Metacurity Special Edition: Renowned Hacker Dan Kaminsky Dies at 42

Legendary researcher is best known for his kindness and generosity.

On Saturday, word spread on Twitter that legendary American security researcher and hacker Dan Kaminsky died at 42. As his own blog bio notes, Dan “is best known for his work finding a critical flaw in the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), and for leading what became the largest synchronized fix to the Internet’s infrastructure of all time.”

Dan is also known for discovering the Sony rootkit and serving as a popular and frequent speaker at DEFCON. Dan also co-founded and served as Chief Scientist at the security company White Ops (now known as Human Security.) He was a major consultant to corporations large and small, among his other achievements.

More importantly, Dan seemed to be a friend to all in the hacking community, with tributes to his kindness and generosity pouring out all weekend long from cybersecurity professionals whose lives Dan touched. His helpful and compassionate nature appears to be what people best remember about him, emphasizing Maya Angelou’s famed quote that “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I didn’t know Dan, much to my regret now. Since creating Metacurity five-plus years ago, I feel like I’ve discovered two important things about the information security community. I believe I have come to know who the true news junkies are in the industry by virtue of what Metacurity does.

I also feel that I’ve come to know who the truly kind people are in this industry, those who have extended a helping hand when I asked for it, those who encourage me in my quixotic endeavor here. But when it comes to Dan Kaminsky, I clearly missed out on knowing one of the kindest people in the community. RIP Dan.

Related: Security Week, The Register, Circle ID, Security Affairs, News.Ycombinator, Reddit, Slashdot

Photo: Dan Kaminsky, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons