Interview with Vladimir Likhachev, father of Nikolai Likhachev, better known as Chris Kaspersky

Hello, Khabravchans!

This is not the first time that I have come to visit Vladimir Likhachev, the father of Chris Kaspersky, to visit and visit him. The second time, he did not refuse me and allowed me to interview him, which I am sharing with you. The text was originally posted in the System Administrator journal, in which Chris was so fond of writing.

The father of Nikolai Likhachev, better known as Chris Kaspersky, talks about what his extraordinary and famous son was

- Do you plan to write a book about your son? If so, what will it be about and what years of your son's life would you like to describe?

- Yes, I plan to write a book. These will be the memories of Chris Kaspersky, covering his entire life. Childhood and school years will be briefly described if possible. I will try to dwell in sufficient detail on his career and his hobbies.

- Is it true that Kolya received a silver medal, and not a gold one, and did not go to graduation at school?

- True. The attitude at school to Nikolai was ambiguous: someone treated him jealously, with envy. Classmates often did not understand him, high school students were embarrassed to admit that he was smarter than them in something. As a ninth grader, his son explained to some tenth graders complex questions in chemistry, more simply and clearly than what was written in the textbook and what the teachers explained.

He also had a difficult relationship with many teachers. With great respect, the son treated a physics teacher, who also taught programming, a labor teacher and a physical education teacher. However, due to a conflict with some teachers, two dashes appeared in Nikolai’s certificate - in physical education and life safety. Therefore, he did not go to graduation evening, explaining his refusal to his mother: "Mom, I hate school."

- And what kind of discovery did Kolya do at school when he became interested in astronomy?

- Not a discovery, but a unique observation. One day, watching the moon, Nikolai noticed that lightnings were slipping on its surface. He described this phenomenon in detail in the observation diary, while indicating its date, time, and approximate place of observation with geographical coordinates. For a long time I was trying to understand what kind of strange phenomenon he saw on the surface of the moon.

After almost a year, he came across the postal address of an astronomy academician published in the journal Earth and the Universe. After some thought, Nikolai sent him a letter describing this phenomenon and asked the question: “Please explain what it was.” Soon a return letter arrived, followed by two more. I want to quote them here.

“Dear Nikolay! Thanks so much for the letter. The phenomenon that you observed is of great interest. I entered it in the international data bank, which takes into account all the observations, amateurs and professionals. As for the interpretation of the phenomenon, it is most likely electric discharges provoked by a moonquake or even a small eruption of a lunar volcano. It is known that lunar processes are accompanied by strong electrical phenomena. Your observations are of great interest, since such events are rare enough, and I, for example, have not yet been able to see anything like that.

02/06/1995 "

" Dear Nikolai Vladimirovich!

As it became known, on March 24, 1994 you observed a short-term phenomenon on the moon. At the Research Institute for the Study of Anomalous Phenomena (NIIIAY), such messages are being collected as part of the AAM program (see "Earth and the Universe", 1993, No. 6, p. 59). I earnestly ask you to fill out the attached form and return it to the address: Ukraine, 310022 Kharkov-22, PO Box 4684, Research Institute, A. Arkhipova It will be very unfortunate if your message does not go into scientific circulation.

Regards, Head Dep. Space Research NIIII

Arkhipov Alexey

03/20/1995 "

" Dear N.V. Likhachev!

Thank you for the valuable report on the short-term occurrence on the moon on March 24, 1994. I would only like to clarify the direction of motion of the “sparks” (in the selenographic coordinate system) and their number (at least approximately). I would be grateful for your name and patronymic.

Your observation coincided in time with the company for the international patrolling of non-standard phenomena on the moon during the flight of the American Clementine AIS. Information on the phenomenon of March 24, 1994 was sent to the coordinator of this program, President of the American Lunar Society D.O. Darling.


Alexei Viktorovich Arkhipov "

- How and when did his abilities begin to manifest?

- Around the age of four. Somehow a very intelligent man came to us and for the sake of a joke asked his son a question: “Tell me, Kolya, if there is one corner to saw off at the table, how many corners he will have left”. The meaning of the question had not yet reached my consciousness, as Kolya answered: "Five."

He began to demonstrate innovative thinking early on. For example, listening to a fairy tale about how a fox drove a hare from a hut, and he goes and cries, many children feel sorry for the hare, and Kolya said: “There is no need to cry. "He built one hut, instead of crying and complaining to everyone, take and build a second one." But the question of what was born first: an egg or a chicken, he replied: “Why does everyone forget about the rooster?”

Even before school, Kolya knew how to work with a soldering iron, collected various schemes. I learned to read it myself, about two years before school. My son went to first grade, already reading fluently.


Around the same period, he rather quickly began to count - add and subtract, however, small values. Could do up to a dozen or more mixed operations in the mind. We call the number, then add or decrease so much so next. Then we ask: “How much will it be?” He answered, without hesitation, immediately rightly.

We had a very rich technical library, because Nikolai’s mother graduated from the university with a degree in chemical analytics. The son studied chemistry, not all, but what was interesting to him. Of course, he did not have systemic knowledge, but his knowledge of chemistry went far beyond the school curriculum.

For home experiments, he equipped a very decent laboratory. As a result, he became interested in pyrotechnics. Designed "bombs". Calculated the optimal ratio of components. For the safety of handling them, he developed his own moderator. "Invention" went to the masses. At school, “explosions” began to boom on all floors.

However, everything comes to an end. The potassium permanganate ended and graceful silence ensued, but it did not last long. It all started anew. Teachers are at a loss: potassium permanganate cannot be found during the day with fire, and explosions continue.

Mom arranged an interrogation at home for Nikolai: where did the children get potassium permanganate? “From nowhere, she is nowhere to be found,” was the answer. “I found her a substitute.” “And what did you dig out for her in return?” - “Old batteries, the depolarizer contains manganese oxide in them. There are many of them. I counted how much it will take to replace potassium permanganate, checked and gave the "recipe" to the guys. "

In the evenings, tea and mom often had long conversations. Sometimes these conversations concerned chemistry. Nikolay is telling something, and mom begins to argue with him: “This is wrong, this cannot be.” The debate never lasted long. The son dragged some abstruse hefty book from the bookcase, quickly flipped through it and, finding a contentious issue, showed it to his mother, followed by the answer: "Sorry son, I forgot."

The school program was given to his son without difficulty. If he liked a subject and was needed for programming, he began a deep development of it. An example would be math. For programming, complex mathematical calculations were required, far beyond the school curriculum. There was no one to consult, and the son began to study certain sections of higher mathematics. At the informatics Olympiad there was a question - to sort the numbers with the minimum number of operations. He did it in one operation. This technique was used in his programs.

Another example is biology. He didn’t like her at first. But after buying a children's microscope, Kolya took up the study of cells. Subsequently, on a computer, Agat tested Darwin's theory of evolution.

To do this, he wrote a virus, which was a core located in a secluded place and not manifesting itself in any way. The kernel functions were supposed to create virus packages. In the package, each virus has some deviations from the rest. When viruses were found and removed, the kernel analyzed by what parameters the virus was found and removed. The next package was created taking into account these parameters and so on.

The first viruses were easily detected and removed, but the further, the harder and harder it was to do. The process was not completely completed, there was not enough memory, it was all full of viruses. Over evening tea, Nikolai told us: “I agree with Darwin's theory, it was confirmed in my experiment.”

Not without physics. An example is a home-made telescope, designed by him from a children's kit “Optic cabinet”, an enlarger and other optical devices. Preliminary, the most complicated optical calculations were made. You can not even talk about astronomy - this is a serious hobby for many years of his life.

“When did he break into the first commercial program, and what did it look like?”

- In school, Nikolai broke a lot of small and simple programs. He needed them to work on a computer, sometimes for friends. Broke very quickly, it was managed in five minutes. Several times, observing the hacking process, I asked: “How do you determine where to stop and where to fix something?” He answered: “I feel and know where to stop and where correction is needed. Why i do not know".


