VB2008: Lipstick, pigs, anti-virus and ponytails

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Last night, at the Virus Bulletin conference gala dinner, computer security experts from around the world donned their tuxedos and little black dresses (although not at the same time), and gathered for a slap-up meal.

In the past, the conference organisers have entertained diners with African limbo dancers juggling with fire, Viennese waltzers, and mind-bending magicians. This time, the team put on a “VB100” quiz for the 300+ delegates, with teams formed on each of the 30 tables. Yours truly was pressganged into asking the questions from the stage with editor Helen Martin (I was given a fuschia pink waistcoat to match her shimmering evening dress… the things I put myself through for this industry, I ask you).

To say that the quiz went on for a while would .. err.. be something of an understatement. Imagine the Eurovision Song Contest but three times as long, and perhaps slightly less tuneful.

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Anyway, by popular demand, I post here a video that was made by Carole Theriault and myself, and was shown during the night’s festivities. It stars some of the celebrities from the anti-virus industry answering the important questions about whether anti-virus is dead, lipstick on pigs, and their opinion on Mikko from F-Secure’s ponytail.

[vimeo 2779423]

Thanks to everyone for being a good sport.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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