Santiago (the capital of Chile) is situated in a valley between two mountain ranges. The bigger of the two is called the Andes. The other… I never did get round to finding out its name. Anyway, the reason I’m telling you this is that, by and large, the wind here tends to blow across these ridges – i.e., not down the valley – leaving the valley, and Santiago, thoroughly ventilation-less. This means there’s nothing to shift the thick smog that hangs over the valley. It looks, to be honest, disturbing. Imagine breathing that in all day and night, year after year. Yikes!
Tag Archives: events
What are the differences between a chilly Australian winter and a hot Scottish whisky summer?
There are plenty, but the main ones are: First, here in bonnie Scotland – at least on the eastern side where we were last week – there are no palm trees to be seen out the window. Second, the sun moves in the opposite direction, and does so very slowly: it gets dark around 10pm and gets light around 4-5am. Sure, it’s at a latitude of 56 degrees north after all!
Anyway, here we were in sunny St Andrews in Scotland, United Kingdom!
In the southern hemisphere – of course including Australia, where I was last week – June 1 is the first day of winter. Down under it’s hardly gonna be all snow drifts, frozen-over lakes and -40 degrees temperatures or anything, but it can still get relatively cold at night. The nightly average minimum temperature at this time of year in northwestern Australia is 15 degrees centigrade, but that’s only the average; in some places there can be night frosts. In Oz!! All the same, by day, hardly wintry in the town of Broome in Kimberley:
I love to play pranks, act daft, or just play like a kid – especially when the following are present: a large friendly group of like-minded revelers and a real special location.
Just recently both those ingredients were indeed present – and in full effect. It was the evening after one of our partner conferences – for the first time in Venice.
I first used the term ‘Internet-INTERPOL’ somewhere around the start of the 2000s. The first time I got round to writing it down was in 2003. This year – 2015 – some 12 years later, finally, what I’ve been talking about, pushing for, advocating, promoting all these years is here:
An INTERPOL division dedicated exclusively to combatting the dark side of the Internet!
Yep, just the other week in sunny Singapore INTERPOL officially opened its new cyber-division – IGCI – whose mission is to clear cyberspace of all things criminal and similarly bogus. It will act as the coordinating center for all international cyber-related activities of police forces of all its member states (nearly 200 countries!). In short: international hackerism and other net-diseases – watch out, CYBERPOL is here for good to make your lives miserable and increasingly risky. Besides investigations it will also be training specialists, promoting the cybercrime fight, and doing a whole lot of other helpful stuff in the name of ww-security for the www.
This opening really is no less than monumentally significant. Up until now cyber-villains have been running amok in part due to a lack of unity among national law enforcement bodies – aka different jurisdictions not talking too much with one another. Like the classic FBI vs. CIA vs. regular cops thing that’s been shown in Hollywood movies since the year dot. But this is real folks! Example:
Late last year one cop was asking us for the contact details of certain other cops from a different country! Asking us! Of course – it should be the other way round: all cops knowing each other and their passing on our contact details when they need some cyber-expertise! Indeed, the two systems’ coexistence (the cybercrims’ one without borders, and state cyber-police’s within the jurisdictions of national borders, or, at best, within the European border) has always been a problem. And it’s only gotten worse over the past 15 years or so – with increasingly brazen cyber-swine doing their stuff practically with impunity. Some of them have been caught and punished, but in the main, those were just the tip of the iceberg.
What makes last week’s event in Singapore even more special for us is that the IGCI was opened with our active participation plus support of various kinds – organizational, consultative, financial, and even personnel. For example, one of our top experts, V.K., is now our assigned ‘man in Singapore’, having been living in the city state and working with INTERPOL for several months already, and set to continue for much longer. He’s helping his INTERPOL colleagues develop and deepen their cyber-knowledge and practical cyber-skills, and even takes part in ongoing investigations. And he’s as happy as a sand boy.
Some ten-plus years ago, our then still quite small company decided to push the boundaries – literally: we went transnational. Before long we found we had expert-analyst KLers working in all corners of the globe, all of them communicating with one another by email, messengers, telephone and other indirect means. Nothing wrong with that really, but still, it’ll never beat face-to-face interaction. So we decided to have a yearly jamboree where we’d all get together and top up on the much needed proper face time. That was when our annual conference for IT security experts was born: the Security Analyst Summit (SAS).
