Cyber security blogger and malware researcher Dancho Danchev’s whereabouts have been unknown since September of 2010. The details surrounding Danchev’s sudden disappearance are unclear to say the least, and one of his colleagues, Ryan Naraine, is asking for any information that could help shed light on the mystery.
Naraine and other colleagues have made several attempts to contact Danchev but to no avail. Phone calls and snail mail attempts to reach the Bulgarian malware researcher have been fruitless. They even contacted Bulgaria’s National Computer Security Incidents Response Team (known as CERT) but didn’t learn anything of value.
In the past couple of months, though, they finally received some tips. In December, one person sent a mysterious message saying that Danchev was “alive, but he’s in a lot of trouble.” And more recently, a trusted member of the malware security community sent them a letter that Danchev had sent on September 9th of 2010. In the letter, Danchev sounds worried about his safety but feels that the recipient of his letter is trustworthy and “someone who understands the big picture of cyber crime and cyber espionage.”
As someone who was dedicated to the fight against malware and cybercrime, Danchev was evidently aware of the dangers of that realm. Regardless, he regularly updated his blog with news about malware, cybercrime, and the best ways to protect personal computers. His personal blog was last updated on September 11, 2010.
The latest development in the Danchev case is that he is alive and currently hospitalized. A Bulgarian online publication called Dnevnik.org claims that he’s “stabilized and will soon be discharged.
Hopefully, he’s ok and will surface very soon. Either way, this episode shows just how serious malware and cybercrime can be.