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Information about Virus Bulletin

Virus Bulletin

Virus Bulletin is a security information portal, testing and certification body with a formidable reputation for providing users with independent intelligence about the latest developments in the global threat landscape.

The annual international Virus Bulletin conference is cited by many as the IT security event of the year.

The people behind Virus Bulletin

Virus Bulletin is headquartered in Oxfordshire, UK with staff both in-house and working remotely across Europe. Supporting the core team are a consultant Technical Editor and an Advisory Board comprising some of the world's leading IT security experts.


John Hawes - Chief of Operations

John Hawes

John Hawes took up his first software testing role shortly after completing a degree in Oriental Studies at Oxford University, in 1999. He spent over five years testing anti-malware solutions on the vendor side before joining Virus Bulletin as Technical Consultant in 2006.

Since then he has led the VB100 testing and certification programme, developing and implementing a range of additions and expansions over the years as well as producing the test reports and creating other content for the VB website. In April 2014 John became Chief of Operations at Virus Bulletin, with responsibility for the running of the company, while continuing to oversee all testing and certification operations.

John has been closely involved with the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organisation (AMTSO) since its foundation in 2008. In 2011 he was elected to AMTSO's Board of Directors, and in 2015 he took over as Chairman of the Board. He also writes and blogs on security and related issues.

John Hawes can be contacted at john.hawes@virusbulletin.com.


Martijn Grooten - Editor

Martijn Grooten

Martijn Grooten has a degree in mathematics from the Radboud University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Following a stint working as a researcher in algebraic geometry at the same university, he joined Virus Bulletin as a web developer at the beginning of 2007.

In 2008, Martijn took on responsibility for conducting Virus Bulletin's comparative reviews of anti-spam products, featuring the unique VBSpam award. He also set up the VBWeb web filter tests. In April 2014, Martijn became Editor of Virus Bulletin and as such has overall responsibility for the company's publications.

Martijn has a broad interest in IT security and has spoken on and written about a wide range of security topics. He is a regular contributor to the company's blog and manages the company's Twitter and Facebook accounts. He also tweets from his personal account @martijn_grooten.

Martijn Grooten can be contacted at martijn.grooten@virusbulletin.com.


Allison Sketchley - Sales Executive

Allison Sketchley

Having spent the majority of her working life in finance, and with the previous 7.5 years spent in credit control, Allison decided in 2007 to broaden her horizons to include sales. Allison joined Virus Bulletin in March 2007 and is responsible for the sales function for the whole suite of VB products and services encompassing the annual VB conference, VB100, VBSpam & VBWeb. Of the move to sales she felt it would make a refreshing change to contact people without having to demand payment all of the time. Though, lest she forget her finance roots, she also maintains the accounting side of VB's operations.

Allison Sketchley can be contacted at allison.sketchley@virusbulletin.com.


Helen Martin - Editorial Assistant


After leaving Oxford University with a degree in Biology, Helen became involved in the publishing industry, working on titles ranging from academic scientific journals to trade magazines and an online parenting website.

In 2001, Helen took up the position of Editor of Virus Bulletin, with overall responsibility for the company's publications, events and testing activities.

After 13 years as Editor, in May 2014 Helen chose to combine a move to rural Italy with scaling back her responsibilities and took on the new role of Editorial Assistant - retaining responsibility for proofing and editing Virus Bulletin's material and assisting in the planning and organising of the VB conference.


Tony Oliveira - Security Test Engineer


Tony joined the Virus Bulletin team in June 2014 as a security test engineer with a background in network administration as well as systems integration, and a vast experience of implementing and managing a wide range of hardware and software in data centres as well as ISP-type environments. His experience at Nokia Siemens (NSN) allowed him to work on two major projects which were based in Greece (Athens, six months) and China (Beijing, six months). He was also responsible for the E2E System Verification team for the NSN Streaming product line: OTT devices based on IPTV. Tony has a solid understanding of testing processes and how they fit within the product and project delivery processes.

"I'm of the belief that most technical decisions must be made within the context of larger business constraints. Throughout my career I have strived to keep business issues in the forefront, be it as a systems tester implementing a test framework to capture defects as early as possible, or as the product manager for an enterprise system, allocating resources and prioritizing enhancements to meet strategic objectives. Focusing on business imperatives is a core value of mine, one that I bring to every project on which I work."


Scott James - Security Test Engineer


Scott has a background in computer systems engineering and in information technology. He graduated from the University of Kent and has since worked in both the space industry and the IT industry.

He joined the Virus Bulletin team in September 2013 as a security test engineer. His duties include leading the VB100 testing process and liaising with product vendors on testing issues and product bugs.



Adrian Luca - Security Test Engineer


Adrian joined Virus Bulletin in September 2014 after having spent three years working as an anti-spam researcher at Bitdefender in his native Romania. At Bitdefender, Adrian built an IPS blacklisting filter and learned a lot about spam and IPS.

Adrian has a Master's degree in network communication and a licence degree in electronic and telecommunication from Polytechnic University of Iasi. He enjoys scripting languages such as Perl, the security field, and learning new things. Adrian's work at Virus Bulletin focuses on the company's VBWeb web filter tests.


Ionuț Răileanu - Security Test Engineer


Ionuț has a Bachelor's degree in computer science from the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iasi, Romania. He spent four years as an Antispam Researcher at Bitdefender, where he developed an email blacklisting filter and gained experience in the anti-spam field.

Ionuț joined Virus Bulletin in September 2015, where his responsibilities include assisting with the VBSpam comparative testing of anti-spam products.



Chris Stock - Security Test Engineer

CS.jpgChris joined Virus Bulletin in December 2015 as a security test engineer. His main roles include testing anti-malware products, creating custom test scripts and working on the VB false positive sample sets, as well as side projects.

He recently graduated from the University of Abertay with a degree in Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures. During his studies he gained experience in exploits, security vulnerabilities, computer forensic analysis, attacking and defending techniques.


Lian Sebe - Developer


Lian Sebe joined the Virus Bulletin team in April 2015 - his responsibilities include maintaining and developing the website, and other custom development projects.

Lian graduated in fine mechanics in 1997 (and subsequently obtained an M.Sc. in concurrent engineering in 2003). Since 1999 he has worked in roles that range from IT/system administration to Perl/PHP development, in a variety of commercial firms, NGOs and large organizations (UNDP).

He has spent a good part of his career as a freelancer, working with companies based in Romania, Canada, US, Norway and Australia, and has been involved in development projects in various European banks (Raiffeisen, ING, Unicredit etc.) as well as well known UK companies such as Assertahome.co.uk (currently Zoopla.co.uk). Some of his projects have been of strategic (national level) importance, such as the Romanian nationwide registration for private pension schemes in 2009 or assuring the security of Romania's election data exchange in 2008.

He is passionate about open source and providing free software alternatives to both technical and non-technical companies.


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