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 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 IT security experts.

John Hawes - Chief of Operations

John Hawes - Chief of Operations

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 2011 John was elected to the Board of Directors of AMTSO, and in April 2014 he became Chief of Operations at Virus Bulletin, with responsibility for the running of the company as well as continuing to oversee all testing and certification operations. He also writes and blogs on security and related issues.

John Hawes can be contacted at

Martijn Grooten - Editor

Martijn Grooten, Editor

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

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

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.

Tony Oliveira - Security Test Engineer

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."

Adrian Luca - Security Test Engineer

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

Helen Martin - Editorial Assistant

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 a solid 13 years as Editor, in May 2014 Helen chose to combine a move abroad 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.

Lian Sebe - Developer

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 (currently 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.

Morton Swimmer - Consultant Technical Editor

Morton Swimmer was born in New York City, raised there and in Hamburg, Germany, then studied in England and Hamburg. It was at the University of Hamburg where he came to study computer security under Prof. Dr. Brunnstein and in 1988 he co-founded the Virus Test Center. He started his first anti-virus business in 1991, which was bought by S&S International UK. Then in 1996, Morton joined IBM Research in New York to work on IBM Antivirus and create the Digital Immune System, 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 to the anti-virus field with one of the world's leading research groups in intrusion detection. From this research, the DIMVA Conference was formed. Somewhere along the way he got his Ph.D. with a thesis on malware intrusion detection. In 2007, he became a associate professor at CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice and in 2008 he joined Trend Micro, where he still works, with only a brief stint in between at Intel Security. He is now based in Germany.

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