I have a great interview for you today with Mikko Hypponen.
I first came across Mikko when I heard ‘Darknet Diaries Episode 74: Mikko’.
Mikko who is the chief research officer for F-Secure Corporation which is a security company headquartered in Helsinki, Finland chats about a few different stories with Jack on malware with the main story about hacking in poker when a player Jens Kyllönen went to him after some shady stuff happening at a tournament in Barcelona if I remember correctly. It is a great episode and I highly recommend listening.
Mikko Hypponen is a global security expert. He has worked at F-Secure since 1991.
Mr. Hypponen has written on his research for the New York Times, Wired and Scientific American and he appears frequently on international TV. He has lectured at the universities of Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge.
He was selected among the 50 most important people on the web by the PC World magazine and was included in the FP Global 100 Thinkers list.
Mr. Hypponen sits in the advisory boards of t2 and Social Safeguard. He is a world-wide authority on computer security and privacy issues. He has 20 years of experience in public speaking, private briefings and keynotes.
When putting together the questions and looking Mikko up I put his name in YouTube and ended up watching hours of him talking, if you get a chance do the same as a lot of the topics are fascinating.
You have been in Cybersecurity for many years, was it always where you wanted to be or was it more of a just into computers and programming and ended up there?
I ended up in cybersecurity, as I had low-level programming and reverse engineering skills. These are the kind of skills that are needed to analyse malware, so it was a good fit.
I was reading about how you have assisted law enforcement in several different countries and obviously you are a renound speaker on Cybersecurity all along with the day job. Do you prefer any over the others or is it good for variety ?
I’ve been in a variety of different roles during my 30 years at F-Secure. Nowadays, I do public presentations, keynotes at events and private briefings to boards and executive teams of our clients. I do my own research for the talks I do. My current role gives me a lot of freedom and I like that.
Do you have any thoughts on how Covid will or has already changed the face of cybersecurity, do you think it will go back to how it was previously?
The world has changed permanently. Remote work and virtual meetings will stay with us from now on. Before the pandemic, just a portion of the workforce had the tools to work remotely: now all do. This has had a major impact on online attacks as well; there are much more targets nowadays. Anybody’s home system is part of the corporate network now.
Have you attended or spoke at many of the virtual conventions that have been happening and how does it differ from the usual apart from getting your own bed at the end of it?
For the last decade, I’ve done 100-140 flights a year. That now seems insane.I’m not missing the travel, at all.
Having said that, I do stress remote keynotes much more than real-world keynotes. Like, ten times more.
It’s a bit weird. But there are so many things that can go wrong that are outside of things I can affect, and the lack of direct contact to the audience really makes it tougher for me.
I was interested also to read about your document the rise of malware in smartphones which I always assumed wasn’t a big thing, have seen it growing a lot and do you think it Will stay mainly in Android?
Android has a real problem (unlike iOS, where we only really see targeted malware attacks). But even Android is much, much more secure than Windows or MacOS.
As an amateur magician in my spare time I LOVE the Internet Archive for the amount of old magic books I can find to read there and I see you are the Curator for the Malware Museum section. How dis that come about?
I had a collection of old viruses from the late 1980s and early 1990s. I noticed that Internet Archive had developed a system where they could emulate old PCs inside a web browser. They were mostly using this to run old PC games. I was wondering if it would be capable of running old viruses, so I got in touch with Jason Scott from the Archive. Turns out we got them working and now anybody can enjoy running 30-year old viruses and marveling at what they can do.
Given your history you MUST have had offers from some big tech companies to go and work for them, pack up and shift to the states?
Yes, but I like working here.
Outside of Cybersecurity and Ethical hacking do you have anything else you like to do for unwinding?
I’m a big fan of retrogaming, particulary arcade coin-ops from the golden years (1978-1983). I also like pinball, especially the new machines from Stern and Jersey Jack Pinball.
Thanks for reading.
Website = https://mikko.com/index.html
Twitter = https://twitter.com/mikko