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




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