Virus Bulletin

Virus Bulletin focuses its efforts in three main areas: a monthly magazine, an annual conference and bimonthly product certification.


Virus Bulletin started in 1989 as a magazine dedicated to providing PC users with a regular source of intelligence about computer malware, its prevention, detection and removal, and how to recover programs and data following an attack.

Virus Bulletin quickly became the leading specialist publication in the field of malware and spam and is today produced in an online format.

VB Conference

Since the inaugural VB conference in 1991, the event has become a major highlight of the security calendar, with many of its regular attendees citing it as the anti-threat event of the year. Its objectives are to present factual information, demonstrate defensive procedures and discuss future developments and countermeasures, while providing an opportunity for experts in the anti-threat arena to share their research interests, discuss methods and technologies and set new standards.

VB100 and VBSpam certification schemes

For many years, Virus Bulletin has carried out independent comparative testing of anti-malware products. The unique VB100 certification scheme is widely recognized within the industry. Virus Bulletin tests anti-malware products free of charge and, unlike other certification schemes, does not allow re-testing - performances are reported exactly as they are found.

2009 saw the introduction of Virus Bulletin's anti-spam comparative testing and the VBSpam certification scheme which has also become widely recognized and respected within the industry.

The people behind Virus Bulletin

Virus Bulletin is staffed by a small, hard-working team based in its offices in Oxfordshire, UK. Supporting the core team are a consultant Technical Editor and an Advisory Board comprising some of the world's leading anti-malware and anti-spam experts.

Helen Martin - Editor

Helen Martin, Editor

After leaving Oxford University with a degree in Biology Helen became involved in the publishing industry. Starting out on academic journals in the fields of molecular biology, organometallic chemistry and materials science at Oxford University Press, followed by Elsevier Science, she then moved on to the more colourful and upbeat publication Audio Media - a trade magazine for the professional audio industry - and helped to start up Audio Media USA. After three years in the pro audio industry Helen moved into publishing on the Internet and worked for 19 months on the UK's leading online magazine for expectant and new parents,

Helen took up the position of Editor of Virus Bulletin in June 2001, since when she has had overall responsibility for the company's publications, events and testing activities.

Helen Martin can be contacted at

John Hawes - Technical Consultant & Test Team Director

John Hawes - Technical Consultant

John Hawes joined the VB team as Virus Bulletin's Technical Consultant in July 2006. John has responsibility for running Virus Bulletin's comparative reviews, which feature the unique VB100 award scheme for anti-virus products and the RAP tests which put products' heuristic and generic detection technology to the test. John also carries out standalone reviews of anti-malware products and is responsible for putting together VB's monthly virus prevalence tables as well as further developing and updating the company's testing procedures.

John Hawes can be contacted at

Martijn Grooten - Web Developer & Anti-spam Test Director

Martijn Grooten, Web Developer

Martijn Grooten has a degree in mathematics from the Radboud University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He worked for the university as a researcher in algebraic geometry for five years before moving to England in the autumn of 2006. Here he decided to make web development, which until then had been a hobby, his profession. Martijn joined Virus Bulletin at the beginning of 2007. His responsibilities include maintaining and developing the website and related technologies.

Since late 2008 Martijn has also taken on responsibility for conducting Virus Bulletin's comparative reviews of anti-spam products, featuring the unique VBSpam award, and developing the VBWeb web filter tests.

Martijn Grooten can be contacted at

Scott James - Security Test Engineer

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. Alongside the technical consultant some of his responsibilities include helping to perform comparative testing of anti-malware software, assisting with the writing of in-depth reviews and helping with product certification.

Scott James can be contacted at

Allison Sketchley - Sales Executive

Allison Sketchley - Sales Executive

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 including subscriptions, conference sponsorship, conference delegate places, VB100 licensing and VB's anti-spam test participation. 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

Tom Gracey - Perl Developer

Tom Gracey - Perl Developer

Tom Gracey joined the Virus Bulletin team in June 2012 - his responsibilities include maintaining and developing the website, and assisting with various aspects of the VBSpam and VB100 testing.

Tom Gracey can be contacted at

Morton Swimmer - Consultant Technical Editor

Morton Swimmer was born in New York City and raised there and in Hamburg, Germany. After a year studying in England, he went back to Hamburg to study computer security under Prof. Brunnstein, where in 1988, he co-founded the Virus Test Center. He started an anti-virus business in 1991, which was bought by S&S International UK, and later swallowed by Network Associates. Then in 1996, Morton joined IBM Research in New York to work on IBM Antivirus, which was bought a few years later by Symantec. The next switch was to IBM Research in Zurich, Switzerland to research the applicability of intrusion detection techniques in the anti-virus field with one of the world's leading research groups in intrusion detection. Somewhere along the way he got both his Bachelor and Diploma degrees, and his PhD with a thesis on malware intrusion detection. Following a recent stint at Trend Micro, Morton is currently an independent researcher, based in Germany.

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