Rob Slade is a data communications and security specialist from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His first love is teaching, and he got into computers because of an interest in what they could do in improving the education process in the public school system. He has a B.Sc. from the University of BC, an M.S. (in Computer and Information Science Education, which no one can ever remember) from the University of Oregon, and a Diploma of Christian Studies from Regent College. He was the founder of the DECUS Canada Education and Training SIG.

He has both formal training in data communications and exploration dating back to the BBS community and Bell 103 modems the size of large phone books, and has done communications training for a number of the international commercial seminar firms. His technical jobs have involved everything from support of terminal emulation programs to satellite communications. He considers communications technology to be the most interesting of the various computer fields, probably because it allows him to hog attention worldwide rather than being restricted to boring those in a single room. He was the founder of the DECUS Canada Communications SIG. (It is, of course, quite possible that Robert Slade doesn't actually exist, and that this is simply the name given to some AI experiment gone horribly wrong and hooked up to various email addresses.)

His research into computer viral programs started when they first appeared as a major problem "in the wild". Acting initially as the unofficial archivist for the budding research community, he became known for "Mr. Slade's lists" of antiviral software vendors, antiviral reviews, antiviral evaluation FAQ, and virus books. One of the working group for the VIRUS-L FAQ, he is best known for a series of review and tutorial articles which have recently been published as "Robert Slade's Guide to Computer Viruses" (and that was not his idea for a title--blame Springer-Verlag). (The observant among you will note that the antiviral reviews and contacts list, as well as VIRUS-L's FAQ, are sadly out of date. Oh, well.) In an attempt to update this material, he co-authored Viruses Revealed with David Harley (and a little bit with Urs Gattiker). As an outgrowth of the virus research, he prepared the world's first course on forensic programming (aka software forensics, and he wrote a book on that, too. He was the founder of the, you guessed it, DECUS Canada Security SIG, which was actually the first, and got him into all this SIG founding business. He is currently maintaining updates to a glossary of security terms, (published as the "Dictionary of Information Security") as well as references for for CISSP candidate students, describing the various CISSP study guides and recommended resources for the different domains, as well as resources and links for the Vancouver Security SIG. His blog is mostly about security as well, and, to a lesser extent, so is his Twitter feed, as well. (For those interested, please also see the Community Security Education project contacts page.)

He is more widely known for his series of daily technical book reviews which appear on appropriate newsgroups and mailing lists, including,, the *.books.technical groups and topics related to the individual titles. For those not wanting to scour Usenet for them, a mailing list is now available either by sending any message to or by visiting the eGroups Web site, which also has an archive of recent postings. Full archives of the book reviews are kindly hosted by Victoria Telecommunity Net. There is now a list of answers to questions commonly asked about the review project. Rob is well regarded by the local library and his office at home is definitely over the floor load limit for a residence.

He has been a coastal paper boy, ranch hand, circulation manager for a local weekly, rail gang worker, hospital nursing orderly, industrial first aid attendant, cook, resident camp worker, teacher (in elementary, high, college, and ESL schools), computer installer, telecommunications consultant, civil servant, technical support manager, technical recruiter, project manager, technical trainer, hovercraft skirt repair technician, technical writer, quality assurance manager, and a few other odds and ends. His mother-in-law is convinced that he is not old enough to have done everything that he has done, but he was born old. (In regard to this plethora of jobs of every description, please note the open letter from Alan Hale.)

He fondly remembers a distant age when he had time for sailing, photography, folk music, camping and involvement with non-computer related volunteer groups. At present, he makes every available effort to spend time teaching operating systems to his grandchildren, Ryan, Trevor, and Devon and Hannah. He is married to the world's best executive secretary, which is probably the only reason he actually got any of the books finished. Despite the obvious necessity for conferences and publications, it is next to impossible to get him to take "bio" writing seriously.

If you're obsessive about it, you could try reaching Rob at Vancouver CommunityNet, Victoria TeleCommunity Net, (which makes up for the fact that (ISC)2 no longer provides them, Gmail which he kinda had to reactivate because of Google Plus, or even Computercrime, and now that they are mostly POP accounts, Rob even manages to check them once in a while.

Despite their idiot spam filter, he is semi-indebted to Shaw for the fact that he has sorta been able to get a p1 email address which he has wanted ever since reading Thomas J. Ryan's book. He would also like to mention thanks to his little brother, inveterate second-hand bookstore aficionado that he is, for getting a copy.

You can find pieces of Rob all over the net. There are some pictures uploaded to flickr. He's got an account on LinkeDin, although he's darned if he can figure out why. (He's also got one on Facebook, and Twitter, which is even stranger.) Thanks to the Securiteam people, he has a blog. You can even look at his library lists. Someone was kind enough to put up a Wikipedia entry, and therefore he is also on Qwiki. For no reason anyone can determine he also has a page About Him.

Virus materials can be found at the VIRUS-L archives. Even Viral Morality is online. Even RobertS Rules of Internet Order is still available! The book reviews have found numerous homes, such as Jouni Miettunen's site, MechNet, Powell's Technical Bookstore, and the University of Texas. For more random pieces of the net, check out Rob's old Bookmarks.

If your name is "Robert Slade", or if you are just interested in another of the bizarrities of the net, check out the "Robert Slade" Internet Club.