On The Road Again
The section on travel Eugene Kaspersky!
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On Your Marks, Get Set… Go!

On Your Marks, Get Set… Go!

Having a depressing January? Well don’t! Get out and about – preferably on the road! Which is just what I did. With my trusty big black suitcase

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To warm-up it’ll be Western Europe, mostly of the Alpine variety. Then it’ll be a healthy dose of equatorial/tropical travel, then back to Europe, then back home for a bit. It’s going to be fun, I can tell, and I’ll be sharing that fun, plus pics thereof, as I go along (I’ve already found the ‘masterpiece’ button:).

I got off to a real nice start still at the airport in Moscow. So calm and quiet after the New Year bedlam! No one rushing and pushing, hardly a line to be seen… Phew. Ahhhhh.

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2016: Only 52 Weeks, but So Much Done!

2016: Only 52 Weeks, but So Much Done!

All righty. The Christmas tree’s been taken down, the New Year merriment appears to have vanished, and it’s still very cold and snowy. So what better time for a bit of taking stock in the calm, cold light of day January. Therefore, as per tradition (2015, 2014, 2013), herewith, a cursory glance back over my personal highlights my year…

The first thing I can say is that it was a relatively calm year. In all 92 flights – lagging quite a bit behind the previous year’s record of 116. All the same, a couple of months were very intense aviation-wise: 12 flights in March and 13 in September. On the other hand, I had my first whole month without...

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Happy New Year from Central Moscow!

Happy New Year from Central Moscow!

Happy New Year folks, and hope you all had great holidays!

You won’t believe this… but this post is about… RED SQUARE! // Incidentally, the square I consider to be the most beautiful spot in Europe!

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I hadn’t been in downtown Moscow on New Year’s Eve since… oooh, 15 years ago! Yep – 2001 was the last time, on Pushkin Square watching the fireworks. But I’d never been on Red Square on New Year’s Eve. What?! So this year I decided to make amends…

So how was it? Well, actually, my overall impressions were… mixed. And it’s those mixed impressions that I’d like to share with you today.

Let me start off by saying that Moscow around...

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Seven Books for Highly Effective Reading.

Seven Books for Highly Effective Reading.

I regularly get asked which books should be read to build up a successful business. Students, start-uppers, managers, business owners – everybody wants a reading list! But that’s ok, for I do have some answers. However, I don’t believe one can become a businessperson by reading certain books, no matter how highly recommended they come. Still, there are some great books out there that sure won’t do any harm reading; eight of which I’ll tell you about in this here post…

I divide business books into two major categories.

The first helps readers with what needs to be done to build up a successful business; the second – how not to do it....

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Trolling, Dancing, Performing… and Just Plain Partying.

Trolling, Dancing, Performing… and Just Plain Partying.

Once again, it’s the last month of the year already. The reservoir outside my office window has long frozen over (with fishermen sat atop it with their rods poking through holes made in the thick ice), and it’s brrrrr freezing, it goes without saying. There’s the somewhat disturbing crackle of the anti-ice chemical pellets underfoot and under-wheel; there are traffic jams seeming to be longer than usual; and there are days when you don’t set foot outside in daylight (it’s dark late in the mornings and early in the evenings). Business-wise, December is also a month for summing up, for progress reviews, for stocktaking, and...

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Uh-Oh Cyber-News: Infect a Friend, Rebooting Boeings, No-Authentication Holes, and More.

Uh-Oh Cyber-News: Infect a Friend, Rebooting Boeings, No-Authentication Holes, and More.

Hi folks!

Herewith, the next installment in my ‘Uh-oh Cyber-News’ column – the one in which I keep you up to date with all that’s scarily fragile and frailly scary in the digital world.

Since the last ‘Uh-oh’ a lot has piled up that really needs bringing to your attention. Yep, the flow of ‘Uh-ohs’ has indeed turned from mere mountain-stream trickle to full-on Niagara levels. And that flow just keeps on getting faster and faster…

As a veteran of cyber-defense, I can tell you that in times past cataclysms of a planetary scale were discussed for maybe half a year. While now the stream...

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All Quiet on the Highly-Militarized Demilitarized Front.

All Quiet on the Highly-Militarized Demilitarized Front.

This is a veeerrrry strange place. It’s a place that’s completely isolated from the outer world – isolated by man, that is (not naturally isolated like, for example, Kamchatka). In fact, more isolated (by man) than the Chernobyl or Fukushima nuclear power plants. To get into it and get over to those there hills on the horizon is completely impossible, even theoretically – neither by ground nor air. You’d be shot!

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An absurd paradox of paradoxes, if ever there was one: they call this place ‘demilitarized’. Turns out to be one of the most heavily militarized strips of land on the planet! Yes folks, this is the Korean...

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Curious Observations, Useful Conclusions.

Curious Observations, Useful Conclusions.

After what has possibly been my longest ever ‘stay’ in Moscow (er, but I ‘live’ here:) – a full month! – I recently resumed my habitual routine of not being in the same place country for long. It’s good to be ‘back’; but the downtime in Moscow was great too. But I digress…

Anyway, I eased myself into the business-globetrotting thing steadily – taking not a full leap to the other side of the world, but a mere little jump not all that far away, relatively. And the first thing I noticed after landing that made me all curious was this here sign next to the lift in the offices we were visiting:

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Curious? Well, for me – yes....

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A Billion in the Cloud.

A Billion in the Cloud.

Recently, sharp-eyed users congratulated me with a ‘billion’ items in Kaspersky Security Network. Thank you! Although, I need to explain what that ‘billion’ is.

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First of all, don’t worry. This is not a billion something or other you don’t want on your computer; no, it’s something different, and it’s a little complicated. So, let me start with some basic definitions.

An ‘ideal cybersecurity product’ is one that:

– Detects 100% of cyberattacks (and makes no mistakes);
– Consumes 0% of system resources;
– Does not bother the user with technical questions.

Of course, this sort of protection has not been invented yet. Therefore, the quality of...

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A Brief History of DDoS Attacks.

A Brief History of DDoS Attacks.

And so it’s come to pass: the abbreviation ‘DDoS‘ has entered the lexicon to such an extent that it often doesn’t get written out in full these days in the general interest newspapers. Well, some actually may still not know what it stands for, but everyone and their dog does know that a DDoS is very bad thing for a certain large target, with something very important suddenly not working, with employees twiddling their thumbs as the network’s down, and with their tech-support’s telephones requiring an ice bath as they’re so hot from ringing – and disgruntled clients swearing down them all the time. What’s more, everyone and their cat also...

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The World’s Most Beautiful Countries – a Fresh Approach
ibJy1oPkgMTJDcwz0cBLPlOGaTQ_OYiB.jpg?w=270&s=0792c40cc3c5d9a8b388e68dd4897be3The World’s Most Beautiful Countries – a Fresh Approach. | Nota Bene: Eugene Kaspersky's Official Blogeugene.kaspersky.com  

 

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The First ‘Cybersecurity World Championship’.

The First ‘Cybersecurity World Championship’.

I’ve a real soft spot for the disruptive thinking. I also like surprising astounding folks. And I like astounding folks in proper, worthy ways. I like it when what we do makes jaws drop; when folks don’t believe – but try anyway, then they get to like it, and then they love it.

Ok, all a bit abstract so far. Let me be a bit more concrete…

Our latest jaw-dropper is… a desktop simulator game for cybersecurity! Never heard of that before? You wouldn’t – it’s never been done before!

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It goes by the name of KIPS – which stands for Kaspersky Interactive Protection Simulation. It’s a business teamwork cybersecurity strategy...

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A Tricky Choice out of Few Alternatives.

A Tricky Choice out of Few Alternatives.

Ok. Let’s solve – not the trickiest – but still not the most trivial of tasks.

This year for Christmas I’d like a new laptop – a better, tougher one. I’ve only had the one I’ve got now a little over a year, but with my business schedule and the computer’s constant use and abuse, it’s on its last legs already. It looks tatty, and the keyboard feels like it’s going to fall apart. So, yes: I need an upgrade…

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But what device should I get? Crikey. Where to start? Ah yes – at the beginning: with my requirements…

My user requirements aren’t too convoluted, but then again – they’re not mere email/ messenger/ Instagram/...

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The World’s Most Beautiful Countries – a Fresh Approach.

The World’s Most Beautiful Countries – a Fresh Approach.

And now for something completely different and non-industrial. In fact just the opposite – something about both natural and man-made beauty. Why? Here’s why…

Not long ago, somewhere (I can’t recall where) I came across the phrase ‘the most beautiful country in the world’. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but the old unconscious appears to have logged it for a future revisit. Oh that subconscious.

A few weeks later, sure enough, I was compelled to revisit it, and had a look on the Internet about this, and of course I found various lists of things like ‘The Top-10/20 Most Beautiful Countries in the World’....

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Pleasant News from China.

Pleasant News from China.

Privyet all!

I’m lying low in MOW at the mo, but that doesn’t mean life comes to a standstill – far from it!

While I sit here in my office looking out the window at the falling snow, over in China, in the city of Wuzhen, the annual World Internet Conference is taking place (which I was at last year). And this year the organizers have decided to give awards to the best (in their opinion) cyber-projects. And guess who featured among the winners?!

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Here’s congratulating all project members! Our solution for protecting industrial installations and critical infrastructure – KICS – won the award for ‘World Leading Internet Scientific and Technological...

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Rock Steel ‘n’ Roll.

Rock Steel ‘n’ Roll.

Ok, you’ve seen how the steel gets transformed from red hot slabs into pastry-thin sheets at the Novolipetsk Steel Plant already. Next up: the cold-rolling and polymer coatings workshop…

Rolls from the hot workshop are brought here and unwound onto conveyor belts and then shuffled about here and there and subjected to various technological processes to increase the steel’s quality, among other things.

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At the end of the processing the sheets are wound round these here reels:

Next – zinc plating. If you look closely, you can see in the next pic a sheet of steel standing vertically. Actually, it’s not standing, it’s shooting upwards – after taking a...

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Finally, Our Own OS – Oh Yes!

Finally, Our Own OS – Oh Yes!

At last – we’ve done it!

I’ve anticipated this day for ages – the day when the first commercially available mass market hardware device based our own secure operating system landed on my desk. And here she is, the beaut.

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This unassuming black box is a protected layer 3 switch powered by Kaspersky OS and designed for networks with extreme requirements for data security.

And there’s plenty more in the pipeline where this came from too, meaning the tech will be applied in other Internet-connected bits of kit, aka the Internet of Things (IoT). Why? Because this OS just so happens to be ideal for applications where a small, optimized and secure...

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Swan Lake.

Swan Lake.

Despite the wholly non-sterile conditions inside the Novolipetsk Steel Plant, on the outside you’d never know there was a mammoth industrial complex nearby. For the management take the ecology of the surrounding environment veeerrryyy seriously.

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The above slide says: ‘More than $1.1 billion invested in ecology in 15 years. Lipetsk – the cleanest metal-producing city in the Russian Federation’. And you can probably guess what those figures in the clouds mean: the level of air pollution, with Lipetsk having the lowest level/number – 3.4.

Indeed, several years ago they decided to take air pollution really seriously here and cut it drastically – and it looks like...

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That’s It. I’ve Had Enough!

That’s It. I’ve Had Enough!

Hi Folks!

Meet David, the magnificent masterpiece sculpted by Michelangelo at the start of the 16th century. A photo of his face with that curious furrowed brow featured on our very first anti-cyber-vermin security product at the beginning of the 1990s. Some thought the pic was of me! I still don’t see why; I mean, have you EVER seen my face clean-shaven… and as white as a sheet? )

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The choice of David for the retail box was far from random: we found we were kindred spirits – both very much underdogs. KL was a small young company from nowhere throwing down the gauntlet to global cyber-malice in an established international security market; David was...

