Interview with a Webroot Threat Researcher - Roy Tobin

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  • Retired Webrooter
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It's always fun to get to know the folks working away behind the scenes here at Webroot.  I asked Roy aka @Rakanisheu  if he'd be up for a little interview and he was.  And if you have any questions you've always wanted to ask him, feel free to post them in the comments below!

1. How did you get involved in threat research?

I was on a team called the Advanced Malware Removal team before joining threat research. My job was to find and remove malware on customers PC. This was before the launch of Secure Anywhere of course! Before joing Webroot I was the go-to guy amongst my tech friends when it came to removing malware. They got sick of formatting/reinstalling Windows!
2. What's the most challenging piece of malware that you've run into?
There a number of really tricky pieces of malware out there, a recent one called Zekos is a fun one. But I think if I had to pick my favourite (perhaps not the best phrase) would be the Zero Access family of infections. I remember first running into it and removing it from PC`s, its when you removed it was to break the Windows networking interface leaving the PC unable to connect to a network (not fun when your doing it remotely I can tell you!). Since then its changed a lot but it always comes up with some new locations or methods to hide (using the @ symbol as a file name hiding in the installer folder and hooking into explorer.exe was a fun one).
3. What does red, yellow and green mean to you?  
We have a Red and Green network here in the Dublin office (no yellow as far as I am aware). Primarily I work on the red network as its just easier, my work laptop is on the green network and is used for the internal office chat and accessing the various work sites we have. My desktop is my primary work PC as its hosts my various VM`s and other diagnostic tools. We have a number of spare PC`s/Laptops that I use to test malware on a live PC if its needed (certain malware can detect if its running in a VM)
4. How did you get involved in car collecting and racing?
I have been racing on and off (most off :)) for a long time, I try to get out a few times a year but it really depends on my money situation. Motorsports at all levels is a pricy hobby! As for cars that is only a recent addiction as I didnt have the space or money, I love anything with an engine but I have a preference for older cars like 70/80`s Porsche`s or BMW`s but I am not too picky (I like small Italian cars for some reason). I am always available for sponsorship for a racing :) . I had to get a plug in somewhere!
5. What else do you do as a hobby outside of security research?
I attempt to play a number of sports! I have been playing football since I was a young lad and I try to play at least twice a week. I also am a big gamer and I have a decent collection of old consoles. Apart from that I like to mess around with anything electrical and plan on building a automated GPS controlled drone. I have also been trying to learn the bass lately, its going well (Thanks Rocksmith!) so hopefully I can play with the rest of my family this christmas.
6. What's your favorite electronic gadget right now?
I was given a AR drone recently that I have been flying around in my local park. Its good fun and since I kinda crashed my last RC plane into a tree its a little more stable/cost effective! 
7. Where does your community name of Rakanisheu come from?
Comes from Diablo 2 PC Game - it's the name of the leader of one of the creatures. 
Thanks for the interview Roy!  If anyone has any other questions they've always wanted to ask Roy then post them below.

7 replies

is webroot protecting us users from the heartbleed virus?
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@supg59 wrote:
is webroot protecting us users from the heartbleed virus?

Heartbleed isn't a virus, it is a vulnerability most commonly found in websites.  It allows hackers to get information from that website including your login credentials.  The best thing to do is use this tool to see if the site you are visiting has been patched, and also change all of the passwords you use to log in to websites, especially the ones on this list.  Using our password manager tool can make it easier to track and make those password changes.
Userlevel 7
Nice one, Nic (and Roy, of course).
Userlevel 7
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at idea Nic and thank you Roy  ;)
Userlevel 7
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Hi Roy, thank you, very interesting indeed...:)
Userlevel 7
Very nice interview. Got to know more about our good friend Roy. Thanks Nic for taking the interview and posting it here.:)
Userlevel 7
Nice interview! :D
You did a really great job guys!! :D


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