Eugene Kaspersky

Eugene Kaspersky’s love for mathematics determined his “technical” future. One of his hobbies during high school was to solve problems published in mathematical journals.

During his last few years in high school, he attended extracurricular classes in physics and mathematics at a dedicated program organized by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Eugene spent his last two years of high school taking physics and mathematics courses in a specialized program for gifted students organized by and affiliated with Moscow State University. In 1987, Eugene graduated from the Institute of Cryptography, Telecommunications and Computer Science, where he studied mathematics, cryptography and computer technology, majoring in mathematical engineering. After graduating, Eugene worked at a multi-disciplinary research institute. It was there that Eugene first began studying computer viruses after detecting the Cascade virus on his computer in October 1989. Eugene analyzed the virus and developed a disinfection utility for it – the first such utility he developed. He started collecting malicious programs and disinfection modules for them.

This exotic collection later formed the foundation of the famous antivirus database in Kaspersky Anti-Virus. Today, this database includes more than 4 million records and is one of the most complete antivirus databases in the world. In 1991, Eugene joined the KAMI Information Technologies Center, where he and a group of colleagues developed the AVP antivirus project, which became the prototype for Kaspersky Anti-Virus. International recognition of the project arrived in 1994, when the virtually unknown AVP won a contest conducted by Hamburg University’s test lab, demonstrating a higher virus detection rate than the most popular antivirus programs at the time.

In 1997, Eugene and his colleagues decided to establish an independent company, becoming the founders of Kaspersky Lab. From that moment, he has headed the company's antivirus research.

In 2007, Eugene was named CEO of Kaspersky Lab.

Eugene was voted the World’s Most Powerful Security Exec by SYS-CON Media in 2011, awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Plymouth University in 2012, and named one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2012 Top Global Thinkers for his contribution to IT security awareness on a global scale.

Brian Krebs

He is best known for his coverage of profit-seeking cybercriminals. His interest grew after a computer worm locked him out of his own computer in 2001.

Brian Krebs worked as a reporter for The Washington Post from 1995 to 2009, authoring more than 1,300 blog posts for the Security Fix blog, as well as hundreds of stories for and The Washington Post newspaper, including eight front-page stories in the dead-tree edition and a Post Magazine cover piece on botnet operators.

But you didn’t really want to read my resume, did you? What most people want to know is how I got into computer security, and whether I have a technical background in the field. The short answer is “by accident,” and “no,” respectively. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from George Mason University in 1994, and at the time I wasn’t much interested in computers, although I had programmed a bit on an Apple II and spent quite a bit of time visiting online bulletin boards as a kid. It wasn’t until 2001 — when my entire home network was overrun by a Chinese hacking group — that I became intensely interested in computer security. I had been monkeying with a default installation of Red Hat Linux (6.2) on an old Hewlett-Packard system, because for some reason I had it in my head that it would be fun to teach myself how to turn the spare computer into an oversized firewall [ah, the irony]. That is, until the Lion Worm came around and locked me out of my system.

Twice. After that incident, I decided to learn as much as I could about computer and Internet security, and read most everything on the subject that I could get my hands on at the time. It’s an obsession that hasn’t let up. Much of my knowledge about computers and Internet security comes from having cultivated regular and direct access to some of the smartest and most clueful geeks on the planet. The rest I think probably comes from a willingness to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them.

In 2014, Krebs published a book called Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime - from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door, which went on to win a 2015 PROSE Award.