Sponsored By

Dan Farmer, Co-founder and CTO, Elemental SecurityDan Farmer, Co-founder and CTO, Elemental Security

Former Marine infantryman Dan Farmer made his name in security for, among other things, authoring one of the world's most widely used security tools. Security Administrator's Tool for Analyzing Networks, or Satan, is a program for investigating the vulnerabilities of remote systems.

Larry Greenemeier

March 11, 2006

2 Min Read

Dan Farmer, Co-founder and CTO, Elemental Security -- Photograph by Sacha Lecca

Interview by Larry Greenemeier

Dan Farmer
Co-founder and CTO, Elemental Security
Interview by Eric Chabrow


Complex Value
Complexity is often thought of as the enemy of security, but Farmer doesn't see it that way. He points to the progress made between the 1967 and 1997 models of the Mustang Cobra sports car--he's owned both. "You can argue aesthetics, but somehow all of the complexity in the 1997 model got codified into something that has real value." But don't expect him to lift the hood when something breaks.


Black Art
"Cryptography is like a black art; most people don't know much about it. Still, with time and money, anything can be broken."


Necessary Evil
"The only thing worse than a bug is the patch." Most software will have at least one bug per 100 lines of code.


Golden Boy
Farmer served as an expert witness and consultant for the recording industry in its case against Napster. "They gave me a gold album for my work on the case."


Hang Up
Farmer doesn't own a cell phone or a home phone, although he does use E-mail. "I don't find any compelling need to have a phone. I value my time when I'm not plugged into the grid."

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights