In the early part of the 1990’s I found myself at a small and cosy meeting with POT (the forerunner of PST) and Kripos at our local police department, in an office loaned out for the day. The background was a little complicated – having served as elected union secretary in Norsk Data during the tumultuous years of the company’s dissolution and fall, I had started taking an interest in the online world. The online world had rather a lot of unsavoury characters. Things bumped me into contact with a Canadian gentleman who was at that point RCMP internal security, what would later become CSIS. We tracked a few interesting matters – weird stuff, really, mostly from Russia. A russian hitman being part of a ”hitman exchange community”, Russian suitcase nukes. And scared the wits out of poor ”Onkel Böhse” in Germany. My Canadian friend was also deeply involved with the computer scene; and had spent months on official business in Bulgaria hunting the Dark Avenger.
Anyway, he ended up writing me a long letter of introduction to the Norwegian department of justice, where I spent a day with a very cool (and close to retirement) bureau chief. This is actually a matter of public record – it’s in the department journals and the press got hold of it.
Dominoes, dominoes, ending up with POT and Kripos (who had started taking an interest in the online world), and myself. There were things that these folks wanted to know, and so we hammered out a bit of an agreement, among other things about the malware sector as well as general security. The Norwegian communication system was, and maybe is, far more vulnerable than anyone had focus on. And Scandinavia was a virus production hotspot.
And so it was that after a meeting where several security entities participated, I was put in touch with a Norwegian company named ARKEN, named after the two founders, Arthur Olavsen and Kenneth Walls. They were a wannabe antivirus company struggling to get a virus library big enough to compete. Over the next months, I was to put thousands of viruses into the libraries, kicking the company into the handful of ”bigs” who were controlling the antivirus sector. Another company I had a very fruitful relationship with was Kaspersky’s – I remember him telling me to snip the size of the virus packages a little, since over a certain size he was forced to pay his net provider $50.
Enough in one post. Next in the series, ARKEN’s name change, church burners and the hacker report.