RIP effugas April 26, 2021 3:43 PM   Subscribe

MeFite effugas, aka Dan Kaminsky, the sweetest InfoSec guy you could ever know, has died this week. Dan was incredibly giving of his time and knowledge, to MeFi and to the world, and was always around being helpful and making complicated topics easier to understand. He talked about MeFi at DEFCON! He liked us and we (mostly) liked him and I am sorry he is gone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:43 PM (96 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

I never met Dan myself, but he loomed large in my industry friends' circle and will definitely be missed.

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posted by hanov3r at 3:54 PM on April 26


I must've missed him when I was active on Mefi, sounds like a solid human being.

Very sorry that Mefi's lost one of its own.

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posted by hadjiboy at 4:10 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


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posted by FishBike at 4:11 PM on April 26


I first met Dan about 15 years ago - at one of the CCC events I think.

He was always full of joy and energy and enthusiasm and good humour, in public and in private. I didn't know him well, but over the years I had many enjoyable evenings with him at one event or another. In a scene that could often be pretty toxic he stood out as one of the few people that nobody had anything but good words for.

It was a running joke for several years that he would show up to almost every conference with pretty much the same talk about hacking DNS. But I can't even fault him for being repetitive, because he made it so entertaining every damn time.

Somewhere I have a photo of us extremely drunk together. I'm going to go and find it and be sad now.
posted by automatronic at 4:13 PM on April 26 [7 favorites]


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posted by Chairboy at 4:18 PM on April 26


I recalled a thread 18 years ago and found this bit of grace.

"Isn't life a bit too short to stick to only one frame of reference?"

--Dan
posted by effugas at 5:20 AM on December 17, 2002

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posted by clavdivs at 4:18 PM on April 26 [22 favorites]


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posted by motty at 6:28 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


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I first knew him—ages ago, now—as one of the smarter voices on Slashdot and was happy to see him on MeFi. He will be missed.
posted by jedicus at 6:51 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


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posted by Atom Eyes at 7:04 PM on April 26


I certainly didn't travel in those rarefied infosec & Internet engineering circles, but everyone who does made him sound like an extraordinary person.

My condolences to the folks whose lives he touched -- always for the better, judging from the stories.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:11 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


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This place accumulates fine people and it and the world are the lesser when we have to let them go.
posted by vrakatar at 7:15 PM on April 26 [16 favorites]


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posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:42 PM on April 26


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posted by retronic at 7:44 PM on April 26


I'm sorry to read this. I only knew him through his comments here, which I noticed and often appreciated.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:03 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


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posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:04 PM on April 26


we (mostly) liked him

May I ask why the caveat?
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 8:24 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


I think there was some back and forth about him in a 2021 thread which had to do with his opinion about some things that MeFites Had Opinions about (he did not participate in the thread to the best of my knowledge) so I didn't want anyone to presume we were making blanket statements including them without their okay. Mod team who knew him were all big fans.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:42 PM on April 26 [6 favorites]


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posted by rmd1023 at 5:13 AM on April 27


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posted by wellred at 5:41 AM on April 27


His obituary is on the front page of the NY Times website: Daniel Kaminsky, Internet Security Savior, Dies at 42
posted by Dip Flash at 6:06 AM on April 27 [13 favorites]


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posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 6:13 AM on April 27


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:17 AM on April 27


I'm very sad about his death. What a huge loss. A friend of mine who knew him well said, "He always tried to bring other people up to his level, but he wasn't afraid to meet you wherever you were." and that's such an important pair of principles -- that's how I want to be too, and I'll remember it as a part of his legacy. 42 is so young -- he had so much more ahead of him.

I met Dan in 2010 at QuahogCon, a little information security conference in Rhode Island, watched him give a riveting talk, and competed against him in a trivia contest. Towards the end of the con I got to hang out with him and a few other folks over food/drink, and it was fun. This past weekend, on Twitter, I saw so many people mentioning experiences like mine: I was a "nobody" at a con and he hung out with me and made me feel welcome and we had a great conversation.
posted by brainwane at 6:32 AM on April 27 [30 favorites]


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posted by notquitemaryann at 7:04 AM on April 27


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posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:35 AM on April 27


A genius. We are much diminished by his loss. Rest in power, dude.
posted by Lynsey at 7:41 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Very sorry to hear this.

