The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

The Center for Education and Research in
Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

Gene Schultz, R. I. P.


Sunday, October 2nd, Earl Eugene Schultz, Jr. passed away. Gene probably had suffered an unrecognized stroke about two weeks earlier, and a week later fell down a long escalator at the Minneapolis municipal airport. He was given immediate emergency aid, then hospitalized, but never regained consciousness. Many of his family members were with him during his final days.

What follows is a more formal obituary, based on material provided by his family and others. That is followed by some personal reflections.

Personal Details

Gene was born September 10, 1946, in Chicago to E. Eugene Sr. and Elizabeth Schultz. They moved to California in 1948, and Gene’s sister, Nancy, was born in 1955. The family lived in Lafayette, California. Gene graduated from UCLA, and earned his MS and PhD (in Cognitive Science, 1977) at Purdue University in Indiana.


While at Purdue University, Gene met and married Cathy Brown. They were married for 36 years, and raised three daughters: Sarah, Rachel and Leah.

Gene was an active member of Cornerstone Fellowship, and belonged to a men’s Bible study. His many interests included family, going to his mountain home in Twain Harte, model trains, music, travelling, the outdoors, history, reading and sports.

Gene is survived by his wife of 36 years, Cathy Brown Schultz; father, Gene Schultz, Sr.; sister, Nancy Baker; daughters and their spouses, Sarah and Tim Vanier, Rachel and Duc Nguyen, Leah and Nathan Martin; and two grandchildren, Nola and Drake Nguyen.

A memorial service will be held at Cornerstone Fellowship in Livermore, California on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 1 pm. Donations may be sent to Caring under his name, Gene Schultz.

You should also take a few moments to visit this page and learn about the symptoms and response to stroke.

Professional Life

Gene was one of the more notable and accomplished figures in computing security over the last few decades. During the course of his career, Gene was professor of computer science at several universities, including the University of California at Davis and Purdue University, and retired from the University of California at Berkeley. He consulted for a wide range of clients, including U.S. and foreign governments and the banking, petroleum, and pharmaceutical industries. He also managed several information security practices and served as chief technology officer for two companies.

Gene formed and managed the Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC) — an incident response team for the U.S. Department of Energy — from 1986–1992. This was the first formal incident response team, predating the CERT/CC by several years. He also was instrumental in the founding of FIRST — the Forum of Incident Response & Security Teams.

During his 30 years of work in security, Gene authored or co-authored over 120 papers, and five books. He was manager of the I4 program at SRI from 1994–1998. From 2002–2007, he was the Editor-in-Chief of Computers and Security — the oldest journal in computing security — and continued to serve on its editorial board. Gene was also an associate editor of Network Security. He was a member of the accreditation board of the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP).

Gene testified as an expert several times before both Senate and House Congressional committees. He also served as an expert advisor to a number of companies and agencies. Gene was a certified SANS instructor, instructor for ISACA, senior SANS analyst, member of the SANS NewsBites editorial board, and co-author of the 2005 and 2006 Certified Information Security Manager preparation materials.

Dr. Schultz was honored numerous times for his research, service, and teaching. Among his many notable awards, Gene received the NASA Technical Excellence Award, Department of Energy Excellence Award, the Vanguard Conference Top Gun Award (for best presenter) twice, the Vanguard Chairman's Award, the ISACA John Kuyers Best Speaker/Best Conference Contributor Award and the National Information Systems Security Conference Best Paper Award. One of only a few Distinguished Fellows of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), he was also named to the ISSA Hall of Fame and received ISSA's Professional Achievement and Honor Roll Awards.

At the time of his death, Dr. Schultz was the CTO of Emagined Security, an information security consultancy based in San Carlos, California. He held certifications as a CISM, CISSP, and GSLC.

Personal Reflections

As I recall, I first “met” Gene almost 25 years ago, when he was involved with the CIAC and I was involved with network security. We exchanged email about security issues and his time at Purdue. I may have even met him earlier — I can’t recall, exactly. It seems we have been friends forever. We also crossed paths once or twice at conferences, but it was only incidental.

