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June 2011

When digital risk gets physical: Assessing the global cyberthreat

On the opening day of Infosecurity Europe 2011, when Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky Labs, took the podium to deliver a wide-ranging and humorous speech about cybercriminals, he could hardly have imagined the news that would reach him shortly afterwards. As we now know, his 20-year-old son Ivan had been kidnapped in Moscow and was being held for a ransom of 3 million euro. Kaspersky flew to Russia, and, with the help of security forces, managed to get his son freed without harm, and without paying any ransom.  Ironically, the theme of Kaspersky’s talk had been “How to make the criminals unhappy,” although he was obviously referring to cybercriminals, not kidnappers. He said the last few years had been a golden age for cybercriminals; they have been able to make huge sums of money with little risk of ever being caught. But, he argued, the balance of power is now changing. Cloud-based reputation services, he said, enable antimalware companies to respond much faster to new threats, and thus limit the amount of damage hackers...

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