Dan Geer

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Daniel Earl Geer, Jr.
Citizenship USA
Alma mater Harvard University (SC.D. Biostatistics)
Known for Project Athena
Open Market
Scientific career
Fields Computer Scientist
Institutions MIT

Dan Geer is a computer security analyst and risk management specialist. He is recognized for raising awareness of critical computer and network security issues before the risks were widely understood, and for ground-breaking work on the economics of security.

Geer is currently the chief information security officer for In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in technology to support the Central Intelligence Agency.[1]

In 2003, Geer's 24-page report entitled "CyberInsecurity: The Cost of Monopoly" was released by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). The paper argued that Microsoft's dominance of desktop computer operating systems is a threat to national security. Geer was fired (from consultancy @Stake) the day the report was made public.[2] Geer has cited subsequent changes in the Vista operating system (notably a location-randomization feature) as evidence that Microsoft "accepted the paper."[3]

Geer received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, where he was a member of the Theta Deuteron charge of Theta Delta Chi fraternity. He also received a Sc.D. in biostatistics from Harvard, and has worked for:[4]

In 2011, Geer received the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award.[5]


  • Geer's Law: Any security technology whose effectiveness can't be empirically determined is indistinguishable from blind luck.


  1. ^ Dan Geer leaves Verdasys for In-Q-Tel, by Ryan Naraine, ZDNet, May 28, 2008. Accessed 2008-07-09.
  2. ^ "Critique of Microsoft eyed in firing: Ex-tech officer claims report cost his job", by Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Herald, September 27, 2003. Reprint. Accessed 2008-07-09.
  3. ^ Dan Geer Helping CIA, CSOonline.com, August 4, 2008.
  4. ^ "Daniel Earl Geer, Jr., Sc.D". veracode.com. 2013. Archived from the original on 26 October 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Flame Award : USENIX". usenix.org. 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

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