The first commercial hack was made about three years after graduation. At that time, we bought almost all of the computer equipment in one company in the city of Armavir. Nicholas was well known there. Once he was offered to crack the accounting program, explaining that it is used only in ministries and large banks (there was no 1C program at that time). The program was equipped with an external electronic key and had very strong protection. Hacking it was almost impossible. When asked how much it would cost, Nikolai was told that the program costs a lot of money. The son took three packs of three-inch floppy disks from the company and returned home on a suburban bus. The program was hacked two weeks later. During this time, he went to the company several times.

The program was launched, it worked normally and showed that it was licensed. Giving the program to the “customer” Nikolai asked: “How much will I get for it?” The answer was unexpected: “Nothing. We were joking. Nobody needs this program, we did not believe that you could crack it. Give us the floppy disks. " Nikolay calmly replied: “Not needed, not needed. And I won’t give you the floppy disks. I spent money on trips to you from Uspenka, it will be compensation for the bus. ”

But the story of accounting did not end there. About a month later, the intercity calls. An annoyed voice asked me to call Nikolai on the phone. And then it began: you are so syak that you have done. Your accounting program for a very serious person has destroyed the entire database. The son replied: “But you said that nobody needs her, and they didn’t pay me either. If you said that it will be sold, I would give you a password that you need to enter when you start the program. "

The conflict was resolved peacefully. The program was no longer sold. This was the first and last commercial hack made by the future Chris Kaspersky.

- Did Nikolai manage to work officially as hired workers in Russia?

- Yes, I did, but very few. The first job was in the assumption district node of the federal postal service as an engineer in computer technology and programming. He did not work there for long. Then he was accepted into the tax inspection by the chief state tax inspector in the department of accounting, reporting and analysis. But actually worked as an administrator. But there he did not last long. The work had its pros and cons. It was necessary to arrive at seven in the morning, to start the server (at that time the servers were turned off for the night). Leave at six in the evening, turning off the server, but not earlier than the last employee leaves the tax. Sometimes, the son was delayed until eight o’clock in the evening. Salary was significantly lower than promised.


But the main drawback, which frightened Nikolai very much, was the criminal liability subscription for information leakage. At that time, the reports were taken to Krasnodar on a diskette. And it often happened that the “dashing guys” stopped the car and demanded a floppy disk for copying. And this is a leak of information, and the admin can not do anything about it. And the corporate defense program was very weak. The son suggested writing his own, much more persistent. They refused, they need, they say, programs only from certain organizations.

A few years later, Nikolai wrote an article on the protection of information in the tax service. On his next trip to Moscow, he met with a police colonel, a high-tech crime specialist. The first question that was asked: "Where did the information about the state of protection in the tax service come from." Nikolai explained that he worked in the tax and knows the subject well. Everything that was written in the article was reliable facts.

“Is it true that Chris got an O-1 type visa?”

- Yes true. The O-1 Non-Immigrant Work Visa is designed for people with outstanding abilities who come to work in the United States under a temporary contract. An applicant who has received approval for obtaining such a visa has the right to live and work in the country for a certain period of time, as well as to bring with him a spouse and children who are allowed to study but not work.

Unlike an H-1B work visa, the number of O-1 visas issued per year is not quota, and in order to apply for an O-1 work visa, the applicant does not need to have a higher education, a labor certificate and an invitation from a specific employer in the United States . However, it is necessary to prove to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) the presence of unique talents and abilities in any field - art, sports, science or business.

The O-1 work visa is temporary and is issued for the duration of a specific project, or for three years. The holder of the O-1 visa may subsequently apply for an immigrant visa (EB-1A) and a Green Card.

When the issue of Chris moving to the USA and working in the office was decided, the task arose of obtaining a work visa. But the embassy issues these visas once a year, and if the number of applications exceeds the quota, a "lottery" is played. Visas for the current year have already been issued. Waiting for next year is not a fact that you will be lucky in the lottery. McAfee management puzzled its lawyers by finding a way to guarantee a work visa. Having studied everything that was written by Chris and how it is used, lawyers were able to prove to the immigration service that Nikolai Likhachev has the right to receive an O-1 visa.

Nikolai received his visa in 2010, but not in Moscow, but in Malaysia. He explained his decision simply: “For a half a year, a business visa in the USA was made to me at the Moscow embassy for almost three months.” It is understandable, his passport was all in the seals of the customs of visa-free countries and glued visas. The embassy said that verification is required.

- What did Chris do after leaving McAfee?

- Chris was cut from the company, and the reduction order was adopted at a very high level. In the morning he came to work, and at the checkpoint they say: "The pass is canceled, you no longer work here." They did not give personal things to him: a laptop, disk drive and notebooks. This is a flagrant violation of the law. Chris hired lawyers and sued. He won the court and received a good compensation.

The company issued a statement to Chris that he had been reduced in order to reorganize the structural unit and that he was a good employee and competent specialist. For several months, Chris tried to get a job in various organizations. He arranged for employers, but everyone laughed at the information. Such specialists and with such a characteristic are not reduced. They even called McAfee to authenticate the certificate. There they answered: “Yes, shortened. Yes, an excellent specialist and a good worker. But if you hire him, you will have big problems with us. ” McAfee is the leading IT security company in the USA, all small firms are under its “fifth” and do not want to spoil relations with it.


Although there was a company that decided to take Chris to work. It was 200 kilometers from San Francisco. Nikolai was tested and interviewed, then the employer with the deputy invited him to dinner at a restaurant. This actually means that he has already been hired. Then in the US there was a period of Obama's presidential election for a second term. After the first election, Obama sent Chris a commemorative gold hundred-dollar coin with his image for his support in the elections (emigrants do not vote).

At the beginning of the dinner, the chef began asking Chris who he would vote for. “I am an expat, I have no right to vote,” Chris replied. “Well, if I were not an expat, for whom would I vote?” - “For Obama.” Chris did not know that the entire state was voting for another candidate. Then the chef called the waiter, settled with him and told Chris: “You can sit and eat, everything is paid. Here’s a hundred dollars for you on your way back. ” This was the last attempt of the device to work.

What did Chris do later. The first is “farsing,” the currency exchange for illegal immigrants. In the US, it is permitted by law. As he later wrote to me, changing money is more complicated than programming on a computer.

Then, as part of a group of initiative guys, Chris developed a lightweight, flexible and breathable bulletproof bulletproof vest. But extremely expensive. Tests at the army training ground were successful. The next year, the development of another model of body armor began - a very cheap, flexible, with sleeves, with adjustable thermal cooling, bulletproof. In the first version, the bullet was slowed down, in the second - the bullet made a turn at one hundred eighty degrees.

It is impossible not to say about his successes in aviation. Here is what Chris said about this: “I want to become the first person in the world (!) Who learned to fly before driving a car.” The result was not slow to wait - training courses, an exam and ... he became the co-pilot of the helicopter. Then another course - I got a license to negotiate with an air traffic controller. But this seemed to him not enough.

Here is Chris’s review of the plane on which he learned to fly: “The plane is old. Even in Vietnam, he flew. Then it was sold by the US Army for $ 500 total. It’s still flying. ” Passed the flight exam on the same plane, and during the twenty-minute flight, the engine of the aircraft stalled three times. And on such a "miracle of technology" it was necessary to perform aerobatics - a dead loop. When exiting the loop: “... I lost orientation in space. Here, without a dispatcher and from the air it is not clear where to fly and where. Therefore, it was dropping in circles. ” For this, they lowered his score.

Then there was another flight school in Florida. One of the largest flight schools, more precisely - the second largest in the United States. Training and internship on seven aircraft models, exam ... the first pilot of the aircraft. And here is a license that “... gives the right to fly without supervision in the USA, Canada and other countries that accept American licenses. If the airfield is closer than one mile from a vast reservoir in which you can drown, then another license is required. I'm on my way to her. Water training has already passed (diving underwater from the layout). ”
Chris dreamed of working as a pilot. He has already had offers from two employers. He dreamed of working as an aerotaxist in Nevada and then in Alaska, but the tragedy cut short his plans.

