Good Evening ATS,
Recently, I have become increasingly interested in one of Russia's (and the world's) most interesting, and wealthiest men: Eugene Kaspersky, founder
of one the world's largest cyber-security firms, Kaspersky Labs.
Born October 4, 1965, in Novorossiysk, USSR, Eugene Kaspersky is the son of a poor family that lived in a one bedroom "hut" that was once home to
hard-labor victims during Stalin's Regime.
During his youth, he was noted as being extremely intelligent, specifically in the mathematics field. In a autobiography available online on his
official blog, Kaspersky writes,
From my early years I became interested in mathematics. One of my favorite hobbies in high school was solving quizzes published in technical
magazines. Luckily my mother soon cottoned-on to my inclination for mathematics, and decided – thankfully! – to cultivate my talents with a
Due to his extreme intelligence in the mathematics and science fields, Kaspersky was accepted into the Russian Institute of Cryptography,
Telecommunications and Computer Science, a school long affiliated with the Soviet Government and the KGB. After graduating from the Institute in 1987,
Kaspersky became a officer with the Soviet Army, specifically in the technology field. Much of the work he conducted there is still "top-secret" and
his refuses to comment on what it was he did for the Soviets.
In 1989, he encountered his first computer virus, and over the next decade became increasingly obsessed with computers and specifically, cyber
security. In a controversial move, Eugene was given a discharge from the Army (possibly due to a personal relationship with a professor at the
Institute). In 1997, he founded Kaspersky Lab with two other individuals and began to offer anti-virus and cyber security software. His company was
the first to allow the "sandboxing" of viruses and Now, over a decade after it was founded, Kaspersky's Software is used by over 300 million people
worldwide, and has sales of over $600 million a year.
In 2010, Kaspersky Labs gained global infamy for discovering a worm that had infected dozens of Iranian computers. It was later discovered that this
program, now referred to as Stuxnet, was the world's first true "cyberweapon" and had been created by a US-Israeli team commissioned by the White
House to sabotage Iranian nuclear efforts.
Later, in May of 2012, Kaspersky discovered a second virus, this one infecting 417 computers, including 185 in Iran alone. Nicknamed "Flame" due to a
script that allowed the virus to spread to other computers, this worm was intended to capture and transmit information, specifically design and
architectural data, and send it to remote servers. One of the largest and most sophisticated malicious programs ever discovered, this program too was
later discovered to have been created by a US-Israeli team targeting Iranian nuclear facilities.
The ousting of these programs is part of Kaspersky and his company's goal "to serve as a global crime-stopper and peacekeeper" and "to save the
world." One of the company's newest goals is:
It’s an industrial control system, a computer for operating heavy machinery, just like the ones that Stuxnet attacked. Kaspersky’s team is
quietly working on new ways to harden these systems against cyberattack—to protect the power grids and prisons and sewage plants that rely on these
controllers. The idea is to make future Stuxnets harder to pull off.
Over the last half-decade, Eugene Kaspersky has risen to a near-icon to nearly everyone involved in the IT field and is increasingly becoming heavily
involved in politics, including the sponsorship of multiple racing teams and a close relationship with Putin's Government.
For every positive action, such as the proposal by Kaspersky to ban cyber warfare on an international level as with biochemical warfare and the
proliferation of nuclear weapons, Kaspersky and his company seem to be involved with some negative force.
With the rise of the Arab Spring came a double-edged sword in the IT World. On one hand, there had never been such a proliferation of social media and
its usage in the uprisings globally is without a doubt the leading factor in the upheaval of multiple governments by their subjects. On the other
hand, social media and the internet has been used by global forces of terror (whether clearly defined such as Al Qaeda or a gray area such as
In December 2011, Russia was preparing to undergo another round of parliamentary elections. However, on the eve of Voting Day, a massive series of
DDOS attacks took down hundreds of sites across Russia, mainly focusing on social media sites that served as hotbeds of opposition towards the
incumbent party. Kaspersky's software, which claims to be able to detect such attacks, failed to recognize any of these attacks, with Kaspersky
claiming that many of such attacks were a result of the sites' own popularity.
For men like Kaspersky, there is one answer for such sites:
Kaspersky can’t stand social networks like Facebook or its Russian competitor, VK (formerly known as VKontakte). “People can manipulate others
with the fake information,” he says, “and it’s not possible to find who they are. It’s a place for very dangerous action.” Especially
dangerous, he says, is the role of social networks in fueling protest movements from Tripoli to Moscow, where blogger Alexei Navalny has emerged as
perhaps the most important dissident leader and sites like VK and LiveJournal have helped bring tens of thousands of people into the streets.
Kaspersky sees these developments as part of a disinformation campaign by antigovernment forces to “manipulate crowds and change public
These same views have been shown across the globe by men such as the Head of FSB to Middle Eastern Dictators in attempt to justify the censorship of
the Internet. In recent years, these views have grown momentum with the International Telecommunications Union and multiple other International and
Domestic bodies. For Kaspersky the solution is a system that is nearly identical to the one that exists in the physical world.
It includes requiring strictly monitored digital passports for some online activities and enabling government regulation of social networks to thwart
protest movements. “It’s too much freedom there,” Kaspersky says, referring to sites like Facebook. “Freedom is good. But the bad guys—they
can abuse this freedom to manipulate public opinion.”
A passport system. With the proposed system, the internet would be cordoned off into "states" which require individuals to register specific passport
information in which access can granted or denied. While the system could potentially be helpful in preventing spammers and international hackers
(such as in the case of Stuxnet) from spreading globally, especially to sensitive areas, it also has the potential for a great evil.
What Say You?
Should a man with such close ties with the FSB, Russian Government and those who wish to control the free flow of information, really be allowed to
control the cyber security of nearly 300 million people? Is this man the Savior he claims? Or just a pawn attempting to destroy sites like ATS that
provide information to millions of people?
That is for you to decide ATS
edit on 18-11-2012 by isthisreallife because: (no reason given)