Eddy Willems

International expert uncovers cyber crime
You can learn how to surf the internet safely

Eddy Willems (1962) is your security guru and will take you in the dark world of computer viruses and cyber criminality. Once there was a time we could email and surf carefree. That time is gone forever. Government computers are getting hacked, big companies are the victim of cyber espionage and your home computer can be used to rob your bank account. Welcome to the world of malware: the collecting name for viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and other types of software that are designed to harm your computer.

The first time

Eddy Willems (1962) is a pioneer in many ways. A very long time ago, when programmers still used Basic, Pascal and Fortran, he was one of the first students to access the new academic direction ‘computer science’. It was the beginning of the eighties, in computer language, this means prehistory. After his studies he started working as a system analyst and programmer in the business world. In that job he was able to develop software and, as a helpdesk worker, he could also help people to solve their computer problems.

As a young programmer he would quickly come in contact with malware. “One day I started my computer but nothing happened. There was only a screen that indicated you had to transfer a certain amount of money to an account. I restarted my computer and then nothing happened anymore. I thought it was a bug. When I started the computer from the system disk I saw what was wrong: the path was changed and encrypted… without even realizing it I had just encountered ‘ransomware’, programs designed to hijack your computer and only release it after payment. Luckily I had managed to circumvent the problem in only a couple of minutes.

It was his first encounter with a computer virus. His solution to the problem got picked up by the news. “I realized that this is what I really wanted to do: discover viruses and identify them and find ways to combat them.”

The hunt is open

A quarter of a century has passed. Meanwhile, Eddy Willems turned hunting down malware into his fulltime job. Because of the internet the hunt is never over. The ingenuity of malware writers is unlimited. Virus hunters are constantly on striking distance and have a sixth sense for new malware. Because in this sector the rule is: if you sleep you can’t catch the fish.

Eddy Willems is now a security evangelist at the German antivirus security bureau G Data Software. His main task is to disseminate the ‘antimalware message’ to the general public. He serves as director in various organizations such as EICAR (European Institute for Computer Anti - Virus Research ) and AMTSO ( Anti - Malware Testing Standards Organization ). As just about the only security guru in the Benelux, he is regularly invited for interviews in newspapers and magazines, on radio and television in Belgium or abroad. He is also the author of Cybergevaar (Cyber Danger) – How we can guard ourselves against online crime and more (Lannoo, 2013).

Cyberspies and cybercriminals

Eddy Willems fears cyber espionage like NSA less than cybercriminals who target ordinary everyday PC users. “That is real cyber threat. Some people just close their laptop without shutting down certain programs, because of that updates don’t get installed. You don’t only have to update your antivirus programs, but also the programs you frequently use. If you don’t do this you are not fully protected against the latest viruses. This is what cybercriminals use to penetrate your system. “

The rise of social media like Facebook or Twitter increased the risk of becoming a victim of a cyber-attack. No matter how ingenious malware writers are, we also have a large responsibility to protect our computers.

“The vast majority of infections would never have such a big chance if the user wouldn’t have created the opportunity,” says Eddy Willems in Knack magazine. “It is apparently stronger than ourselve”. Everyone who surfs the internet is in the crosshairs of software with bad intentions. Your bank account is usually the first target. Only good antivirus programs can protect you. And the constant awareness that malware lurks, is your best protection. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Inform yourself by listening to a top expert like Eddy Willems.

Cyber danger

International, Globalisation, Security, Leadership, Strategy, Socially responsible Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Innovation, Trends, ICT & Technology, Social Media & Networking

Eddy Willems gives an overview of the latest online threats, and shows you how you to defend yourself. Viruses, spam, hacktivism, or maybe even t cyber wars between countries, are analyzed by the security guru with a clear view. The lecture is based on his book Cyber Danger, that reads like a thriller in which reality shamelessly surpasses fiction.

How safe is digital voting, online money transactions, ordering tickets...? What about tablets or smartphones? How can you outsmart cyber criminals? Eddy guides the audience through the past, present and the future of cybercrime based on spicy anecdotes, surprising insights and helpful advice. His lecture is e necessary ‘refresh’ for every conscious computer user.

The real truth behind Ransomware and most other malware

International, Globalisation, Security, Creativity, Innovation, Sales, Customer Service, Socially responsible Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Innovation, Trends, ICT & Technology

During this lecture Eddy Willems will give you the real story behind ransomware. Is ransomware something new or is it old? Eddy will give you an overview of how pc’s or other devices from companies and home users can be infected. What are the real problems? Why does it seems to be so hard to protect you against this? Do you need to pay the ransom or not? Are old protection measures still usable against these threats?

Topics include even malware on mobiles and tablets. Included in the lecture are tips to battle this and most other malware. What will the future bring us? Your view on ransomware and other malware will never be the same after this lecture.

After the presentation you will have the opportunity to ask any specific question about any aspect in security.

Cyber Threats in companies

ICT & Technology

The business world is a favorite target for cyber-attacks. How do you recognize the first signs of a targeted attack on your company? How do cyber criminals work? What is their favorite modus operandi? Where do you as a company or organization need to be apprehensive for? And how can you protect yourself?

Eddy Willems is your experienced guide. Through his years of experience in the business, he knows where the weak spots are, and he knows the tips and tricks that you can use to prevent future attacks. After the presentation, you have the opportunity to ask questions about security and related issues. Also, botnets and malware on mobile devices and tablets are discussed.

IoT: Internet of Things or Internet of Trouble?

Creativity, Innovation, Trends, ICT & Technology

The internet of things is referring to the situation where computers operated by humans will be a minority on the internet. It’s all about the communication between smart devices (like a smartphone, smartcar, water cooker, smart washing machine, smartwatch, fitness band, smart lighting, smart security system, etc..) around us. Everyday objects like these will communicate with each other and will make their own automatic decisions.
During this lecture Eddy Willems will give you his view on the world of the Internet of Things. He will give you an overview of security problems related to IoT. Who isn't using an IoT device at his home these days. As an example Eddy will show you some problems related to his own smart home.
However the problem doesn't stop at the home network but continues in the office network. What are the real threats if you or your company is using IoT? What are the real threats at your home? Topics include malware on mobiles, tablets and future problems related to IoT devices. Are there solutions? Your view on the Internet of Things will never be the same after this lecture. After the presentation you will have the opportunity to ask any specific question about any aspect in security within an IoT world.

My wife went to the Dark … Web

International, Globalisation, Security, Creativity, Innovation, Trends, ICT & Technology

During this lecture Eddy Willems will tell you the real story how his wife found the Dark Web. Eddy will tell you more about what she expected to find over there and what she finally found as a normal pc user. Did she really buy that Glock 17M? Is the Dark Web really so dangerous? Besides weapons, drugs, ID cards, credit cards and malware you can find much more. However the real value of your ID or credit card is maybe not what you expected. What are the best market places? Who can you find on the Dark Web? What have malware writers in common? A detailed look inside the Underground Economy 4.0 will give everybody a better view about money laundering, money mules, dropzones and other attractive places on the Dark Side of the internet. What are police forces doing about this situation? If you haven’t invested yet in Bitcoin or Monero you possibly will never do anymore after watching this lecture. After the presentation you will have the opportunity to ask any specific question about any aspect in security.

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Languages of the keynote
English, Dutch