Friday, November 30, 2012

Kaspersky Internet Security, Special Ferrari Edition

Do you know the difference between a virus and a worm? What is a Trojan and how did you get it? These are just a couple of questions that you are never going to have to worry about again. Kaspersky Labs has released the Special Ferrari Edition of their internet security software. As you would know from reading this blog, Kaspersky have signed a deal with the Ferrari Formula 1 team as well as Fernando Alonso. They have their branding on the nose of the F1 car and in return can use the Ferrari branding on their product. I am not sure if it is any faster or more agile around the corners of your mother board, but it is a cool looking box.

Installation of the product was simple and quick. On first installation, it asked me to uninstall any other anti-virus software I was running. I had been using the free version of Avast up until then and tried to uninstall that. If you have ever tried to uninstall an anti-virus programme, you will know that it is not the easiest thing to do. Kaspersky Labs had that solved and managed to uninstall it for me on the second trying.

Once installed, a quick re-boot and I was up and running. There was a rather large update that needed to be done but isn't that the same with all new software these days? The application runs quietly in the background and protects you from most, if not all, internet risks.

I have had the programme installed for a week and so far it claims to have scanned over 1 million files. Those are files that I use every day, not a full scan, which is also just a simple click away. It has Network Attack Blocker, Anti-Spam as well as an Application Control; whatever that is. It all seems to be doing its job.
From the website:

Kaspersky Internet Security Special Ferrari Edition has a range of unique technologies that provide increased protection for your family. Keep your PC or Netbook free from harm with:
  • Real-time proactive protection against viruses and other malware
  • Safe Surf and Kaspersky Web Toolbar for online security
  • Best-in-class personal firewall for keeping hackers at bay
  • Identity protection with Virtual Keyboard and anti-phishing
  • Unique Safe Run mode for suspicious apps & websites
  • Advanced Parental Control with flexible settings
  • Smart anti-spam and anti-banner protection
  • Computer tune-up for better performance and protection
  • Rescue CD to restore previously infected PCs
  • Prescheduled automatic scans and updates
When I was in New York and met Eugene Kaspersky, he made a point of reminding the journalists gathered there that most computer hacks, attacks etc. are because of human error. It's all very well having the best security software, but if someone picks up the phone and asks for your password and you give it to them, then how are you going to blame the security software? There are evil people out there.

I loved how he calls them "black hats" and "white hats". White Hats are folks that keep on hacking, attacking and trying to access networks, but they don't do any malicious damage. They report their findings on public forums and companies can take action to protect themselves further. Black Hats are the dangerous ones. They hack, destroy and break. Those are the people that you need to look our for.

For now, I am trusting Kaspersky and a good dose of Internet paranoia. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kaspersky Lab

“The world I’m living in, which is the security world, is becoming more and more complicated,” Eugene Kaspersky ominously informed us. One would imagine: his Russia-based antivirus company, Kaspersky Labs, essentially announced the new age of cyberwar with the 2010 suggestion that Stuxnet must’ve been built with nation-state support. The target–Iran’s nuclear facilities–made it clear that the U.S. was likely involved (a detail cinched by The New York Times earlier this year).
Mr. Kaspersky was in New York for the launch of a new ad campaign with the somewhat corny title of “Driving Toward Better Online Security,” starring Formula One driver Fernando Alonso. (Both men were outfitted in the appropriate shade of Ferrari fire-engine red.)
In person, Mr. Kaspersky comes off as unexpectedly jolly for an antivirus kingpin. That Wired profile had us expecting more of a bear-wrestling Hemingway character. And while he did devote a fair bit of time to waxing poetic about off-the-grid vacations in Russia’s remote, volcano-heavy Kamchatka peninsula, Mr. Kaspersky also peppered his points with laugh lines and pulled goofy faces. Even while admitting that yes, he’s a paranoid man, he still flashes a Chesire Cat grin.
One exchange during the Q&A period offered a concise example of the tenor of the afternoon.
Reporter, after a good quarter hour listening to Mr. Kaspersky talk about cyber dangers: “You paint these very negative pictures.” Mr. Kaspersky: “I’m paranoid!” Reporter: “Is there a positive?” Mr. Kaspersky, relishing the exchange: “Yes. I’m optimistic. We will survive. I don’t know how, but we will survive.”
After a Formula One-heavy press conference with Mr. Alonso–the highlight of which was the correspondent from Playboy Russia asking what he liked about Russian girls–Mr. Kaspersky and we tech journalists adjourned for a Q&A about online security.
The Woolworth Building peeking out over his shoulder, he opened with a brief overview of the history of hacking. Teens wreaking havoc for the fun of it gave way to cybercriminals. Now, the actors are more sophisticated: ”There are criminals, there are hacktivists, maybegovernment-sponsored guys,” he said, adding, ”The worst is now there are instances of what I call cyberterrorism.” Examples would be the 2007 Estonian Internet blackout and the recent Aramco attack.
“What to do?” he asked rhetorically, before answering his own question with a Bond villain-like chuckle: “Pray.”
Presumably he’d also like you to download Kaspersky antivirus software.
Kaspersky’s role in unraveling Stuxnet also raises the question of whether national maneuverings on the cyberfrontier create a conflict of interest for not just Kaspersky, but American firms like McAfee.
For his part, Mr. Kaspersky loudly denies any official connection to the Russian government, especially the FSB. It’s not as though his company intends to find out governments are behind these viruses. “The reality is when we find the new malware in the network or somebody sends us a sample, sometimes we recognize maybe they’re not criminals. Maybe they’re states,” he admitted. “But we detect it anyway,” said, comparing Kaspersky Labs to a metal detector that pings regardless whether it’s a policeman or a gangster wearing the gun.
“It’s a new game and still there are no rules of this game, and what we are doing is trying to establish these rules,” he said. In the meantime, he added, “I do my best to stop cyberweapons.”
And while Mr. Kaspersky expects cyber-spying will always be with us, cyberweapons, he believes, have a limited future. He told us that he believes nation-states will eventually ban them in some sort of international treaty, similar to the restrictions around nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. They’re just too unpredictable. He said he’d met with officials at Russia’s department for cybersecurity and been told they shared his opposition.
Asked about whether any nations were more likely to develop cyberweapons than others, he merely repeated a little tidbit he’d already shared: “Russian software engineers are the best. Condoleezza Rice said that.”
“I think when the Russian government comes with their message that, let’s make cyberweapons forbidden, that’s a good idea to follow,” he added.
Duly noted.