Project Cyber Virus: Opening Reception

Learn the history of hacking and its counterculture during opening night of our monthlong exhibit, Project Cyber Virus.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


May 06, 2015 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



To celebrate the opening of our exhibition, Project Cyber Virus, join a discussion with experts about early computer viruses from the 1980s and 1990s.

Investigate the beginnings of hacker subculture—a special breed of programmers—as well as their motivations, from ego to advocacy to annoyance. Learn about the early loopholes exploited by hackers, and about how cybersecurity evolved alongside them, raising questions of privacy and security in the modern computer age.


6:30 pm  doors open
7:00 pm  keynote & exhibit tour
8:15 pm  audience Q&A
8:30 pm  networking & explore the exhibit
9:30 pm  doors close


John Gilmore

John Gilmore is an entrepreneur and civil libertarian. He started as
a programmer, and built a fortune in several computer businesses,
which he is now spending to preserve and extend civil rights for all.
He co-created Cygnus Solutions, the first successful free software
business; the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); the Cypherpunks;
the DES Cracker; much free software including GNU Tar, GNU Radio,
Gnash, and the GNU Debugger; and the Internet’s “alt” newsgroups.
He’s spent 35 years doing programming, hardware and software
design, management, philosophy, philanthropy, and investment. He
is a board member of numerous nonprofit and for-profit businesses.

He’s trying to get people to think more about the society they are
building. His advocacy on drug policy aims to reduce the immense harm
caused by current attempts to control the mental states of free citizens.
His advocacy on encryption policy aims to improve public understanding
of this fundamental technology for privacy and accountability in open
societies. His efforts on intellectual property policy seek to create
a healthy balance among the rights of creators, readers, middlemen,
competitors, critics, and archivists. His efforts on anonymity, travel
and identification seek to restore the “right to be let alone” to the
everyday innocent activities of ordinary people.

Dan Kaminsky

Dan Kaminsky has been a noted security researcher for over a decade, and has spent his career advising Fortune 500 companies such as Cisco, Avaya, and Microsoft.  Dan spent three years working with Microsoft on their Vista, Server 2008, and Windows 7 releases. 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.  Of the seven Recovery Key Shareholders who possess the ability to restore the DNS root keys, Dan is the American representative.  Dan is presently developing systems to reduce the cost and complexity of securing critical infrastructure.

Carey Nachenberg

Carey Nachenberg is a leading cyber security expert and one of the co-authors of Norton Security, the world’s most popular computer security product. Selected for Computerworld magazine’s “40 Under 40 – 40 Innovative IT People to Watch”and winner of the The Wall Street Journal’s 2010 Technology Innovation Award (Computer Security Category) for his innovations in the security field, Nachenberg’s technology collectively protects hundreds of millions of computers worldwide.

His work in the security field has garnered him over 85 United States patents. Nachenberg holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science from UCLA, where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Assistant Professor.


Dominique Vidal

Dominique Vidal is a world-renowned cybersecurity expert. He is passionate about computer security research, and finding a “0 day” threat is always a personal satisfaction. Governments as well as international and local firms entrust Vidal with securing their IT systems.

He is the founder and captain of the only French speaking team to come in second in the famous “Capture The Flag” tournament in Las Vegas at DEFCON. This tournament is considered to be the world’s top hacking championship. Every year, following a long series of tests, his Swiss team qualifies and challenges the world’s best hackers from the US, Spain, Denmark, South Korea, Italy, and Russia.

Daniel White

In 2004, Daniel White’s computer was infected with the Sasser worm, a fast-spreading autonomous worm that made millions of computers around the world reboot continuously. Fascinated by the concept of malware, he spent the following years learning everything he could about the subject, from general malware news to specific details of every virus, becoming a self-taught expert in 20th century malware.

In 2008, he began recording and uploading videos of older computer viruses and worms in action on the danooct1 YouTube channel. Since then, his videos have accrued over 13 million views and still reach hundreds of thousands of viewers per month. He has been a YouTube partner—an elite group of YouTubers—for over five years. White is now a graduate student in Geospatial Information Sciences at University of Texas in Dallas.

Related Events

These events are part of a monthlong series and exhibition at swissnex San Francisco that ask tough questions about digital security in the past, present, and future.

Project Cyber Virus: Digital Security Then and Now
May 6-29, 2015
Inside the secret world of hacking, cyberterrorism, encryption, and vintage computer viruses.

Vulnerability in the Connected World
May 12, 2015
Are smart things and smart cities too risky? When our devices, objects, cars, and cities are all connected to the Internet, will we be smart enough to protect ourselves from a new kind of cyberterrorism?

May 18, 2015
Bring your connected device and learn to use cutting-edge encryption tools during the San Francisco CryptoParty.

Ensuring Safety for the Future of Cyberspace
May 19, 2015
Learn which technologies hold promise for protecting our data and privacy in cyberspace, why you should use them, and how they work.


Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos