Security professionals lose ‘central watering hole’ with demise of Peerlyst

"The loss of a dedicated security social media site will be felt for some time," one user said.

For years, the Peerlyst social network has been a resource for software developers looking for a job or cybersecurity enthusiasts wanting to host meetups across the world. But on Aug. 27, the website will shut down, Peerlyst founder Limor Elbaz said Monday, citing financial pressure.

“[W]e are realizing that we would not be able to grow [the website] as a VC-backed business without making huge compromises on quality,” Elbaz wrote, encouraging users of the platform to save a copy of their collaborations.

Cybersecurity professionals lamented the end of the platform.

“I took the news hard,” said J. Wolfgang Goerlich, an advisory CISO at Duo Security who has posted nearly 700 times on Peerlyst. “With the Peerlyst going away, we’re losing a central watering hole. The conversations may continue over LinkedIn and Facebook groups. But the loss of a dedicated security social media site will be felt for some time.”


The site primarily functioned as a message board, with users discussing everything from APT groups to various NIST frameworks. There was also an extensive training section, filled with wikis, how-to guides and e-books that gave users a free way to boost their skills.

Goerlich said the collaboration that Peerlyst fostered “hadn’t [been] seen since the Usenet days,” referring to the Unix-based messaging system that gained traction in the 1980s and 1990s. “[Peerlsyt] sparked excellent conversations around living and working in cybersecurity,” he said.

The site also let users plans their own offline meetups in various cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.

Lesley Carhart, principal threat analyst at industrial security company Dragos, called Peerlyst’s demise a “cautionary tale of why we must carefully select where our community content is exclusively hosted.”

“It’s very unfortunate that we will lose this resource,” Carhart said. “Any site  — particularly third-party services provided to us for free — can vanish overnight. We are lucky Peerlyst was ethical enough to give contributors time to export and move their content. That isn’t and won’t always be the case.”


Greg Otto contributed to this report.

Sean Lyngaas

Written by Sean Lyngaas

Sean Lyngaas is CyberScoop’s Senior Reporter covering the Department of Homeland Security and Congress. He was previously a freelance journalist in West Africa, where he covered everything from a presidential election in Ghana to military mutinies in Ivory Coast for The New York Times. Lyngaas’ reporting also has appeared in The Washington Post, The Economist and the BBC, among other outlets. His investigation of cybersecurity issues in the nuclear sector, backed by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, won plaudits from industrial security experts. He was previously a reporter with Federal Computer Week and, before that, with Smart Grid Today. Sean earned a B.A. in public policy from Duke University and an M.A. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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