The license allows "... the entire flight cycle from planning, pre-take-off equipment checks, take-off, piloting, landing, reporting in the journal - I can do all this myself. I cannot correct malfunctions before take-off. This requires a different license. ”

Chris twice on the instructions of the sheriff participated in paid combat operations to detain gangs. In the first operation, four children with him who did not serve in the army took a gang of six armed men. Chris had to shoot a man for the first time in his life, if necessary. All six were detained.

Preparation for the second operation took a long time. For the initial version of the operation, Chris shot a 7.62-caliber sniper rifle at an army training ground, which is much more powerful than our three-line gun and achieved stable hitting the target at a distance of one mile. In the latest version of the operation, shooting at such a distance was not required. The sheriff’s mission was quite tough: you can’t shoot at unarmed people, you can’t set fire to and blow up a building, there may be innocent people there. The number of gunsmith gangsters is approximately three to thirty. The operation involved seven people who did not serve in the army, and one retired veteran of three wars. Twenty-eight people were “packed”. None of them were killed, only the wounded.

- Chris said that he earned $ 1,000,000. Is this so?

- No not like this. This is from the area of ​​the Mouse story. He never had that much money. Although he tried to show himself as a successful person.

- On RSDN there was a big debate about how to help you. Has anyone contacted you?

- When I read the polemic on the forum, I admired people. Whatever they suggested, in order to perpetuate Chris's memory: to name the street by his name, erect a monument, organize a museum and so on and so forth. They wrote a lot that it was necessary to help my father. But, unfortunately, they talked, promoted in front of each other, “let off steam” and immediately forgot.

I was helped morally and financially by classmates at the institute, teachers at the university, and close people. They did not ask how to help me. Silently put money on the phone, at that time had to call the Foreign Ministry and the embassy in America. The money that remained from the negotiations went to a good cause. The monument to Chris is mostly paid for with this money.

- Yes, the monument turned out to be very good, two-sided, with a photo of Chris and his words. It's hard for me to ask you this question, but tell me, how did you find out about the tragedy?

- When Chris was leaving on his last trip to Florida, he promised that he would report about himself every day. And indeed, he began to upload videos on YouTube on his page - one jump per day. For me, this was enough, that means, alive and everything is fine. The last video was for February 9th, and then there was a pause. I began to experience more and more.

On March 9, at the end of the day, a friend called me and asked how long I had read the news on the Internet. I replied that I didn’t read them at all. He was silent for a moment and said: “Accept my condolences.” In my soul, everything broke off. But some hope was still burning. I asked, “What do you mean?” He said that my son died tragically.

The first thought was: what to do, what to do and where to run? I didn’t have the addresses of Chris’s friends. Recently, as if anticipating trouble, he asked him to give the addresses of his Russian-speaking friends, but he laughed and said: “Folder, what will happen to me will be all right.”

After trying for several days a lot of options in trying to find Chris' friends, I went to the RSDN forum. There, in correspondence, sometimes there were questions about how to find parents to tell them about the tragedy. To everyone who asked this, I sent an answer that I was Chris’s father, my home address, email and phone number. Only one, my son’s closest friend, answered. And one more person from Mineralnye Vody.

All these days, while I was trying to reach Chris' friends, the image of Chris periodically appeared in front of me. I felt it naturally. He tried to tell me something, as if directing my actions. After I went out to a friend of Chris and we started a correspondence with him, the image of Chris no longer appeared next to him.

- What kind of religion did Chris invent, which united many religions and did not contradict one another?

- History and religion are inextricably linked. To understand history, you need to know religion. To understand religion, you need to know history. Back in school, Chris began to be interested in religion. With the advent of the Internet, he significantly deepened his knowledge. I went to the Vatican library and read a lot of materials there. In addition to Christianity, he studied most religions of the world.

