Obituary: Marek Sell

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jun 20, 2004

On 12 June 2004 Marek Sell, creator of the Polish MkS_Vir anti-virus, died. Aleksander Czarnowksi looks back.

I met Marek somewhere around 1990, two years after he released the first public version of MkS_Vir. There are very few people in the AV industry who have stayed around for so long. If you remember the days of PC XT, debug, Periscope and Quaid Analyzer you'll know exactly how ancient this history is.

MkS_Vir survived the switch from communism to capitalism, and MkS as a company evolved without any venture capital or outside investments - again, something that is unusual in the AV industry. All of this happened as a result of Marek's vision, deep knowledge and unquestionable ethics.

But that was only the business-side of Marek and his company. On the personal side, he was a great friend, always looking for new challenges and always ready to help anyone who asked. I loved chatting with him about assembly language issues and internal designs of MkS - in fact, you could speak with Marek about any subject, and he would always know some fascinating facts. He was one of very few people I know of who, in the days of Windows XP, was still writing tools for his work in assembly language.

Since 1997, Marek and I met every year at the Virus Bulletin Conference. Marek Sell attended all the VB conferences from the very first one. Only a few weeks ago - when Marek was going for a final treatment at the hospital - we made arrangements to travel to Chicago for VB2004. Now Marek is on a very different journey. His death is a huge loss to the whole AV community and especially to the Polish IT security community. Personally, I have lost great friend, but I am happy that I had a chance to meet Marek and be his friend.

Marek, we will miss you.

Aleksander Czarnowski

Posted on 20 June 2004 by Virus Bulletin




Latest posts:

VB2019 call for papers closes this weekend

The call for papers for VB2019 closes on 17 March, and while we've already received many great submissions, we still want more!

Registration open for VB2019 ─ book your ticket now!

Registration for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, is now open, with an early bird rate available until 1 July.

The VB2019 call for papers is about ... papers

When we are calling for papers for the Virus Bulletin conference as we are doing now, we really mean a written paper. But don't worry if you've never written a paper - we can help!

VB2018 video: Adware is just malware with a legal department - how we reverse engineered OSX/Pirrit, received legal threats, and survived

Amit Serper first analysed the OSX/Pirrit adware in 2016, highlighting some of its malware-like techniques, and soon afterwards started receiving legal threats from the company behind it. At VB2018 Amit gave a presentation in which he discussed both…

VB2018 paper: Anatomy of an attack: detecting and defeating CRASHOVERRIDE

In December 2016, the CRASHOVERRIDE malware framework was used to cause a blackout in Ukraine. At VB2018 in Montreal, Dragos researcher Joe Slowik presented a detailed paper on the framework, explaining how the malware works and how it targets…

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.