Lovely obituary by Nicole Perlroth in the Times for Daniel Kaminsky, a security researcher who was both deservedly much-respected and well-liked. He died far too young from a complication of diabetes. Here’s a delightful story from his youth:
His childhood paralleled the 1983 movie “War Games,” in which a
teenager, played by Matthew Broderick, unwittingly accesses a U.S.
military supercomputer. When Mr. Kaminsky was 11, his mother said,
she received an angry phone call from someone who identified
himself as a network administrator for the Western United States.
The administrator said someone at her residence was “monkeying
around in territories where he shouldn’t be monkeying around.”
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 warned the administrator
that if he made good on his threat, she would take out an
advertisement in The San Francisco Chronicle denouncing the
“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
Now that’s a good mom.