Just a thought, as we look at other possible competitors, etc. in cybersecurity, it’s best not to forget and keep a skeptical view of many “commercial” claims.

Read –and enjoy! – this latest report from ProPublica, an independent and nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism.

In few words: companies that promised to beat ransomware with the “latest technology” were … simply paying off the hackers behind the SamSam ransomware instead, as reported in Wired: ‘Paying isn’t the worst idea when you’re in that situation, but to lying to customers and charging e them fees on top of it kind of is’.

Some remarks from our side: we can imagine the pressure that ‘corporate decision-makers’ have been facing: like you are about to promote a new diesel emissions annihilator or some similar snake oil or Wunderwaffe technology: the temptation is, one may claim, big, but so is also the short-sightedness: many of the technologies we are working on also in CS-AWARE are not proven yet – or not proven yet in this domain of cybersecurity. Our main financier is the European Commission – so we have the luxury of being funded by a public entity that promotes innovation for the sake of the society, i.e. all of us, that also happens to have vast experience in the adoption lifecycles of innovations. However, if there is no safety net, if there are only funds that are aggressively expecting return on their investments, if failure to respond to a market need means (or is, erroneously as it is the case many times, interpreted) as instant death, then one may see this desperate reaction as a fully rational mistaken choice.

Soon we shall launch the CS-AWARE spin-out. Instant healing shall not be any more a feature in a demo that takes place in a review. Mel Brooks epitomized this rather well when he wrote ‘Life is a play – we’re unrehearsed’.

So it is always a good habit to maintain a skeptical view of many “commercial” claims…


John Forrester, Cesviter
Adamantios Koumpis, University of Passau