At the forefront of computer security at the network, desktop and code levels are the security researchers who blend a mix of skills in hacking, software programming and intelligent detective work to help decode and thwart online criminal behavior. Whether it’s tracking the latest Windows malware, bots, rootkits, attack scripts, distributed denial of service (DDOS), Trojan horses and other Internet and application security flaws, these researchers are at the forefront of protecting data, financial information and identities in an increasingly more open online world. These malware researchers face an uphill battle as the numbers for data breaches and identity theft climb every year. Yet, they push on. Here are 10 security researchers who deserve our praise and thanks.