In the late 1980s, a few Romanian students illegally manufactured computers using parts smuggled from factories and manually soldered wires. Cobras gave their owners some feeling of independence and rebellion. “The fact that you could play the game you wanted, when you wanted, gave you the illusion of choosing for yourself,” Moldovanu says.
It's 3 am, and his eyes are almost closed. The pack of gummy bears on his desk is empty. So's the Chinese takeout box. Romanian white hat hacker Alex Coltuneac has had three hours of sleep tonight.
Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu ramped up propaganda, outlawed abortion, and empowered a secret police, creating an atmosphere where people were afraid to speak their minds.
A scheme teaching veterans to code helps them retune to civilian life and serve their country through technology. Junior sergeant Koziuk Serhiy was 23 years old when he was called to defend his country, Ukraine, in the war with Russia.
New analysis of Barış Pehlivan's computer finds a very rare, targeted malware called Ahtapot. It only gets stranger from there.
Hunted for doing their job, security experts face both digital and real-world threats ranging from “subtle pressure” to Molotov cocktails.
Romania has the largest percentage of girls who study in IT related fields in Europe, and this is due, in part, to the communist regime.
"Often, the best man for a job is a woman," Mihaela Lazar, a Romanian developer who has been coding for over 40 years, told me in her native language. Back in the 1970s, when she wrote her first lines of COBOL and FORTRAN, it never occurred to her that a man might be better suited for the job.
Dozens of hard drives were knocked down during a fire drill that involved inert gas deployment.
Women developers may be scarce in the US and western Europe, but Bulgaria and Romania have no such issues.
Ferraris, Porsches, and briefcases full of money show a booming cybercrime industry.
Low-financed startups could find a home in the eastern European country, where overheads and salaries are a quarter of those in San Francisco.
The region, first known as a computer virus factory, has since became one of the most advanced security hubs in the world, housing companies like Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and ESET. This is how it happened.
In the days of communism, many Romanian and Bulgarian children, who now are among the countries' leading technologists, learned to code on replicas of Apple II and ZX Spectrum machines.