WEB Summit 2018


Hacking a smart home with Garry Kasparov, Avast Security Ambassador

A smart home is only as secure as its weakest link. At Web Summit, Avast will demonstrate the scenario of a smart home hack, performed by security researcher Vladislav Iliushin, and narrated by Garry Kasparov, who has a long history of trouble with machines. He will comment on the hack, first invading the smart home via its security camera, then infecting a series of smart devices in the home. Garry will draw comparisons to his famous chess matches against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, where his battle against a machine was actually against the humans behind it. Addressing the wider context of IoT security, Ondrej Vlcek, Avast EVP & CTO, will address the state of IoT security, and showcase how to keep smart home environments secure, using new technologies, including AI.

Ray Dalio and Garry Kasparov chat AI. Artificial intelligence is making more and more of our decisions for us. Is this capacity limitless or are there some things only human intuition can determine?

Last week, between November 6-8, we attended WebSummit in Lisbon with Garry Kasparov, Ondrej Vlcek and Vlad Iliushin, who delivered a presentation on IoT security and privacy, including a live smart home hack in front of over 1,000 attendees. The smart home presentation received positive feedback by the WebSummit organizers and the audience, who were engaged and receptive throughout. Following the presentation, we were approached by Kaspersky’s SAS organizer who said they were “super impressed” by our presentation, and invited us to speak at their 2019 conference.

Garry, Ondrej, and Vlad presenting about smart home security at Web Summit in front of over 1,000 people (the audience

Prior to the presentation, Ondrej and Garry held a press conference in front of over 30 journalists on the topic of IoT security, data privacy and human rights, followed by a fireside chat between Garry and Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates. This discussion focused on AI and algorithmic decision making, where Garry was presented as an Avast representative to an audience of 1,000 people.

Garry in a Fireside Chat with Ray Dalio, Founder Bridgewater Associates, in front of 1,000 people

Before and after these presentations, Garry and Ondrej held interviews with La Repubblica (Italy), Exame (Brazil), RTP and Observador (Portugal), ZDNet (UK), TV Nova (Czech Republic) and El País (Spain).

Ondrej and Garry holding an Avast press conference; Garry in an interview with El País, Spain

To date, coverage of the demo and the interviews with Garry and Ondrej has appeared in the following publications:

Observador, a tier one Portuguese national newspaper, which ran three stories: one on the smart home hack demo, another on geopolitical developments and online privacy, and a third which included a statement from Garry calling for more “digital hygiene” and greater appreciation for the right to privacy among consumers

La Repubblica, a tier one Italian daily, published an article on the abuse of the internet by political institutions, quoting Garry

Globo / Epoca Negocios, a tier one Brazilian business outlet, wrote a piece on our smart home hack demo, along with Portuguese economic newspaper Eco and public interest news outlet Visao. Leading Portuguese tech and business publication Exame Informatica also covered the smart home security topic and quoted Vlad from the presentation. Ukrainian tech publication KO mentioned Garry speaking about smart home security at Web Summit, as did Czech title Tyinternety.cz, which also linked to a video of the presentation

The Spanish/Catalan daily El Periodico published a quote from Garry from his press conference with Ondrej, expressing the concern that the internet was built to support free speech, despite it being abused for spreading fake news. The Portuguese radio station TSF also reported on the press conference discussion quoting Ondrej and Garry on smart home security.

The social media team supported our activities at Web Summit with posts of photos and videos we shared with them. Here is an update from Jas:

The majority of the activity took place over Twitter, with our content being shared, in addition to where we engaged with people who tweet content related to our Summit activities.

This event was soleley based on a free speaking opportunity with Web Summit that we secured, Avast did not sponsor Web Summit.

WebSummit was attended by approximately 70,000 people from the tech industry, the majority of whom were management and representatives of tech businesses and startups.


Garry’s Timeline

Follow Garry's extraordinary path through years of relentless activism.

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