Tag Archives: mexico

10 years of sensational SAS.

Many different cyber-professional events take place around the world every year. Out of all of them I have one special favorite – our own special one for cybersecurity analysts: SAS (Security Analyst Summit). And every year they just get better and better and bigger and bigger. This time we had 320 guests from 30+ countries – mostly from the Americas and Europe, but also seven experts from Australia, and participants from Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Representatives of large companies were in strong attendance as usual (from Microsoft, Google, Apple, Cisco, Sony, Honeywell, Cloudflare, Pfizer, SWIFT, Chevron, Citibank and others), but there were also folks from the cyber-police of different countries, plus government agencies and departments from the UK, Netherlands, Canada, France, China, South Korea, Switzerland, Austria, Romania and Kazakhstan. There were non-commercial and educational organizations (like, among others, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the University of Texas, respectively). And a big thanks to our conference partners and sponsors, namely: Qintel, Avast, Telstra, Microsoft, ThreatBook, Talos, Security Week and Threatpost. In short, folks from all over and from diverse fields, demonstrating the degree of trust in and respect for our company.

Like me, SAS likes to travel the world, avoiding the large Congress centers of big boring cities, preferring instead stunning exotic locations with a warm climate and in the immediate vicinity of warm ocean.

SAS has been held in Croatia, Cyprus and Malaga on the Mediterranean; in Mexico’s Cancun in 2012 and 2015; on the Spanish island of Tenerife; and the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and St. Maarten in the Caribbean. And here we are once again back in Cancun for this, our 10th SAS! Hooray!

It all began in the year 2009. 60 guests – 55 of which were KL staff! – each sharing their notes on research and experience in cybersecurity. Those humble beginnings quickly grew into large-scale industry events with more than 300 high-level delegates (only ~30% of which were from KL). This year’s event was extra special because of the jubilee, and the participants didn’t seem disappointed…

Read on…

Mexico Secreto.

Hi folks!

Cenotes. Gotta love ’em.

What’s a cenote, you ask? A cenote is “a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Especially associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.”Wikipedia.

Cenotes of the Yucatán Peninsula – gotta love ’em especially. For these aren’t just pretty lakes somewhere deep down below in huge pits (like Ik Kil); these are rivers and pools that are completely underground – invisible from the surface. Yucatán’s climate is well and truly tropical, meaning there’s plenty of rain too; all the same, on the surface there are practically no rivers at all to be seen. Why? Before the limestone bedrock collapses the rivers run underneath it. When a collapse does eventually take place, only then do the rivers show their faces rapids to the world once again after millennia underground.

Btw, you aren’t allowed to take camera/video equipment into the cenotes; accordingly, none of the pics here are mine.

Here are a few pics I found on the net: oh my grotto!…

Read on…

Worldwide Swimming – Pt 1.

Recent extreme water-sports up in (surprisingly) sunny Greenland got me thinking. Maybe I could try and reach into the recesses of my memory to come up with accounts of my most unusual, interesting and enjoyable swims I’ve had around the world – a ‘Top World-Swims’, if you like. For swimming – or mere bathing, or just plain getting into bodies of water besides those in a hotel room bathtub – I’ve done rather a lot of, in all sorts of far-flung weird-and-wonderful locations…

Taking dips: it’s an interesting topic – especially now during the summer season of R&R, beaching & resorting, and the attendant water-based activities is upon us. For maybe some of you are near pools, lakes, seas or oceans right now and may be in danger of missing the very best spots – as attested to by Yours Truly. So, without more of a do, let’s get these aquatics started.

All righty. The plan here is as follows: I’ll be telling you only about swimming/bathing in natural water bodies. Mega swimming pools, aqua parks, spas and so on won’t be included. Here it’s all about the most unusual organic bathing experiences. I’ll work across the globe from left to right, top to bottom: Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia. I’ll be missing out Antarctica as I didn’t manage to get any bathing in down there, if you can believe it :).

Oh, and btw: If anyone can see any glaring gaps to my global natural-aqua-must-swims, please don’t be shy; let us all know about them in the comments. I for one would be most grateful…

Ok. Let’s go. North America…

I’ve been to Alaska, but much like on Antarctica, I had things other than bathing on my mind. Therefore, I’ll jump straight over to Greenland, which is still technically North America…

1. Bobbing up and down among chunks of Greenlandic ice.

To swim bathe float in a Michelin-Man costume in among big chunks of floating ice and icebergs, to touch them, or even clamber up onto them, is an unforgettable experience. There’s nothing to fear: those brightly colored costumes are dry and comfortable. Only your hands get to feel the water – but even then only a bit: just a little water gets inside the mitts.

Read on: glaciers, caves and dolphins …

From Mexico to China.

Your attention please! This is Tijuana Airport broadcasting! I’m now now starting a reality show about the adventures of a traveler trying to fly from Mexico to China. Welcome aboard!

So, the most convenient way of getting from Cancun to China is to fly Cancun -> Mexico City -> Shanghai (with a stop to refuel). This time, the attempt to follow this route was a total failure. Shanghai Pudong Airport closed for technical reasons – that is, due to some dense dog fog. So I’m sitting in Mexico’s most northeasterly city, Tijuana, waiting to depart.

This is a very remote part of Mexico, most people will never make it here and you’ve probably never even heard of it. Which only makes it all the more interesting! It’s known as the third most prosperous city in the country (after Cancun and Mexico City). Perhaps, that’s thanks to the United States, right across the border, which has set up all sorts of manufacturing plants here, uses the local inexpensive (but decent) medical facilities, etc. It’s also one of the most criminalized places in Mexico, supplying drugs and illegal immigrants to the States. Bad stuff…But it looks (downtown, as seen from my hotel) pretty decent – could be somewhere in California or Florida or suchlike.