In 1998, I started CERIAS at Purdue. I had contacted personnel at the (now defunct) company Global Integrity while at the National Computer Security Conference that year about supporting the effort at CERIAS. What followed was a wonderful collaboration: Gene was the Director of Research for Global Integrity, and as part of their support for CERIAS they “loaned” Gene to us for several years. Gene, Cathy and Leah moved to West Lafayette, a few houses away from where I lived, and Gene proceeded to help us in research and teaching courses over the next three years while he worked remotely for GI.

The students at Purdue loved Gene, but that seems to have been the case for everywhere he taught. Gene had a gift for conveying complex concepts to students, and had incredible patience when dealing with them one-on-one. He came up with great assignments, sprinkled his lectures with interesting stories from his experience, and encouraged the students to try things to see what they might discover. He was inspirational. He was inspirational as a colleague; too, although we both traveled so much that we didn’t get to see each other too often.

In 2001 he parted ways with Global Integrity, and moved his family back to California. This was no doubt influenced by the winters they had experienced in Indiana — too much of a reminder of grad student days for Gene and Cathy! I remember one time that we all got together to watch a New Year’s Purdue football bowl appearance, and the snow was so high as to make the roads impassable for a few days. Luckily, we lived near each other and it was only a short walk to warmth, hors d’oeuvres, and wine. grin

In the following years, Gene and I kept in close touch. We served on a few committees and editorial boards together, regularly saw each other at conferences, and kept the email flowing back and forth. He returned to Purdue and CERIAS several times to conduct seminars and joint research. He was generous with his time to the students and faculty who met with him.

Earlier this year, several of us put together a proposal to a funding agency. In it, we listed Gene as an outside expert to review and advise us on our work. We had room in the budget to pay him almost any fee he requested. But, when I spoke with him on the phone, he indicated he didn’t care if we paid more than his expenses — “I want to help CERIAS students and advance the field” was his rationale.

Since I learned of the news of his accident, and subsequent passing, I have provided some updates and notes to friends, colleagues, former students, and others via social media and email. So many people who knew Gene have responded with stories. There are three elements that are frequently repeated, and from my experience they help to define the man:

  • Equity. Gene treated everyone the same when he met them. It didn’t matter if someone was a CEO, Senator, freshman, or custodian — he treated them with respect and listened to what they might have to say.
  • Humor. Gene loved to laugh, and loved to make others laugh. He shared funny stories and odd things found on the WWW, and had wonderful stories that helped make others smile. And he smiled, a lot, and shared his joy.
  • Consideration. Gene was compassionate, thoughtful, and gentle. He would often inconvenience himself for others, without complaint. He loved his family and let his friends know they were special.   

Gene Schultz was a wonderful role model, mentor and friend for a huge number of people, including being a husband to a delightful wife for 36 years and father to three wonderful daughters. Our world is a little less bright with him gone, but so very much better that he was with us for the time he was here.

E. Eugene Schultz, Jr., 9/10/46–10/2/11. Requiescat in pace.


Posted by Tim Clancy
on Monday, October 3, 2011 at 08:13 PM

A great loss, my deepest condolences Spaf

Posted by Ariel Silverstone
on Monday, October 3, 2011 at 11:45 PM


Gene was a gentle giant.  I remember meeting him at Global and forming a true friendship that lasted.  His humor and wit were second to none.

The last time I saw him was May in the ISSA-LA conference.  He had a walking cane.  Now I know why.

Maybe we can get the ACM/ISSA to create a scholarship in his honor?


Posted by JEM
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Met him only in passing at a conference once, but deeply respected his contributions to the industry.

Not much more to say.  Pace, Dr Schultz.

Posted by Wendy Goucher
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 01:48 AM

Gene,  Thank you for this tribute, it said all I wanted to read, the things I had heard about Gene before I met him that made me hold him in awe - but that I forgot at our first encounter as he became ‘my friend Gene’.  My first career was as a college lecturer so I understand the importance of building your students up, but Gene did more than that.  He give them the vision of their potential that he saw.  He got me my first ‘gig’ with ISACA, my regular column with Computer Security and Fraud and persuaded my University that they could take a 40 something social scientist with no Masters on their PhD program.  I wrote to him on the day he fell to say I had passed my first year, due in part to his help as my support and mentor.  Looking at the timing I don’t think he ever got that note.  I wish I had written it earlier.  I am now without a rudder in my studies and career (which is scary) but more importantly my friend has gone.  I will miss him.

Posted by M. E. Kabay, PhD, CISSP-ISSMP
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 03:59 AM

Thank you, Gene, for this remembrance. Gene was a luminary and we will all miss him and his contributions to the field. Sincere condolences to his family on their loss.—Mich Kabay

Posted by Simon Gunning
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 04:35 AM

I always found Gene to be a great influence and have I have spoken at the same events in the past, I always remember him attending my sessions at COSAC.NET with a smile and a laugh.

He will be sorely missed by everyone in his community.

R.I.P.    Gene

I will always remember you.

Posted by Andra
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 08:17 AM


As always, your words are elequent and impactful. I am terribly sorry for his family. He made so many of us smile so often. I only remember him smiling smile

Posted by Don Sortor
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 08:33 AM

Spaf, thank you for posting this.  While saddened by the loss, I have many great memories.  I am thankful that I knew Gene, from the early days of FIRST, to when he was program manager at I-4, to working together at Global Integrity.  And I glad to call him my friend.  I will miss him.

Posted by Ron Tencati
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Gene was a pioneer in the field of incident response and computer security. It was my honor to have known him for over 25 years.  Our history dates back to JPL when Gene was supporting the Army’s ASAS program and I was a lowly system manager.  The day Kevin Mitnick broke into my computer, my career changed to computer security.  Gene went on to go to LLNL where he became director of the CIAC team.

Over the years, we collaborated often. Gene supported many of the NASA computer security activities as NASA built it’s own incident response team. We were founding steering committee members of the fledgling Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), members of the I4 community, and above all, good friends.

Gene rode the homebrew beer wave and like many other computer security professionals, became quite the master beer maker. He would always have a homebrew ready for the offer!

Well loved by his professional community. An honest man, tried to remain politically neutral and earned the respect of colleagues around the world.

Goodbye my friend. My life is enriched by having known you.

-Ron Tencati

Posted by Daniel Coppersmith
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:56 AM

My condolences for the loss of your friend.

Posted by Jeanie Larson
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Gene and I met at LLNL around 1988 - before the Morris Internet Worm (in Nov 88). He invited me to help with some major cyber incidents, including the WANK worm and one of the first pervasive cyber attacks against USG systems.

Gene had the vision to create the first Incident response capability in the USG community at the Dept of Energy (CIAC) just after the Morris Internet Worm hit. Under Gene’s direction, the original CIAC became a world class cyber incident response team.  Gene invited me into that world - an act for which I am eternally grateful.

We took separate paths after our days at LLNL, but periodically we would bump into each other or reach out to each other and it was just like it is when you meet up with an old friend - like we had never been apart.

Gene always had words of encouragement and his enthusiasm and smile were contagious! He had a way of making me feel special, but I know he did that with everyone. He was a stellar friend and mentor.

Gene was a true compass in the community. He had integrity and his word was gold. He had more energy and enthusiasm than most people half his age (we would laugh about that if he were here)!

I will miss those times we shared working together or sharing a beer (or glass of wine) and reminiscing about days past in the land of cyber. I will miss those birthday wishes and impromptu email invitations to get together for a beer/dinner (to reminisce or catch up on his life and family).

Gene loved his family more than anything. And that came across in everything he said and did.  He was SO happy to become a grandpa!

My life was forever changed by knowing Gene. I will miss him more than words can say. May he rest in peace.

-jeanie larson

Posted by Jerry Smith
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 01:51 PM

Dr. Schultz was really a great instructor.  I had the opportunity of recently going through a class on Cloud Computing under his instruction.  As always, great information, great humor, and vast amounts of intelligience displayed by Dr. Schultz.
He was really a good guy, he will be missed in our community.