February 15-18, 2015 is fast approaching…
Over those four days we’ll be having our annual (seventh) conference on information security, whose main topic will be modern-day cyberattacks and protecting against them besides a whole load of other assorted cyberthreat themes. The winter summit in warmer climes, this year in Cancun, Mexico: the Security Analyst Summit 2015 (SAS).
So, just remember, the main security industry hashtag of mid-Feb this year is this one: #TheSAS2015
(No security experts were harmed during the shooting of this video)
SAS is an exclusive, invite-only gig, with only the cream of the world’s crop of top IT security movers and shakers taking part. It’s not massive – it’s more intimate, which means it’s more meaningful and more gets done – and twice as engaging and interesting for all participants. But don’t feel left-out by this guest-list-only cliquishness. Opaque – us? :). Just about all what’s discussed we’ll be swiftly publishing as tweets and blogposts (see the hashtag above and the blog links below).
Meantime, if you want more detail about what goes on at SAS and some SAS history, have a read of this.
This year’s bash promises lots of very interesting content, including a world premiere or two plus other important announcements, as per tradition. The main themes are targeted attacks and cyber-militarization, and how to combat both. Also on the agenda are: mobile malware, vulnerabilities management, cyberattack analysis methods, intra-security-expert-industry cooperation, and more besides.
There’ll be both presentations of the ‘for all’ format, and also highly specific, specialized ones for the pros (like for example reverse engineers). And there’ll be a special bit this year on protecting critical infrastructure – which promises to be very useful due to both the timeliness and the number of top-notch experts who are going to be taking part.
Have a look for yourself: the program’s ready and online already.
For me, there’s nothing better to invigorate the soul and get the spirits up on a winter’s morning than a brisk stroll in the icy air to the accompaniment of the cheerful, optimistic sounds of… bagpipes!
Actually, there is one thing that invigorates the soul better, and that’s an earthquake. I was woken up by one once in Japan. Invigorated? Yes. But getting the spirits up?…
No earthquakes here fortunately, in the small town of Davos in the Swiss Alps. But lots of icy air and, bizarrely, some bagpipes emitting their dulcet tones. Not that I was able to appreciate them for long, for I had to be off to my next meeting…
Things seem a little overly workaholic-like in Davos this year. Some events start at 7.30 in the morning! WHAT? Jeez, what a nightmare (for an evening person like myself). Oh well, if that’s when they start, that’s when they start. Will just have to comply humbly, and grumbly. But – organizers – please, kindly, get a grip and not repeat this madness next year, eh?
Curiously, Davos, for WEF week, turns itself into the weirdest skiing resort in the world.
To start off with, the environs around Davos have never been a super-mega for skiing and snowboarding. There aren’t that many routes, and they’re somewhat straight and boring, in fact hardly much fun at all – especially if you compare them with the likes of Zermatt, Sölden, Lech, the Dolomites and so on…
Not much fun
As per tradition, we recently had our New Year/Christmas blowout – the kind of party other, duller companies tend to call their ‘corporate do’. That hardly describes what we have though – and more and more so every year…
Last Friday some 1700 KLers and scores of guests from around the world all gathered in Moscow’s massive Olympic Stadium for our mega-bash. We ate, drank and were merry; we danced, bantered and awarded each other prizes; we took part in – or watched – the sublime ice spectacle and KL-stage show (in which around 110 employees took part); then danced some more, then some more again… all to wind up the year as is only right and proper – and usher in the next and even better 12 months.
Ireland does IT real well – it both understands it and supports it. But it doesn’t just attract and help out ‘adult’ tech businesses, it also does its bit with IT-incubators and supporting IT startups. But I waxed lyrical about all that a year ago.
// Ireland’s also seriously into pharmaceuticals, but I won’t be discussing that today. Pharmaceticals to me are like a parallel universe (and the term ‘pharma’ mostly reminds me of the illegal drugs trade on the Internet.
So here I was at the Web Summit exhibition-conference in Dublin, November 2014.
Among other things, Web Summit is a yearly gathering for all sorts of different IT-startups, which come here in search of partners and investors. It really is the place to come if you’re a budding IT ‘infant’-company with loads of ideas and plans and dreams but no money. IT-infants (plus investors and large business) come here from all over the world.
Here’s what it looks like: