The tech journalism world doesn’t have many true characters. Now it has one fewer.
Steve Gold passed away last night. He did so peacefully, unconscious. I’m not sure he would have liked that.
For the few people in the IT security world who don’t know his name, you’ll certainly know his effect. Steve was one of the reasons the UK has the Computer Misuse Act. He was part of a 1980s hacking scene that, infamously, led to the breach of Prince Phillip’s mailbox.
That’s all part of the legend, but Steve was so much more than that.
I’ve known him as a friend and colleague for around three decades. During that time he was one of the most reliable and conscientious journalists I’ve ever worked with. His knowledge of the comms world was encyclopaedic. And I’ve never known anyone work so hard. But he was more than that, too.
We’ve had a few adventures over the years. At one time we set up a company together. But it never traded because our lives, individually, became suddenly very complicated. During the ensuing turmoil, he provided me with the kind of unstinting, unquestioning support that was so typical of his immense generosity.
For years now, barely a week has passed without my answering the phone to hear him greet me with a nickname no-one else has used for me for 20 years. I’ll miss that.
The last time I saw Steve face-to-face was in Amsterdam. I think it was for Black Hat Europe, but all those infosec conferences become something of a blur. On the first night, he treated me to an Indian meal. On the second, I treated him to Indonesian. The latter was more expensive. He immediately offered to split the difference. Typical.
Steve was a man of immense enthusiasms, but none greater than for his family, to whom my thoughts go.
It’s a cliché to say he will be missed by many, but in this case it’s literally true. His boundless capacity for empathy, loyalty and humanity meant Steve had very many friends. He is a connection in our lives that is now lost forever.
- Silent Modems – a memorial site for Steve
- SC Magazine
- Trish at SecondCherry
- IT Security Guru/Dan Raywood
- Yvonne Eskenzi
- David Harley at ITsecurity
- The Register