Posted by: David Harley | June 21, 2013

Macs, Testing, and the Conference Circuit

As regular readers (how are you both?) may recall, the first time I presented a paper at a Virus Bulletin conference (in San Francisco, in 1997) I talked about Macintosh malware. Actually, it was the first time I presented at any conference: the paper was pretty good for its time, I still think, but the presentation was pretty bad.

I haven’t been so nervous since the first time I played in a folk club, an experience I’ve never quite managed to repress. It’s not easy to play guitar when your leg goes into a sort of spasm and keeps jogging up and down.

Fortunately, nearly everyone at the conference elected for the other stream. (In those days, VB had only two streams, a technical stream and a corporate stream.) And at least I managed to keep my legs more or less stationary. Probably because I was standing on them.

16 years later, I’m due to co-present my  14th VB paper at the 2013 conference in Berlin in October, co-authored with Intego’s Lysa Myers. This time, I get to combine two of my favourite hobby horses: Mac malware and security product testing. The abstract is here, and I’m hoping that I’ve acquired enough presentation skills in the meantime not to embarrass Lysa too much. Maybe I’ll take a guitar, just in case, and sing a little Leonard Cohen.

Anyway, a little while ago, VB interviewed us about the paper and several other topics, and the conversation has now found its way onto the Virus Bulletin blog, as part of a series of VB2013 Speaker Spotlights. It was a lot of fun (for me anyway) and I look forward to seeing other researchers let their hair down a bit. Those who have hair, of course. I tore all mine out the last time someone told me that there isn’t any Mac malware and if there is, the antivirus companies wrote it all.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World
ESET Senior Research Fellow

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