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[dupe] Daniel Kaminsky, Internet Security Savior, Dies at 42 (nytimes.com)
241 points by hughmandeville 8 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 37 comments

Since a lot of people seem to care most about this part:

"His aunt, Dr. Toby Maurer, said the cause was diabetes ketoacidosis, a serious diabetic condition that led to his frequent hospitalization in recent years."

As a PSA, if you happen to have diabetes and COVID, you should desist from taking certain diabetes drugs, or else it can cause diabetes ketoacidosis: https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210112/common-diabetes-med...

Nasty condition.

My diabetic dad responded to the vaccine in a similar manner. We spent one scary day in the hospital. After changing his pills to insulin shots (temporarily for a month), he started getting well again.

May I ask what kind of diabetes does he have, and what vaccine did he get?

Asking as some people close to me are diabetic and will be getting their shots soon. Thanks a lot

He is Type 2 and he got the Sinovac one.

Edit: I think I must share his medical history too:

He is 65.

2007: diabetes

2018: multiple myeloma

2019: 6 months of kemo

2020: bone marrow transplant

2021: cancer is currently dormant, 2 shots of Sinovac in 30 days

not the original poster: Type 2. Type 1 is strictly insulin dependent (and always at least 'medium severe')

>diabetic condition that led to his frequent hospitalization in recent years

What I don't realize - he is obviously brilliant, so controlling diabetics via insulin shots should not be hard. Ketoacidosis usually takes at least a day or two of uncontrolled blood glucose (13+ mmol/l), he'd likely feel the symptoms well enough - thirst, fatigue. As the article explains, he deeply cared about medical conditions of others. Ketoacidosis would be a horrible way to go for such a brilliant hacker.

> he is obviously brilliant, so controlling diabetics via insulin shots should not be hard

Being brilliant and the ease someone has controlling diabetes aren’t necessarily related.

The higher you are for a long time, the less you’ll notice the highs. When I was diagnosed, my A1C was over 13, so I’d likely been averaging 300+ for weeks. I felt like shit but it came on slowly over a period of months. It had been so long that I didn’t know what it felt like to feel normal.

But I’m also quite stupid, so take this with a grain of salt.

I can understand not knowing the very 1st time (prior diagnosis), or a denial as there is no cure. Most Type 1 diabetes takes weeks/months to be diagnosed, indeed. However, his case was years long - I'd expect he'd have had a glucometer and at least a test a day (it takes less than 10sec). That's the controlling part. It's much easier to die from hypoglycemia than hyper one with insulin treated diabetes, with the former taking mere minutes and switching the brain entirely off.

Avoid trying to guess/predict how someone who's not you deals w/ a lifelong chronic illness. In a perfect world every person with diabetes would be rigorously testing and in total control of their blood sugars. This isn't always possible and isn't always what the person wants.

Personally, as a person with Type 1 Diabetes who has relatively good control, I am much more worried about DKA than an unexpected low. Modern insulin analogs are very predictable and I eat a very structured diet. I wear a CGM and am very aware of my #s. It's much more likely that illness or some other factor will send me into DKA than an unexpected low will kill me.

This isn't true for all people with diabetes though.

"But I’m also quite stupid, so take this with a grain of salt" <-- this sounds like genuine humility, thanks for this, we only see this rarely.

His tweets have referenced insulin in the past, so there must have been other complications.

> 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 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.

Awesome mom.

It's worth reading the article just for that story. Sounds like a mom to be proud of.

Something I do not see being mentioned in this NYTimes or TheRegister article. If I am not mistaken he was the one who had the idea for "VisualHostKey"in SSH. I remember a column/article about "advanced" SSH usage from him in early 2000's.

The author of that OpenSSH feature, Alexander von Gernler, tells that story:


Video of Kaminsky exploring the problem and how to fix it, 10 minutes into "Black Ops 2006 Viz Edition":


Here's a silly picture I took of Dan with my hedgehog.

He will be missed.


Not sure why this marked as dupe.

The previous link was from 3 days ago and was a short Twitter message. Today's link is a full NYTimes article full of information.

I have to say: This is a beautiful eulogy.

We should all strive in life to get a eulogy this beautiful when we die.

The hard part is finding out if you managed to achieve it.

In Korea they sometimes hold mock funerals for those who have attempted suicide to help them grieve the situation.

You could always fake your own death and then visit the funeral, as in Kurosawa’s famous film The Bad Sleep Well.


Note that it's not completely impossible: most journals have already written eulogy of a lot of famous and old people

Tangentially related, I saw this movie recently and it was really touching: https://www.statnews.com/2020/10/01/her-father-developed-dem...

Nicole Perlroth did a great job writing this.

Archive link, for paywall bypass: https://archive.is/YwzXs

I don't know why Daniel's death has impacted me so much, but it has. I think it's because he was just starting to look into AI.

Thanks to HN, I came across this article.

Great to learn about Mr. Kaminsky achievements and his contribution to internet security. Like the story of breaking into sensitive (Military) websites at the age of 11.

Truly an "Internet Security Savior". RIP

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