Introduction from the CEO of Comodo

Hi Everyone

I am the founder, CEO and Chief Security Architect for Comodo. I am an Electronic Engineer (BEng, Hons, Bradford University, UK) with a passion for security. I have also done low level programming (and device drivers) in the good old days :-). I initiated the CAB Forum last May 05 in order to create a more secure and trusted internet for all of us ( ). I am determined to create a Free and Secure Internet for the masses. Some people take up gardening, or train spotting as a hobby, well I have taken up the challange of securing desktops and the internet as a hobby! I believe the Internet will propel the future of human kind by allowing sharing of knowledge at a scale we have never seen before.

I am here to answer any (well almost any :-)) questions you might have about Comodo and our products. I will try to be as open as possible without giving too much information to our competitors. After all, we don’t want our competitors to be following our leadership too closely :wink:

The ultimate satisfaction as an engineer is seeing happy users/customers utilising the products we have built. Hence you will see myself and Comodo continously striving to improve our products for you.

Thank you for your attention and look forward to your contribution in making our products better.

Melih Abdulhayoglu

Melih I have a question about you.

What sparked your passion for internet security?

oh dear :slight_smile: that’s a long story :slight_smile: here it goes

Security has always been my passion. When i was a kid, I used to design houses that thieves could get in, but couldn’t get out :-). I built my first electronic circuit when i was 9 years old. Of course it was one of those kits you buy and build it yourself. It was a 20dB siren I built and replaced our door bell with that! I was totally surprised why my dad was not too happy with that then, but now I totally understand :slight_smile: So there was not a single point that I could say has caused me to be in Security industry, I just was born for it I guess ;-). I even had some people ask me if I had insecure childhood to be in the security business, on the contrary, I had a great childhood with loving parents and siblings. So why Internet? Why not a car or anything else!

Here is the answer for that: I used to rake my brain as to why having ridden on a horse back for thousands of years, in few hundreds years we started travelling around in Jet Planes! What was the trigger for that? Then I realised it was the invention of the Printing Press in 1440. This great invention allowed us to retain and share information which led to the industrial revolution. So what is Internet if not that invention on steroids! Internet will help us share and retain information even at greater speeds and volumes than was possible before. This, in my opinion, will lead to another revolution for the human race. Internet not only brings us sharing of information but also connectedness! But this amazing tool that will propel human race to its next level has to be protected! Just like a knife this tool that we call Internet could be good and bad as we have seen over last few years. We need the protection layer added to it. So I have taken up on myself to do whatever I can to help achieve that! Is it a big and challenging task? You bet! Will it require help from other great people for it to succeed? Of course it will! But it is my goal to succeed in weaving this “Security layer” into the fabric of Internet!

Hope this explains why security and why Internet security :slight_smile:


That completely answered my question but with it comes another from your childhood.

The houses you built, did you ever catch a thief and was the thief actually trapped to where he/she could not get out?

It was all conceptual designs (though they would work), noone would let me actually implement it as I was too young :frowning:


Hey Melih,

2 mates and I setup a security system for a warehouse that used motion sensors, electronic locks, a modem, a UPS, a series of serial interfaces and a Commodore 64 for monitoring and program logic.

If someone broke in, the sensors would detect movement and open all the locks on the doors in that room. The intruder could then leave that room and enter another, which would trip the next motion sensor and in turn close and lock the door behind them. The locks on the second room (except for the one they came through) would be selectively unlocked. The system had a logic chain which would, eventually force the intruder into a room in the centre of the warehouse that had only one door and when they entered it, it would lock behind them.

While all this was going on, the modem would dial a series of predefined numbers - cops, owners, security company etc.

We set this up in 1982 and the system ran successfully for 21 years until the C-64 broke in such a way that we couldn’t fix it. In the 21 years it caught 8 intruders. It was way cool at the time - the cops loved it and we ended up making 4 sets for some of the local cops. We ended up selling the design to a company called NessSecurity who did quite well with it for a couple of years and they integrated it with the X-10 series of electrical controllers.

This would have been the ants pants if the internet was around then.

I came up with the overall concept, the user interface and did the logic chain programming. My best mate JohnBoy did the serial I/O coding and the modem dialling coding and Jeff did the electrical/electronic stuff. We had a ball for about two years getting it right and didn’t need to change one line of code or change one existing connection in over 20 years!! It’s really cool when you get it just right!

