ESET Celebrates 10 Years in Montreal

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MONTREAL, April 17, 2022 – ESET is celebrating a decade since setting up a leading research centre on the campus of École Polytechnique Montreal.

A global leader in providing protection against digital threats, ESET is also at the forefront of research projects that identify web-based risks and malware threats. Since it was officially opened on April 17th, 2012, its Montreal technological hub has specialized in advanced R&D in computer security, specifically malware analysis.

“ESET has set up technological hubs around the world to ensure that the sun never sets on our research,” says Alexis Dorais-Joncas, Security Intelligence Team Lead in Montreal and a Day One staffer at the hub. “From Day One to today, we have had an incredible team in Montreal working together to build this into a leading hub of research into cyberthreats. We are proud of the significant contributions our Montreal team has made to identify cyber threats and make the global digital world more secure.”

ESET’s Montreal technological hub originated as part of the research ecosystem at École Polytechnique Montreal before it evolved and established itself as a separate ESET entity. It currently employs 14 staff.

Over the past decade, it has identified significant cyber threats, including:

  • The discovery of a flaw in the VaxiCode Verif application that allowed hackers to bypass QR code verification mechanisms and have a forged QR code recognized as valid. The flaw has since been fixed.
  • The discovery of Lojax, the first ever UEFI rootkit "in the wild." Details were later presented at several conferences, including Black Hat Europe and BlueHat.
  • Phishing attempts with hackers posing as the Canadian Revenue Agency luring victims in with a fake Interac transfer of their expected tax refund.
  • An investigation into Stantinko, a complex and slowly developing adware campaign that impacted an estimated half-million users in Eastern Europe.
  • Research into Operation Windigo — an attack on thousands of Linux and Unix servers that began in 2011 — earned ESET’s Montreal team the first-ever Péter Szőr Award, given to the best research work of the year in the field of computer security. ESET also assisted the FBI in its investigation of Windigo, resulting in one of the co-conspirators being arrested, extradited to the United States and sentenced to 46 months in prison.

The work of the Montreal technological hub is often posted at ESET’s blog,

The Montreal research hub is one of 13 such centres ESET maintains around the world, including locations in Slovakia, San Diego, Argentina, Singapore, Czechia and Poland.

About ESET

For more than 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure and consumers worldwide from increasingly sophisticated digital threats. From endpoint and mobile security to endpoint detection and response, as well as encryption and multifactor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use solutions unobtrusively protect and monitor 24/7, updating defenses in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats