Virus Bulletin – aside from the talks there was plenty of free beer and table football

VB2013 The Virus Bulletin conference – which was held in Berlin this year – closed with a panel discussion about cyberwarfare last week, and most of the hundreds of delegates will have made their way back home by now.

It was another great conference – not just for the excellent technical talks and opportunities to network with the smart folks behind most of the world’s anti-virus products, but also because of the opportunities to have some fun.

The guys at G Data made a good video showing some of the fun to be had, including the (now traditional) inter-company table football competition (foosball, if you’re an American).

Much of the time, the people responsible for detecting malware before it enters your company’s network kept their brains lubricated by drinking copious amounts of beer, sponsored by Avast. Whether this was a friendly gesture, or an attempt by Avast to reduce the detection rates of competing products wasn’t entirely clear.

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Avast didn’t just provide free beer to those who were tempted (I’m not a drinker myself..), but also kept a handy league table of which companies had been drinking the most.

VB2013 beer results

I guess an award is due for the impressive efforts made by ESET. :)

Cue Media, by the way, are not an anti-virus company you have never heard of, or indeed a snooker-loving PR firm. They are the guys who did an impressive job handling the conference’s audio-visual requirements, and probably deserved a drink or two.

To protect the innocent, and the possible wrath of their partners back home, I won’t republish the list of “best” individual drinkers.

Next year, Virus Bulletin will be held in Seattle between 24-26 September 2014. And in 2015, as was announced in the final seconds of the conference, it will return to Prague.

I hope to see some of you at a future Virus Bulletin conference!


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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