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posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:45 AM on April 27


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:27 AM on April 27


Too young. Fuck diabetes.

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posted by biogeo at 10:33 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


What a loss. My condolences to his friends and loved ones.
posted by y2karl at 10:47 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


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posted by Hey, Zeus! at 11:04 AM on April 27


We've lost a brilliant, kind person. Heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends.
posted by vers at 11:26 AM on April 27


The two obituaries linked in this thread are the finest examples of living a life so that your death notices make people regret not knowing you I can remember reading in a while. 42 is no age at all, but what a great life he had within it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:46 AM on April 27 [22 favorites]


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posted by Tabitha Someday at 12:42 PM on April 27


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posted by notyou at 12:46 PM on April 27


From the NYT obit

Without her knowledge, Mr. Kaminsky had been examining military websites. The administrator vowed to “punish” him by cutting off the family’s internet access. Mrs. Maurer [mom] warned the administrator that if he made good on his threat, she would take out an advertisement in The San Francisco Chronicle denouncing the Pentagon’s security.

“I will take out an ad that says, ‘Your security is so crappy, even an 11-year-old can break it,’” Mrs. Maurer recalled telling the administrator, in an interview on Monday.

They settled on a compromise punishment: three days without internet.


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posted by Gorgik at 12:55 PM on April 27 [27 favorites]


I saw the NYT obit but did not know the MeFi connection. A genuine loss.
posted by briank at 12:58 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 3:09 PM on April 27


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posted by heyho at 4:03 PM on April 27


The NYT obit gets even better:

When his talk was complete, Mr. Kaminsky was approached by a stranger in the crowd. It was the administrator who had kicked Mr. Kaminsky off the internet years earlier. Now he wanted to thank Mr. Kaminsky and to ask for an introduction to “the meanest mother he ever met.”
posted by medusa at 4:59 PM on April 27 [16 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 9:53 AM on April 28


...and also, I had never connected his MeFi name with his actual name. I remembered effugas specifically from a thread awhile back on high-frequency trading and shortwave radio. At the same time, I've been following him on Twitter for infosec stuff for years.

I just recently pared back Twitter to nearly nothing, so I missed this news when it hit over the weekend.
posted by jquinby at 10:08 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


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posted by spinifex23 at 11:33 PM on April 28


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I met Dan at BlackHat nearly 20 years ago. A brilliant but humble guy.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:46 AM on April 29


I also read the NYT article but didn’t make the Metafilter connection. What a terrible loss.
posted by 41swans at 4:36 AM on April 29


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I didn’t make the MeFi connection but remember meeting him a couple of times at Toorcon in the early to mid 2000s and being impressed by his enthusiasm and how not-commercial it was. The field is prone to people selling things but that wasn’t him at all.
posted by adamsc at 6:00 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


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posted by OmieWise at 11:39 AM on May 1


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posted by Quietgal at 1:18 PM on May 1


Dan was kind to me while I was working through some of the aftermath of having gone mad. His writings on Internet security were always clear, penetrating and necessary. I'm gutted that he's died. If it turns out that the insane US health care unsystem had any part in restricting his access to insulin I will despise it even more, which I wouldn't hitherto have thought possible.

My condolences to his family and friends.
posted by flabdablet at 1:54 PM on May 1 [5 favorites]


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posted by riruro at 2:53 PM on May 1


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posted by gt2 at 4:08 PM on May 1


There will be an online memorial for Dan tomorrow at noon PT (3 PM ET, 7 pm UT) on the Def Con discord server.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:58 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


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posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:45 PM on May 5


I just realized why that tweet had gotten a bunch of action the other day.

Dan was one of far too few people in InfoSec for whom empathy and compassion were first nature, and will be sorely missed.

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posted by jferg at 4:32 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


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posted by essexjan at 2:30 PM on May 14


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