt why I’ve just had my third trip there!) Or, to put it more precisely, it’s what remains of a volcanic caldera after it erupted thousands of years ago, plus a new, smaller volcano slowly rising up from the sea which now fills the caldera in the center of the archipelago. The walls of the crater are impressively tall – around 300 meters high and made up of black, grey, white and red volcanic rock. The effect is one of unearthly beauty, like being on another planet. A unique bit of topography.

Then there’s the multicolored beaches – civilized sandy ones (which you need to take a car/quad/motorbike to get to), and wild stony ones (only by boat or foot). There’s also the exquisite Greek food (fresh fish, lots of greens, tzatziki; but if you want steak – best wait till you’re back on the mainland), and multi-starred Metaxa… In short, a Mediterranean paradise :).

santorini3

More: The mystery of Atlantis…