Asking for advice

Hey,

I’m at very young age, I do not have an high school diploma because I was expelled from school because I committed a crime that landed me in jail. I went to intensive high school and about 95% of all students failed because of mainly horrible teaching methods.

With my father’s help and me being an former black-hat and I’m really sorry for people and businesses I’ve hurt, emotionally it hurts me. I got a internship at number one IT company of this country that is not much known by average people but very known by the IT community. I just have been hired for about less than a month and I’m paid by constructive work hours I do, not hourly and I’m very honest with my manager and the CEO. I’m very thankful that I was given this opportunity thanks to God, my father and the CEO. I’ve helped develop helpful Red-Team softwares and enlarged the company’s security team about real attackers and from my history as being one. I’m very motivated to learn more and become successful in this field and as I’ve changed philosophically and ideologically in the past year working around professional software developers and engineers around me changed my beliefs in a very positive and motivational way.

I’m no more interested in living flashy, having best computers and laptops and having a lot of money on my hands at my age, as I did about 10 to 1 year ago. I just want learn and explorer the beautiful world of IT and mainly in the field of security and making enough money to feed myself and be able to have decent life and also invest in personal projects like small softwares and hardwares as I even personally own a Dell R710 at home waiting for my burnt power supply unit to arrive by international mail.

last thing and most important for readers and me. I have gotten mentally ill since I was younger and it developed to more serious conditions. I suffer from borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. I’m currently trying to evaluate my transcript to finish my high school diploma and go to university or special schools that their certificate is as valuable as university degree. I’ve gotten much more disciplined while being in internship to an professional security guy. I don’t know how to continue anymore other than going to an army for sometime and get straightened up then continue my life in there or come to private sector. I’m trying best to get myself to learn a single programming language fully and decided on Go and later to learn Python but it’s hard for me remember and have enough will power to start Go and finish the small book fully because of my mental issues.

Could anyone tell me how to continue in this field? Other than doing a lot of fun and personal or group activities/tasks with my colleagues/friends to learn more and learn programming. How should I continue correctly from eye as some professional and expert guys that had similar issues maybe a better and professional way through to cyber security career and partly/mainly hobby?

Hello Ice,

Your inquiry will be my first post on this site even though I frequent the site pretty much daily Oo. I’ve currently been working cyber security for 10 years now and the one thing you cant rush is time. Everything you’ve hit upon comes across, excuse me for saying, as impatience (the tendency to be impatient; irritability or restlessness). I am only one person with a one sided opinion based on my personal experiences, please take the following advise with an open mind.

Professional:
All the activity you performed whether it be beneficial OR malicious to your fellow web users IS experience and unique experience at that (thus useful moving forward). I’m not sure what you deem a very young age but the negatives you’ve listed don’t seem to be preventing you from advancing with a legitimate cyber sec career. You being young with no schooling, an internship is the logical best ‘foot in the door’ approach. Use this stepping stone as a resume builder and apply to your next company and so forth, your growth professionally will build with time. I suggest keeping a traditional 2 year rotation in mind given no one (you or them) likes the hiring process and will make you more reputable on paper. This might be a way to make up for some of your prior transgressions (self proclaimed) by showing some structure and commitment along with the mixed experience you obtained from your prior black hat tinkering.

Educational:
I truly don’t think you need a degree from a University to legitimize yourself given the cost at this point in your life, with money being one of your concerns. BUT given your drive to learn, there are plenty of certifications you can take or even eLearning courses you can take that will help mature your knowledge. Just a wealth of knowledge online for you to grow from. Please don’t take offense by me listing the following, given most are well known sites. I just wanted to provide you with some solid references.

Certs:
https://www.elearnsecurity.com/
https://www.offensive-security.com/
https://www.infosecinstitute.com/skills/
https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/category/certifications-training/pentesting-certifications/

EDU (cheapest cyber degree from big university with more positive reviews than not):
https://www.umuc.edu/academic-programs/cyber-security/index.cfm

Personal Training:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kq1MIfTWCE
  2. https://github.com/hmaverickadams/Beginner-Network-Pentesting
    https://www.irongeek.com/

Reference Mats:
https://goalkicker.com/
https://www.packtpub.com/free-learning

Nice Blogs (i suggest using something like feedly to stay up to date on new articles):
https://0x00sec.org/ (truly my favorite :slight_smile: )
https://posts.specterops.io/
https://adsecurity.org/
https://veteransec.com/
https://www.reddit.com/r/netsec/
https://labs.nettitude.com/
https://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/category/hacking

Personal Insight:
The point I’m about to make is my main reason for responding to your post for advice. A lot of the time when someone needs advice it will involve the answer they may not want to hear thus its eluded them. From your opening paragraph you blamed your woes on the failings of others, you will never be successful if your only watching for whats going to hold you back. Yes there will be up and downs in life, but like beating on a piece of metal to make art it all plays a part in its final shape.

I want to suggest that you don’t air your mistakes openly, only speak to the negatives you’ve lived through when asked directly. It’s ok to take the events you say hurt others and speak to them in a manner that only addresses what you learned from the experience. Only speak to the negative activities you’ve experienced when one of said times is asked about directly, never lie!! but never hand over information that tarnishes your image freely. Everyone is young and dumb at some point in their lives, everyone does things that when reflected upon they see the adverse effects of those actions. Grow from those lessons instead of hanging on to the regret of those actions, move forward.

Lastly, this is speaking to your age and the vibe I got overall from your post. Don’t boast about what you’ve done in the past to justify your credibility now. Thinking like this always leads to details about your previous actions coming to surface, not ideal when your looking to move on and having to regret bringing said topics up later. Once again no need to air your dirty laundry to people that don’t need to know. An issue I see a bunch with the younger crowd coming into cyber security (from what ever angle) is their confusion as to what pride is. Being proud in what you’ve done and what your doing will speak for itself. Being prideful and having to wave your experiences in front of others to legitimize what you know or why you should be empowered only shows inadequacy. Having pride in what you accomplish and being prideful are a fine line, so tread carefully.

In closing, don’t rush life, live it. Your young and moving forward from poor decisions made when you were younger, we all have those. Let time do its thing and don’t rush what will come with your day to day progression. Work to the best of your ability, question everything, respond honestly and you will be noticed without having to prove yourself. I hope you or someone looking over this post gains something of use from my mentality. GL Ice.

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