Behind the scenes of the VB2008 ponytail video

Filed Under: Malware, Video

A few people have contacted me regarding the video we made at the Virus Bulletin VB2008 conference, interviewing various "celebrities" from the anti-virus world about the questions that err.. really matter.

With help from my colleague Carole Theriault, I used a tiny Panasonic SD9 high definition camcorder and miniature tripod (you can see them in the picture below, sitting on the table, as I interview Frisk's Vesselin Bontchev) and then edited the video with iMovie on an Apple Mac. It's a really simple-to-use system, and means that videos can be turned around very quickly.

Vesselin Bontchev and Graham Cluley

But the most common question I've been asked is "Who is who?", so for your edification I have detailed below who spoke when in answer to the three questions.

And if you haven't already seen the video, watch it now.

Without further ado, here are the names of the people who were interviewed - thanks once again to all of them for participating, and Mikko for seeing the funny side. :)

"Is anti-virus dead?"
Alex Eckelberry, Sunbelt
Graham Cluley, Sophos
Nick Fitzgerald, Available for hire
Per Hellqvist, Symantec
Vesselin Bontchev, Frisk
Morton Swimmer, Trend Micro
Fridrik Skulason, Frisk
Holly Stuart, IBM
Larry Bridwell, AVG
Graham Cluley (briefly)
Larry Bridwell

"Have you ever put lipstick on a pig?"
Dmitry Gryaznov, McAfee
Alex Eckelberry (pensive)
Nick Fitzgerald
Michael St Neitzel
Andreas Marx, AV-Test
Alex Eckelberry (lost for words)
Graham Cluley
Alex Eckelberry (still stumped)
Carole Theriault, Sophos
Larry Bridwell
Fridrik Skulason (would prefer a more technical question)

"What do you think of Mikko Hyppönen from F-Secure's ponytail?"
David Perry, Trend Micro
Richard Ford, Florida Institute of Technology
Dmitry Gryaznov
Michael St Neitzel (not mincing his words)
Vesselin Bontchev (being diplomatic)
Per Hellqvist (offering fashion advice)
Carole Theriault (scissors out!)
Alex Eckelberry (we never did find out his favourite power ballad..)

By the way, for anyone who hasn't yet twigged, when I say "anti-virus *is* dead" the point I am making is that anti-virus has changed since the 1990s. Whereas then it was just about stopping malware by regular detection methods, today we find firms are looking for much more more - including HIPs, behavioral analysis, application control, client firewall etc - from their endpoint security product. Simply calling it "anti-virus" (although that's common) doesn't really describe the full gamut of security and control that computer users are seeking today.

Image source: Thanks to Morton Swimmer for the photograph.


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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.