back to article '80s hacker turned journo, IT crime ace Steve Gold logs off

Steve Gold, a former hacker who became a respected information security journalist, has died following complications from heart surgery. Tributes to Gold from the tight-knit UK security and publishing communities have been pouring in following his death, aged 58. Gold unwittingly became famous in the mid '80s when he …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is this illustrated with a Ceefax page?

    You don't have a Prestel home page image?

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: Why is this illustrated with a Ceefax page?

      They could have used this:

      No they didn't name BT Gold after him. For you young whippersnappers BT Gold was the first major dial-up email system in the early 1980s. To have an account was almost as posh as having a secretary with an IBM Golfball.

    2. Sid Smith

      A real shame

      Sad news. A lovely, cheery bloke. Very fond memories of working together on Micronet - and of being put up (with my dog!) on his sofa.

      Go well, Steve.

  2. Graham Cluley

    Nice guy

    Such horrible sad news. I only heard yesterday that he was seriously ill, and now the inevitable ghastly news that has followed.

    Steve was a really nice chap. A truel gent. He always loved a natter on the phone, had time for everyone, and would love to tell stories of his escapades from the early 80s.

    Can't believe he's gone. They don't make many of them like that anymore.

    RIP Steve. We'll miss you mate.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hackers Handbook

    We owe a debt of gratitude

    1. joeW

      Re: Hackers Handbook

      I read that book when I was around 12 years old (early 90s) - a lot of the information was outdated by then... but an awful lot of it wasn't.

      RIP Mr Gold.

  4. BernardL



    $! I worked at BT Gold during 1998 and early 1989.


    $! I don't remember ever interacting with Steve Gold, but I do remember very

    $! well the huge fuss after the Prince Phillip Mailbox Hack. Word came down

    $! from On High that someone had done a Very Bad Thing and it wasn't to

    $! happen again. Or Else.


    $! Perhaps someone on the board was worried that a future knighthood might

    $! be in jeopardy.


    $! Well played, Mr. G. I'll take down your Handbook from the attic and read

    $! it again.


    $ LOGOUT


  5. D Janda


    A good mate in my freelance days at Micronet 800, where he wrote as MicroMouse.

    David Janda

  6. Peter Sommer

    Much missed

    Pretty devastating news. I met Steve when he was still wondering if the House of Lords were going to find him guilty of forgery and counterfeiting for his Prestel hack. For various reasons I needed some-one to edit a 4th edition of my Hacker's Handbook - and I reckon I chose well. That would be back in 1987. Since then we probably spoke 2-3 times a week, exchanging gossip, helping out on techie problems and (in my case) giving quotes for Steve's stories.

    These days there are rather too many people calling themselves tech journalists when their main activity seems to be cutting and pasting from press releases (the staff of the Register a significant exception of course) but Steve, like the much-missed Guy Kewney, knew how to research, explain, write up,and where appropriate enthuse his readers.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Rimmergram

    I worked with Steve back in my modem days at Hayes, great bloke and journo RIP.

  9. Alistair Kelman

    A great loss to all of us

    I was Steve's barrister in the hacking case where I took and lived through all the trials and tribulations. He became a good and trusted friend and we shared a common interest in getting the computer community thinking about the problems and possibilities arising from the use of computers. In more recent years I called him frequently for advice on mobile technology - he was always the source of the best possible deal that was out there. He worked too hard and could always be relied upon for delivering the goods. We shall all miss him and his cheery telephone manner.

  10. Conrad Longmore


    These days the government would probably rendition him out to Guantanamo Bay for such a thing.

    A reminder of a simpler time, and probably one of the influences that got me involved in the IT security field. Rest in Peace.

  11. Daniel B.

    Oh dear, another legend kicks the bucket.





    You will be missed.

  12. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    That Takes Me Back

    I recall meeting him at least once or twice, at trade shows while working for Modem House based in Exeter back in the 80's. I think he wrote the software (tape loaded) to allow the Prism 1000\2000\VTX5000 to access text based services rather than the originally supplied Viewdata package.

    I'd completely forgotten about the Hackers Handbook David, though I still recall how you thought that someone made a member of his staff sleep with him until a wedding ring was pointed out & walking through Soho with you

    Fun times going up to London about once a month (once hanging out of a taxi chatting up four oriental ladies in a open topped "Merc" around Hyde Park Corner at late night until the vehicles went different ways).

    A great couple of years doing those events, until 1989 when the world changed for those of us that had worked there.

  13. colinb


    Thanks to a phone number in the hackers handbook, pre-web i spent many happy days dialing into Imperials PAD connection, looking around JANET and using GOPHER to marvel at the amount of information available, oooh thousands of links.

  14. irrelevant


    So shocked to hear of Steve's passing.

    My enduring memory of him was meeting him (at Euston I think) with one of the first mobile phones clutched to his ear; they really were the size of a brick, and almost as heavy!

    His Micromouse articles on Prestel/Micronet 800 inspired me to run my own (irregular) comment and news pages on Prestel; I ended up working for Micronet myself, left home and moved to London to rent a room from his friend of his (and the standby Micromouse,) We spoke many times, although not as much as we should have over the last few years.

    Steve, you were a great chap, a good friend, an amazing writer, and you will be sorely missed.

    (And you never did dig out those microdrives with the saved Prestel pages you promised me!)

    Rob (once known as "The Mad Sysop".)


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very sad news

    Takes me back to the halcyon days of hacking around on Prestel from one of the libraries in Camden. I knew of Steve via my friend Adrian who was a good friend of his. I still have my copy of the hackers handbook, it's sat next to a hand drawn copy of the Essex Mud map

  16. Steve Barnett

    Now there was a frood who really knew where his towel was...

    Working for CheckPoint in the 90's and early 00's I was interviewed (racked) by Steve on a number of occassions; nice guy, really knew his stuff. Sorry to hear his gone too soon.

  17. Jim Hayes

    Stunning and devastating news...

    I knew Steve for more than 20 years, got to know him better in the last 4-5 years as he became one of my contributors at 'Engineering & Technology' mag. A warmly knowledgeable, witty and wise man, Steve Gold stayed at the top of his game over a period of decades. His passing is a huge loss to information/cyber security journalism.

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