Last year’s list was such a hit, I decided to do it again. This year I took into consideration nominations from comments on Facebook, Twitter and the blog. All those suggestions, as well as my own, took a trip  through the gravitron accelerator and here are the results!

There are so many freaking awesome people. I try not to repeat people from year to year, and even then there are so many options. Long time friends and people I’m yet to meet. There should probably be a top 100 list!

My opinions are obviously biased by my network, projects, and perspective.  I encourage you to make your own list as well.  As always, feel free to disagree or add your own using the comments.

10. Michelle Schafer, MC Petermann, Katherine Nellums (our PR/Marketing trio)

Who would care about information security if it wasn’t widely distributed? These three women are the trio that connect with people, engage the conversation and raise the level of intrigue around the spurious conversations we create.  I know when they are in town a posse of infosec people are close-by conversing about the next big thing.

09. Genevieve “Banasidhe” Southwick

When you think of security, don’t forget the physical side.  Banasidhe is part time bouncer, part time physical security / facilities manager, and former Vinyl Vanna.  She ran security for most every major Security B-Sides event, and is the bouncer you don’t want to cross paths with – unless you’re an invited VIP.

08. Leigh Honeywell

Leigh is co-founder of HackLab.TO, a hacker community space with many events on hardware hacking.  She’s a mainstay at most security conferences and many times on stage discussing malware, hardware hacking, or women in infosec.

07. Chris Nickerson

Chris is co-organizer of Security B-Sides, former cast of Tiger Team TV, and all around good guy.  He throws massive parties in Las Vegas (BSidesLV), flies around the world to present at conferences, and maintains the international-man-of-mystery persona.  His opinionated, straight-talk is often grounded in experience both on the digital and physical side of the house.

06. Alexander Sotirov

Sotirov is a founder and organizer of the Pwnie awards and was on the program committee of the 2008 Workshop On Offensive Technologies (WOOT ’08) as well as Hackito Ergo Sum 2011.  In his spare time he bypasses memory protection and creates rogue certificate authority certificates.

05. Bill Brenner

Bill has been covering the information security industry and documenting its past, present, and future for over [classified-redacted] years.  He knows and writes about those who need to be known, and covers stories ranging from the technical to the social, but always staying on or ahead of the next big thing.  His openness about himself is one of the many reasons people open up to him to share their stories.

04. Gordon “Fyodor” Lyon

Gordon is an infosec luminary having written NMAP, a tool that many claim is the reason they got into the industry in the first place.  He’s incredibly open and willing to talk to anyone. He is one of the few computer geeks who is sharply dressed at all times.  If you don’t know him you are missing out.

03. Allison Miller

Think you know fraud? Think again! Ally is a key player on the front lines of preventing fraud.  She presents on risk/fraud across several continents.  Her work includes detecting automated crime malware, running her own band, and mentoring others in their career and passions.

02. Jennifer Granick

Although she recently moved to another firm, her work for the EFF has protected the digital rights of hackers and citizens alike.  I can’t say enough about the work that her and others at the EFF have done to prevent the abuse of our legal rights.

01. Andrew Hay

As they say in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Vell, Andrew’s just zis guy, you know?”  The Zaphod Beeblebrox reincarnated, Andrew made “D” the new “A” when it comes to “A-Listers”.  He brings humor and levity to every event.  He co-organized BSidesOntario2010.  He probably even got 4chan to rig this contest so he topped the list.  He’s so good, we still can’t count the hanging chads.