mi2g History

Security company mi2g is fond of telling customers and the media that it has been "collecting data since 1995". This is a clear distortion of facts, made up by combining their current business with the fact the business was originally founded in 1995. However, if you look at their history, you will see that they were not doing security work in 1995 and very likely not collecting attack data. Look at a brief history of mi2g and a cornerstone of their lies:

Aside from selling security services and information, their other business is selling automotive information: http://www.carlounge.com

Carlounge was one of mi2g's original businesses (circa 1996). Started as a message board/portal thingy: http://web.archive.org/web/19981202050139/carlounge.com/setup.htm

They also operated a cheesy search engine called Middle East Information Database Search (MIDAS): http://web.archive.org/web/19961228023709/midas.mi2g.com/

At the time, Chairman DK Matai was working on his PhD in "high-performance computing (HPC)" in 1996: http://web.archive.org/web/19961219220150/http://www.mi2g.com/

In short, mi2g looked like a wanna-be website/e-commerce development company (motto: Bringing The Web To The World) until about 1999.

Suddenly, mi2g morphed into a "security intelligence provider": http://web.archive.org/web/19991013062957/http://mi2g.com/

"By integrating state-of-the-art software engineering technology with super computing capability, mi2g is revolutionising the world of eCommerce and for the first time maximising the return from the internet whilst minimising the risk. mi2g software is a London based eRisk management enterprise that is at the leading edge of building secure on-line trading, broking and banking architectures around the world."

At the same time Matai appears to have morphed his academic program. According to this 1999 page, Matai had dropped HPC and was "in the process of submitting his PhD thesis on The Creation and Protection of Online Wealth in Computing at Imperial College (London University)": http://web.archive.org/web/19990422025805/http://mi2g.com/

Matai's PHD was submitted between 1995-1999 according to one press release. In 2003, there is still no reference to Matai with a PhD title. Looking at one of the sparse references to "Matai + PhD", this March 2003 Complexity Digest quotes Matai w/o a PhD title, while quoting several others as such. I'm sure that if Matai had actually finished the PhD he had been touting, he would have requested credit as such.

mi2g is quite up front about the fact that hey learned everything they know about security from running Carlounge: http://web.archive.org/web/19991013062957/http://mi2g.com/

"Through the counter-attack techniques developed on mi2g lounges^, which have 3 Million users to protect and grow, the SIPS team is continuously identifying where the emerging weak points are in the threat from the internet and computer dial-in."

E.g., in 1999 mi2g pulled some numbers out of its ass, "There have been over 1,700 serious attacks world-wide in the first half of this year, costing more than 4.3 billion": http://web.archive.org/web/19991013062957/http://mi2g.com/

Why is this figure important? Checking the Attrition defacement mirror, you will find we recorded 3746 defacements in 1999. Divide by 2 and you get 1837, which is conveniently close to their "over 1,700" number. Given they had no public quotes or evidence of being in the security field, or tracking attacks.. this number is very suspect.

In summary, mi2g has not been in the security industry since 1995. The continued claims of collecting data that far back are unsubstantiated and unverified. DK Matai's insistance of working on a PhD in information security appear to be nothing more than wishful thinking. These are cornerstones of mi2g's claims of being experts in the field, and appear to be lies.


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