He came up with his own theory that since God created man, it means he descended from him. Every person has a piece of God. I can’t explain in more detail, I don’t remember the exact wording (the correspondence for this period has been lost). I remember only the most important thing. All people are descended from God, only in different religions is God called differently.

Then everything goes to equality and peaceful existence without wars and conflicts. Believers like this, they are already tired of wars on a religious basis.

Flocks from neighboring Catholic parishes began to pass to Chris. We told him that this was not good and there could be trouble, and he replied: “What can I do, the parishioners ask why there is blood, unemployment, and poverty around? But the priest in the parish cannot explain anything to his parishioners! Here they come to me. ”

“When they ask me the standard question: why does blood flow on the earth, and where does God look? I explain that God has enemies. And what is paradise for us, for God - AD, where, in fact, the enemies overthrew him, and science calls this phenomenon the Big Bang. God was very angry and realized that he needed to get out of here somehow, and therefore he created man. Man is created: a) cruel, b) inquisitive. Curiosity leads to the knowledge of the world, and sooner or later people will find a way to get out of the Universe to the next level. And here human cruelty will come in very handy to scatter enemies around the perimeter. ” (From personal correspondence)

- What do you think, if nothing happened to Kolya in childhood, would he become what he was?

- Most likely he would not have been able to achieve such successes. Somehow, a very long time ago, I was talking with one doctor. He told what kind of things his son does, and very often knows what needs to be done and what will happen. The doctor answered simply: “What do you want? He comes from the other world. Most people who have visited there develop extraordinary abilities, someone becomes a predictor, someone becomes a doctor, some become psychics, and your son has taken the technical path. ”

- Tell me, is it planned to reprint his books?

- Publisher "Solon" is interested in reprinting most of his books. The question is agreed with me. The copyright for Chris’s publications has been transferred to me and notarized.

- How did it happen that your son became interested in shooting and jumping?

- Chris in his youth liked shooting from an air rifle. Several times I took her from work, but there were problems with the bullets. There was no shooting gallery in our village.


Having moved to America, to the city of Reston, Chris found a huge shooting range, where they shoot from real weapons. In this dash, the distances of 10, 25 and 50 meters were opened during the day. In the evening, another distances of 75 and 100 meters were opened. Chris tried to shoot a pistol, and he really liked it. Then the first pistol was bought.

We often chatted with him. I gave him advice - stance, arm training and practicing smooth descent, but he decided in his own way. Somewhere I got a piece of armor plate from an Apache helicopter, fixed it on the front door and shot in the apartment until I was stupefied.

Then he became interested in rifle shooting. It turned out that the passion for shooting gives a very not weak physical exertion. Chris wrote: "If I shoot at the dash all day, then in the evening the muscles of my whole body ache from overstrain."

Next was a heavy, large-caliber weapon, including an anti-tank rifle from the time of World War II. It’s hard to list all the weapons Chris tried out during his time in the United States.

In his home arsenal, besides pistols, rifles and machine guns, there was a grenade launcher and a gift from friends - a semi-automatic 500 caliber gun.

Jumping is easier. Once I went with a friend to Dropzone, to see how skydivers jump, became interested. I decided to test myself and make one jump with an instructor, a tandem. I jumped, I liked it. I decided to jump again ... and got hooked, dragged on.

Chris passed the phased exams in all categories. He received a license allowing parachute jumping from an airplane, helicopter and balloon - day and night, to land and water. Chris wrote to me: “Folder, you can’t imagine when you jump from a height of 12,000 feet and fly at a speed of 170 kilometers per hour, then in the air you feel like a fish in water. The feeling that you are in another world. "

And about the jump at low altitude: “For me, a jump from 3,500 feet is an eternity. Need to expand to 3,000 feet. There are five seconds of time. During this time, you can perform several aerobatics with a loss of stability, gain stability and throw a parachute. "

Unfortunately, Chris was carried away by speed landing, it became fatal for him. I really want the memory of Chris to remain in the hearts of his fans and for the new generation to remember him and not to forget.

To be continued...

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