Kenneth R. van Wyk

I suppose that if he hadn't done it, someone else would have, but Ken van Wyk was the person who actually started the VIRUS-L mailing list. Originally this was simply a mail exploder, then it became a moderated digest, and now it is mirrored in the comp.virus newsgroup.

Ken was one of the computer support people at Lehigh University when the Lehigh virus struck, so his interest in computer viruses was understandable. As he moved employers, though, his "day job" took up more time. (He has become one of the major players in the field of computer emergency response.) During 1994 and 1995 there were very long delays between issues of VIRUS-L. Eventually he passed the torch, and moderator's hat, to Nick FitzGerald.

Ken is now perhaps best known for regularly posting the wrong version of the VIRUS-L FAQ to the list. This isn't his fault: in a rather atypical net bureaucratic snafu the powers-that-be at the RTFM periodic posting server (to mid 1996) refused to recognize that a new moderator was in place and wouldn't allow anyone to change to the new FAQ. The old one was being sent out monthly, automatically, under Ken's name.

Be all that as it may, Ken is remembered for years of yeoman service as the spiritual father of the VIRUS-L electronic campfire, and for actually getting the first edition of the FAQ done, in spite of the incessant squabbles of the FAQ team. (I say that as one of the squabblers.) His memory lives on in the header of the mailing list edition, which asks people to send him beer recipes.

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