NEWS FROM THE LAB - Friday, October 12, 2012

Mikko Hypponen: One of the Good Guys Posted by Sean @ 12:27 GMT

Our Chief Research Officer, Mikko Hypponen, is considered by some to be an "infosec rock star".

Rock star

Also, he is known by many for his ponytail.

(Something which really isn't all that uncommon in infosec — but his is rather more blond than most.)

His ponytail has even been mentioned by malware:

Virus:W32/Divvi, circa October 2007

So, why do I bring this up? Well, yesterday I saw the following Tweet:

Twitter WeldPond 11102012

Mikko cutting his hair?

A bad joke I thought… nobody is going to fall for that. (A rickroll setup?)

This Tweet soon followed:

Twitter k8em0 11102012

And the "evidence":


Evidence? Of hair. But whose? I still wasn't buying it was actually Mikko's.

And then… this Tweet:

Twitter Mikko 11102012

A YouTube video of Mikko and @k8em0 having their hair cut:

So, who is @k8em0? Katie Moussouris, Senior Security Strategist at Microsoft.

Twitter k8em0
Katie Moussouris. Also: Roguery.

She and Mikko were convinced to take part in an auction for a cancer charity at the HITB2012KUL conference:

Twitter k8em0 12102012

And it was quite a success! Mikko's ponytail went for 7000MYR. (1770EUR/2288USD)

On a serious note.

Two years ago, while going through stuff during some office renovations, I came across a photo of Mikko with (relatively) short hair. When Mikko saw the photo he said, "I'm never going to do that again…".

(I can tell you that he didn't want to cut off his ponytail.)

But he did.

For a very good cause. I am proud of him for it. I am very proud to work with him.

And I'm confident in saying the same is true for the rest of the folks here at F-Secure.

He's one of the good guys.


On a different (and threat related) note:

After watching the video, I sent a link to an internal F-Secure list.

This is by far the best reply I received:

Ponytail attack

Indeed. That would have been the perfect link bait! Why didn't I think of that? ;-)