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Slabs Like It Hot.

Slabs Like It Hot.

Hi folks!

I told you the Novolipetsk Steel Plant is gargantuan, right? So it makes sense my report and pics from a visit thereto wouldn’t fit into just one post. Therefore – you guessed it – herewith, part two!…

All righty. 15 million tons of steel – that’s how much exactly? I mean, so ordinary Homo Sapiens can get their heads round it? Ok – here’s my attempt at quantification for the masses…

Now, you see the bright orange block in the following pic? It calls itself – would you believe it – a slab, and it weighs between 25 and 35 tons. Thus, 15 million tons of steel would be…

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…~500,000 such slabs. Half a million. Still can’t picture that?...

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How Much Steel?

How Much Steel?

So, boys and girls – how many of you have been to a steelmaking plant? A show of hands please…

Well, I’d not been to one either, but dreamed of doing so for a very long time. I wanted to have a look at the whole process, even if from a distance. To see how they load ore and coke into the blast furnace, hear it sizzle and fuse, and see the liquid metal getting poured to form red slabs of metal at thousand-degree temperatures to be rolled on the mill. I knew some of the theory and terminology, but had never seen the magic happen first-hand.

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As if you couldn’t guess… finally – it came about! Our respected corporate customer Novolipetsk Steel invited us to Lipetsk...

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The Internet of Harmful Things.

The Internet of Harmful Things.

In the early 2000s I’d get up on stage and prophesize about the cyber-landscape of the future, much as I still do today. Back then I warned that, one day, your fridge will send spam to your microwave, and together they’d DDoS the coffeemaker. No, really.

The audience would raise eyebrows, chuckle, clap, and sometimes follow up with an article on such ‘mad professor’-type utterances. But overall my ‘Cassandra-ism’ was taken as little more than a joke, since the more pressing cyberthreats of the times were deemed worth worrying about more. So much for the ‘mad professor’…

…Just open today’s papers.

Any house these days – no matter how...

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UNIQUE COSMIQUE OPTIQUE.

UNIQUE COSMIQUE OPTIQUE.

I left you last week with the safety instructions for when visiting the Lytkarino optical glass plant. Now we’re all clear on how to stay safe, on we go with our excursion, this installment being of the actual production facilities…

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    Industrial-optical-brutal

First up, a quick march around the ‘old’ section of the manufacturing base. I see what they mean: furnaces à la 19th century, with thick brick/concrete blocks around the furnaces. REAL old school :). White hotness inside peeking through the cracks around the brick front ‘doors’; I wanted to get a closer look, of course, but much too hot to even approach.

Now, I was expecting things to be...

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Industrial, Optical, Theoretical, Expositional.

Industrial, Optical, Theoretical, Expositional.

This is a pair of very good binoculars for everyday usage. You never know when you might need to get a closer look of a mysterious object on the horizon, or check out what’s going on down by the entrance to your high-rise apartment block, or suddenly find yourself in a theater…

I’m no binoculars expert. But I don’t have to be to like using a pair. But that pair has to be a good pair. Can’t be having a pair that are tricky to adjust, that give an unclear image, and that don’t fit the eye sockets well. But with this pair was none of that. Clear, large images when looked through – you think you can touch the scene with your hand!...

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Dammed if You Do, Dammed if You Don’t.

Dammed if You Do, Dammed if You Don’t.

Yichang is a relatively small provincial city (a ‘prefecture-level city’) in the Hubei province with a population of just over four million, but it’s several times larger than London! It’s famous mostly for its Three Gorges Dam, which I told you about yesterday. The view of it from my hotel room looked like this:

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And here’s the view from the other side of the hotel:

And a few more panoramic pics taken from the plane. I apologize for their quality; they were taken through a dirty plane window, plus, the air in China is hardly the world’s cleanest and clearest. Plus there’s the climate: humid, with constant cloud up above – so in...

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