This week’s guest: @REal0day!
Professional career and advice
Hello REal0day. Thanks for participating today!
For starters, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your current role/job/work?
I’m a Security Researcher at a startup that specializes in asset discovery and vulnerability assessment for hospital network and medical devices.
How did you first get into the field? (What was your first hack?)
I got my start in InfoSec by attending Sam Bowne’s Ethical Hacking and Network Defence course at City College of San Francisco. After taking that class, I took the CompTIA Sec+ course and passed. I was attending SFSU and CCSF full time at both, but I couldn’t afford school anymore so I applied for work and got my first job at a security startup as a Security Analyst. I was making as much as my parents at age 22.
Can you give a rough map from your beginnings to where you are now?
I started like any other kid growing up in the 90s. 56k modem. Lots of beeps, and boops AOL chatrooms.
First got online at age 9 and was meeting strangers and mostly just playing games and getting pwned by hackers.
It wasn’t until way later in life that I realized how to do more technical feats. Once I left my first security job, I went back to the same school. In between the 3 months I had to start school again, I taught myself C and started playing around with memory. Once I got back into school, I felt like I was (1) Learning at a VERY slow rate, and (2) The school curriculum was geared towards building CS students to be web devs. I knew I didn’t want to do be a web dev and wanted to be more. I also looked around the classroom and see students bored and uninspired. I don’t blame them. If I didn’t know what careers are out there, I’d be just as uninspired. It was at that time, I wanted to show and create an outlet for students to have different types of careers besides Web dev. This is when and few friends of mine and I created The Hacking Club. I brought people in from the InfoSec community and just let them talk about what got them started, and what leads/drives them. Having professionals come in and talk about their passion sparks and ignites the fire in people and hopefully inspires them to continue to learn more. As of today, this is the 3rd year the club has been around. It’s brought many people into InfoSec careers, and it feels amazing that I had anything to do with.
What is one of the biggest struggles you overcame? And what’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Learning that it’s okay to fail. It was ingrained in me to never fail, but I wouldn’t be where I am today, if I wasn’t comfortable with accepting mistakes, and learning from them. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fail. It’s never okay to give up on your dreams.
Any advice for someone trying to land in a similar role/job?
Do research you find fun, and share it on a website you own. Even if you’re just trying tutorials and sharing your thoughts on how you did them, it means a lot to a community. And this process will get you more comfortable to trying new things.
Fun, personal stuff
Windows, Mac, or Linux? What do you run?
I virtualize Windows and Linux when I need them.
Qubes OS is my host.
Programming language(s) of choice?
Lower Languages x86/x64, C, C++.
Higher Language Python.
Do you use a mechanical keyboard? Is it ortholinear?
Do you have any other hobbies or interests outside of infosec?
I enjoy going out to raves and other events, cooking, and anime.
Any other fun gadgets or hardware at home/the office?
Oh yeah. Come and see. x)
How’d you find 0x00sec?
I was looking to learn more about Reverse Engineering and looking for tutorials after attending r2con in Barcelona.
And then I found this great community.
Any other fun fact or detail you’d like to share with the community?
0x00sec isn’t about illegal shit, but we talk about sketchy shit. Some do illegal shit, but again, don’t talk about it in public. If you want to talk about illegal shit, either use an anon account, or talk on another forum/irc.
Do you have any advice for new, up-and-coming hackers?
Find something you want to learn, find a tutorial on it, try it. If you have questions, never complain that you can’t figure it out. Instead, ask WHERE MIGHT you be able to find resources or solutions for your question. No one will give you an answer, but we’re all happy to be a pointer to your solution.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the 0x00sec community?
Share. Create a post and try something new TO YOU. It doesn’t have to be new for all of us. There will always be another post that’s way beyond all of our scopes, but getting comfortable with posting is what will bring you into the community.
And we want you here.
Can you give us a HEX for your hat “color”?
We’re all #FFFFFF right?
Thanks for joining! REmember to Like Share and Subscribe! ;]
First: If you’d like to toss your name in the voting pool, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. You do NOT need to be some uber-hacker to feel welcome in my interviews. You just gotta have some passion for what you do and have the guts to talk about it publicly!
Second: If you have any questions you’d like to see asked in future interviews, post them in a comment below!
Third: Vote Time!