Tijuana-airport-1

Read on: But the weather is nothing like Florida…

Cancun sunrises.

The 2016 season is in full swing, with winter and spring events following one another in quick succession. We have just completed our annual North American partner conference.

It was pretty much the same as always. Presentations, meetings, discussions. Products-technologies-services, strategies, promotion, problems, opportunities, ideas. Lunch, entertainment, networking. Two whole days. Got there – got together – got down to work.

cancun-mexico-partner-conference-1

From dawn to… dawn, pretty much :) Speaking of dawn, the sunrises were gorgeous:

#Cancun sunrise #Mexico // Ох уж эти канкунские рассветы!

A photo posted by Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) on

Read on: looking for a better new place…

Cancunference 2015.

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).

cancun-mexico-sas2015-1

cancun-mexico-sas2015-2

Read on: Work hard, play hard, like always…

Yukatan: You can tan, while conferencing.

On the news of late I’ve been seeing an awful lot of reports about very woeful wintery weather all around the world. In Moscow they’ve had the heaviest snowfall in something like centuries, and Northeastern USA also got a fair overdose of the pretty white precipitation. I start thinking that it’s all just signals warning of impending doom caused by global warming. But then, who wouldn’t – bar ostriches – after all the freak snow and then looking at the results of ice drillings in Antarctica at the Vostock Station? :( But I digress…

So it seems that everyone from New York, to York, to Yakutsk is suffering big time with loads of weary winteriness. So that leaves me + cohorts + partners feeling… well, a little bit guilt-stricken, to say the least. Why? Because we’re all on the sun drenched, snow-free, profoundly picturesque Yucatán Peninsula.

KL N.American Partner Conference

More: Why conferencing in paradise?…

Woodpecker Summit 2012.

The main occasion of our recent series of events in Cancun was the Security Analyst Summit (SAS) – the supreme congress of KL’s most distinguished virus analysts (woodpeckers; why woodpeckers? – see the full story here) and invited external security experts, who come together to boast about their achievements; exchange ideas, opinions and experiences; and, of course, do some informal networking.

Security Analyst Summit

The idea of the woodpecker summit goes back years. Its inception came in 1997 in Prague. We decided to reject the status quo – the usual boring model of what a summit should be about – and rethink the whole idea from scratch. What we came up with was a mostly informal get-together in comfortable surroundings in a distant, original location to discuss our technological breakthroughs. And one such breakthrough happens to have been the basic blueprint of our antivirus engine – named after the Czech capital where it was ‘born’. Clearly something was working with the summit format.

There followed rather a long break, but then in the early 2000s the tradition was kick-started again and these micro-conferences (in which only our employees took part at first) started being held sometimes several times a year. Since then there’ve been 15 of them.

Then in 2009 this tradition was updated and expanded – to version 2.0: transformed into much bigger, non-KL-exclusive, annual “woodpecker summits” in warm climes and with a serious intention to make the summits the main yearly event of the industry. Our latest – the fourth – was in the sunny Mexican resort of Cancun – coming across, I think, as a serious pronouncement of our present status. We had some 100+ attendees from 14 countries, great presentations and plenty of awesome team building. More details are in the guest post below from our Senior Virus Analyst, Yury Namestnikov:

Read more: SAS 2012 unleashed …

A Break Well Deserved – Mayan Style.

With three events (Security Analyst Summit, international press tour, and IT-security industry analysts’ conference) in Cancun over and done with (which completed the last leg of more than three weeks on the road at conferences, etc., etc., etc. all around the world), and the very last guests all having left, a little nostalgia was already setting in for the great times we had in the place… everything was just so very positive, interesting and fun – especially the evenings; extra-specially the Mexican Yucatan nights – yee-ha!

So let me tell you a little about the three ‘best bits’ – what you really must see in Yucatan if you ever get the chance to visit the place.

First – Chichen Itza (the Mayan pyramids); second – Cenote Ik-Kil (for swimming); and third – Rio Secreto (underground caves); not necessarily in that order. All must-visits!

A few pieces of advice: in Rio Secreto it’s better to leave your camera outside the cave – otherwise it’ll just get ruined down there from being submerged in water. But not to worry – every group of visitors to the caves is accompanied by a photographer who knows exactly how to keep his camera dry above water level. There are three different routes in Rio Secreto – all taking approximately 90 minutes to complete – at first by foot, then up to one’s knees in water, then swimming, then… just anyway, anyhow, as best you can :)

Indeed, a massive ‘big up’ to Rio Secreto . And I recommend buying one of the CDs with photos at the exit – the CDs contain great pics of both underground and surface scenes, plus ones of all the wildlife to be found in the caves.

For Chichen Itza you need to take camera equipment, bathing suit, plus towel – that’s about all you need for a great day’s chillage there.

It goes without saying that all the touristy spots are lined with densely packed stalls hawking the inevitable mass consumption tat. “Onnly van dullaar, senyor!”

The pics below show where the Mayas played their ancient version of basketball. Legend has it that one of the teams in the final after the game would be sacrificed for the gods. Which team wound up dead after the match – the winning or losing one – is not known: scholarly opinion is divided on this.

Swimming in Cenote Ik-Kil is one of the most magical swims in the world! The purest water, at the perfect temperature, at the bottom of a kind of deep sinkhole with long dangling plants hanging from high above. I really recommend it. One problem though is that it’s tricky taking good photos there – it’s quite dark below and very light above L.

That’s all folks! And now, for several days I’m going to be in full offline regime, somewhere here:

View from the plane

The rest of the photos are here.