Kaspersky was born on 4 October 1965 in Novorossiysk, Soviet Union. He grew up near Moscow, where he moved at age nine. His father was an engineer and his mother a historical archivist. As a child he developed an early interest in math and technology.
He spent his free time reading math books and won second place in a math competition at age 14. When he was fourteen, Kaspersky began attending A.N. Kolmogorov boarding school, which is run by Moscow University and specializes in math. He was also a member of the youth division of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
At the age of 16, Kaspersky entered a five-year program with The Technical Faculty of the KGB Higher School, which prepared intelligence officers for the Russian military and KGB. He graduated in 1987 with a degree in mathematical engineering and computer technology. After graduating college, Kaspersky served the Soviet military intelligence service as a software engineer. He met his first wife Natalya Kaspersky at Severskoye, a KGB vacation resort, in 1987.
Eugene began his career in cybersecurity accidentally when his computer became infected with the ‘Cascade’ virus in 1989. Eugene’s specialized education in cryptography helped him analyze the encrypted virus, understand its behavior, and then develop a removal tool for it. After successfully removing the virus, Eugene’s curiosity and passion for computer technology drove him to start analyzing more malicious programs and developing disinfection modules for them. This exotic collection of antivirus modules would eventually become the foundation for Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus database. Today the database is one of the most comprehensive and complete collections in cybersecurity, used in detecting and preventing systems from being infected by more than 500 million malicious programs.
Further pursuing his passion for defensive technologies, in 1990 Eugene started gathering a team of like-minded enthusiast researchers to create the AVP Toolkit Pro antivirus program, which four years later was recognized by the University of Hamburg as the most effective antivirus software in the world.
Wishing to combine their successful track record of antivirus programming with their entrepreneurial vision, Eugene and his colleagues decided to establish their own independent company. In 1997 Kaspersky Lab was founded, with Eugene heading the company’s antivirus research. In 2007 he was named Kaspersky Lab’s CEO.
Today Kaspersky Lab is one of the fastest growing IT security vendors worldwide, operating in almost 200 countries and territories worldwide. The company employs more than 3,800 professionals and IT security specialists in 35 dedicated regional offices across 31 countries, and its cybersecurity technologies protect over 400 million users worldwide.
Kaspersky Lab’s globally renowned team of experts has investigated some of the most complex and sophisticated cyberattacks ever known, including Stuxnet, Flame, and Red October. The company also cooperates extensively with INTERPOL, Europol, and national police bodies to actively assist them in their fight against cybercrime.
Eugene has an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the UK’s Plymouth University. He regularly gives both lectures on cybersecurity at universities around the globe, and keynotes at leading conferences and industry events.
Kaspersky lives in Moscow, Russia with his wife and five children. He and his first wife were divorced in 1998. On 21 April 2011, his son, Ivan, then 20, was kidnapped for a $4.4 million ransom. Kaspersky worked with a friend at the FSB and Russian police to trace the ransomer's phone call. They set up a trap for the ransomers, where they rescued his son and arrested many of the kidnappers.The incident had an influence on Kaspersky's sense of personal security. He now travels with a bodyguard and security detail.
Kaspersky is one of the richest people in Russia. According to Wired, he has "cultivated the image of a wild man with cash to burn." He has an interest in racing and drives his sports cars on race tracks as a hobby. He sponsors various "quirky or scientific projects" such as the Ferrari Formula One racing team or archaeological excavations in Akrotiri (prehistoric city). Kaspersky owns a BMW M3. Kaspersky describes himself as an "adrenaline junkie." He has gone hiking on volcanoes in Russia and reserved a trip to space on the Virgin Galactic. He travels often and writes about his experiences in his personal blog. He also enjoys photography as a hobby.
As of 2017 Kaspersky's net worth is $1.3 billion.
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
An interview with Eugene Kaspersky: about politics, Instagram and hackers
June 14, 2019
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and Founder, Kaspersky Lab @ ITU TELECOM WORLD 2012
October 15, 2012
Interview Eugene Kaspersky@CEBIT2012
March 14, 2012
Kaspersky: Howard Schmidt and Eugene Kaspersky interview
February 7, 2013