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V3 Hot Seat: Kaspersky Labs chief executive and founder, Eugene Kaspersky

07 Aug 2012

Eugene Kaspersky is chief executive of Kaspersky LabThe man behind the company heavily involved in finding the infamous Flame and Stuxnet malware, Eugene Kaspersky is one of the biggest names in cyber security.

Eugene Kaspersky graduated from Moscow State University in 1987 where he studied mathematics, cryptography and computer technology, majoring in mathematical engineering.

After graduating he began working at a multi-disciplinary research institute where he became fascinated with computer viruses after detecting the Cascade malware on his computer in October 1989. The discovery led Kaspersky to start collecting malicious programs and disinfection modules for them.

The collection later evolved to become the foundation of the Kaspersky Anti-Virus Database, which currently includes more than four million records.

After joining the KAMI Information Technologies Center in 1991, Kaspersky went on to found Kaspersky Labs with a selection of friends and colleagues in 1997.

Kaspersky has led the company to prominence, playing a leading role in discovering and combating some of the major threats discovered in the last five years.

Kaspersky's follows on from V3 Hot Seats with numerous other names in the security industry, including Trend Micro director of security research Rik Ferguson and McAfee chief technology office Raj Samani.

V3: What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)

Eugene Kaspersky: Funnily enough I never think about what else I could do or might have done in life since I like the work I do in my current role so much. I think I've found my calling.

Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?

My mobile is a simple one - not a smartphone. It's a five year-old Sony Ericsson. I have another constant companion in the form of a Lenovo ThinkPad X201 Tablet. I also carry around with me a Samsung Galaxy Note as a kind of back-up.

Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?

That would be Bill Gates, for sure. He dreamed of a personal computer being on every desk - and he pulled it off.

Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?

Electricity, definitely. No electricity - no computers. I travel a lot and different countries having different voltages and plugs and sockets actually becomes quite a pain. And when there's no electricity supply to my seat on a plane, well - this is another problem. It slows down the working process no end.

What's been the highlight of your career so far?

Being awarded first prize for "Best Anti-virus Solution" at a major industry awards ceremony in London, 2004. We were real outsiders with no chance of winning. Back then Kaspersky Lab was deemed a purely Russian company. So when I heard from the stage, "and the award goes to Moscow" I was in shock. They were perhaps the most cloud-nine 15 minutes of my life.

What was your first job?

Technically my first job was as a military officer, in the communications division of the Soviet Army - the country which doesn't exist anymore.

What's your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?

Never being bored. Working in particularly IT security, with a constantly changing barrage of threats out there, I just don't have chance to. In a very short time the evolution of threats has gone from teenagers messing about and small-time cyber-hooliganism to malware capable of carrying out large-scale industrial attacks and espionage.

Threats are changing constantly and with incredible speed. To be able to foresee these changes to develop new technologies for the fight against new threats, I need to be constantly in the flow, always listening and learning, and always connected and contactable no matter where I am in the world. And all this gives me great pleasure.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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