Posted by Tony Bartoletti
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 02:37 PM

I feel fortunate to have known Gene.  My career in cyber security at CIAC was launched under his watch in 1990.  His loss definitely leaves a hole in the hearts of the CIAC “old-timers” here. RIP Gene.

Posted by Joseph Sulock
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 08:12 PM

I have fond memories of Gene as a colleague at the University of North Carolina-Asheville.  Gene was an exemplary professional and an even better person.  Our planet is noticeably poorer.

Posted by Diego Zamboni
on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 10:24 PM

I met Gene about 15 years ago while I was a grad student at Purdue. I met him initially at a couple of conferences, and later while he was visiting Purdue. I never took a class with him, but for a while we sat in cubicles right across from each other (this was when CERIAS was very young, and we were still in the old COAST lab room in the Purdue CS Department). I remember talking to him all the time during those days, both about computer security and about silly stuff, questions he had about how things worked at the lab, how to say things in Spanish, or anything else that came to mind.  He had a great sense of humor, and he treated everyone the same, including us, the “lowly grad students” that sat around him.

Eventually we went our separate ways, exchanging email only every once in a while. In the last few months I had more frequent contact with him in the context of the COSE Editorial Board. In every exchange he was the same - kind, knowledgeable and fun. The last time I exchanged email with him was just a couple of months ago.

May he Rest in Peace.

Posted by Sarika Agarwal
on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 01:12 AM

Gene was the tributary and friend which led me to Prof. Spaf. I met him while interning at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and he instilled in me my first ounce of curiosity in the field of information security and lit a spark that shaped my education/career. Always encouraging and enthusiastic, an unforgettable soul who will be deeply missed but always remembered.

Posted by aadi
on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 01:30 AM

Thank you for reminding about such a great personality .. gene will always be a idle for most the person. i m one of them.. he always faced challages in life with smile and in securtiy field . he was the master of security

Posted by Steve gold
on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 06:34 AM

So very sad to hear of Gene’s passing.

Gene was the consumate professional in our industry and I had the pleasure of knowing him since the early 2000s.

I was particularly taken with his dry sense of humour and his unswerving politeness - and helpfulness - to any and all people he encountered in his professional life.

Sincere condolences to Gene’s friends and family at this difficult time.

Rest in peace Gene - you will sadly missed.

Steve x

Posted by Andrew Adams
on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Bad enough to hear yesterday that Steve Jobs has passed and then this morning I hear about Gene Schultz.  Gene was hugely influential in the IT Security world but more than that was a great teacher with a wonderful sense of humor.  I saw him last in March at Cloud Security seminar in Seattle and remember him as being in fine form.  I’ll treasure that memory – a special guy.

Posted by Bill Wildprett
on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 01:12 PM

Last night, at a security seminar, I was saddened to learn of Gene’s passing.  I had the honor of hearing him speak and meeting him in March at the Agora meeting in Seattle, discussing cloud security.  Dr. Schultz was a true ‘Security Luminary’ and he made a significant difference in our profession and World.

Rest in Peace Gene and condolences to your family and friends.

Posted by sandy sparks
on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 04:34 PM

A great loss to the computer security community. CIAC was a significant contribution to incident response world-wide and to DOE in particular.

Farewell, Gene

Posted by paul grabow
on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 08:38 AM

In everyone’s life, at some point in time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

                -Albert Schweitzer

Posted by Stephen Wolff
on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 09:06 AM

I had good fortune to be able to hang out after-hours talking security and Cal Berkeley stories with Gene at a conference here in July.  His lightheartedness and particularly his generousity with his time left a lasting impression on me and I strive to live up to his example with my own students.

Posted by Brian Blankenship
on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 03:39 PM

Eugene was a friend and a bit of a mentor to me.  I told him a while back that he had a unique gift in that he made everyone he met feel as if they had known him forever.  He was always willing to take time out to share his knowledge with others. Truly one of the nicest and most intelligent people I have had the privilege of knowing. I will truly miss him.

Posted by Bestes Online Kasino
on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 07:51 AM

he was a great person :(

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