How wierd is that???

cya l8r,
Ewen :slight_smile:

P.S. Did I mention that I have a granddaughter???

I wish I was working with you guys on that project! Sounds like a lot of fun!

Now I know I am not the only crazy one! LOL


Melih, how can you be crazy and make such great products?

Anyway, wondering why is it you spend so much time in person interacting with your end users. I've never known a CEO do does before (and doubt I will again) and I'm sure you're a very busy person. Is it you want to get to know end users personally or something etc?

(M) (L)

Good question :slight_smile: (I thought you guys would have started with easy questions first but no such luck :slight_smile: )

I am the CEO, but I am also the founder and the visionary. I want to create the products that the users love! Why have a middle man for me to understand what it is that user want! I want to learn and feel it first hand as to what the users want, not thru anybody else. Plus I am enjoying the interaction :slight_smile: Is it taking my time, sure it is, but worth every penny! Interacting with users learning will only make me better understand what they need so that i can better architect products! Of course how long I can keep this going remains to be seen as the demand on my time increases. But I am solving that problem by starting the day 1 hour early and finishing 1 hour later hence having 26 hour a day (clever huh :slight_smile: ).


Thanks Melih for your reply, that was a good answer. If I have any more questions I’ll try and make them easier ;D


Hey Melih,

That’s not solving the problem, just extending it. If you can make two hours for your work, don’t forget to make time for your family.

Always remember, a living is what you take out, but a life - that’s what you put back in.

Ewen :slight_smile:

Very true indeed!


I was curious how you actually became the CEO of the company and what struggles it took to gain the position – this questions sounds more than what it is. Basically, I’m just looking for maybe designer highlights from your career or solid anecdotal innovations.

I founded the company!

As the first employee of the Company I thought long and hard as to who should be the CEO and I decided to give the title to myself :slight_smile: I have founded the company and now building it to be a world leader!

Initial struggles was getting people to believe in your dream! I had a dream that I could secure the PCs and create a trusted internet. I innovated and filed many patents in the early days to solve many problems ranging from Physical theft of a machine and you could disable it to all the way content authentication of the content you see on the websites. I always have been out of box thinker (I would like to think :slight_smile: ) and sometimes people who you need to convince to help achieve that dream are not! This creates a challange for you as the founder and CEO. Of course as always, I never give up! So I kept singing my song and proved it thru “execution” of the dream. So now the dream came true.


That looks like an interesting product. Does Comodo have such a product? Also, perhaps, a product where a computer secretly pings a server whenever it is used, so that if a laptop is stolen, the user could log on to the server and find out where it is being used from. There are commercial products that can do this, but if Comodo released a free one it would be very popular I think.

Hey Melih,

This sounds like a job for the “sandpit”. A Comodo user could log in to somewhere on the Comodo support site and turn this feature on using one of their Comodo activation codes. When an update was done, the updater could check if this was turned on and a traceroute could be done on the return path of the update. The routing information could then be passed back to the user.

What do you think?
Ewen :slight_smile:

Well, I had designed a chip to do that, however there are software versions, albeit not as secure as chips. Maybe you should put that as another product we should develop in the forum :wink:



The software version could make a secret hidden Partition on the drive and ping with the Comodo servers whenever Windows Starts and then 1 time each hour after that. Just an idea.

When thieves steal a PC/Laptop, the first thing they do is to format the HD clean. So any software solution will be susceptible. There are some companies offering some solution by modifying the BIOS etc that I know of. We’ll see where we go in the future :wink:


Management question for you, Melih.

I’ve always found that managing teams of geeks has its own unique issues for managers. If you give them too much rein, they can lose business focus, but if you keep them on too tight a leash, they lose the intuitive, creative spark.

I’m currently rotating team members from one field into another in an oversight capacity. This lets them see other areas outside of their expertise (comfort zone), provide another perspective on that teams issues and get a bit of a taste of team management.

Given that you’ve got teams in software development, desktop security, HA certificates - many disparate fields, how do you keep the spark alive, while still achieving your business goals?

Ewen :slight_smile:
(WCF3) (WCF3) (WCF3) OI OI OI!