Thoughts on security

18 Sep 19

I have been really busy since I started this blog, with school, work, and the projects and volunteering I do. Some of that volunteering has been recording video at security conferences. When we decided to try to move from general I T services to I T security, I started following infosec folks on twitter. I answered a tweet asking for help recording video at BSides Knoxville in Tennessee. That was where I met Adrian, aka Irongeek, who travels the country recording video for security conferences which he then hosts on his website for free. I volunteered that year to help record at Circle City con in Indianapolis and at my first Derbycon in Louisville. I have since scaled back and limited my recording to Derbycon and H@ck3rcon in Charleston WV.

Since I have always liked helping people, it seemed natural for me to volunteer at conferences. I met a lot of great people who have similar interests and the same helpful attitude. The thing is, Derbycon is over, but not just for the year, forever. Adrian was a co-founder of Derbycon, and it was based on the principle of helping one another regardless of station. It truly was a place where everyone was accepted, information was shared freely, and nobody was unapproachable. But having gone to three of them (I missed one due to a motorcycle crash that left my son with a broken foot), I noticed a different vibe at 8, like something was off, not quite right. There had been some controversy on twitter, but as it seemed childish and didn't apply to me, I ignored it. When I came home last year, I said that it wasn't as much fun as it used to be. Not long after that I found out that this was going to be the last one, so I figured that it wasn't just me, that it wasn't as much fun for Dave and all the others also. I am not going to speculate on the issues. It is over, and that is enough.

Dave did open up the possibilities of keeping the spirit of Derbycon alive and continuing to share and help one another through various community projects under the Derbycon umbrella. That got me thinking that maybe now was the time to return to the Cyberpatriot program. I registered as a mentor and have been trying to get a school involved so that I could sponsor a team with no success. I found a couple of schools in the area, so I called one and asked if they needed a mentor. They didn't, but the other team was new, and he passed my information to them and I am waiting return contact now.

I am also about to complete a journey that I embarked upon over 22 years ago; that of learning to skydive. I have been jumping out of various aircraft for the past 22 years, but life has gotten in the way of getting my license. This year is going to be the one, I am set to complete it within the next four or five jumps. I now have 52 logged skydives and over 35 logged military jumps along with almost an hour of tunnel time spread over that 22 years. Time spent in the air falling from 10,000+ feet (or any distance without a static line) is a truly indescribable feeling of being at one with the universe; a test that must be passed to continue to live: always fun and thrilling, mostly uneventful, but every once in a while requiring all of your skill and immediate action in order to survive. Q: At 3,500' AGL how long do you have to get an inflated parachute over your head? A: The rest of your life.

As always, Project CODE is still live and free to everyone. I updated it just today with two more free websites for learning. If anyone knows of any free training on the internet that isn't listed, send me a link and I will check it out. One of the things that I had envisioned was the OS that I was going to write. It all looks good until you realize just how much programming it takes and how much of a programmer you're not, two mutually exclusive things. So, while it is still on the list, it is now much further down and under the category of "when we get a programmer".

And one final note: HACKERS ARE NOT CRIMINALS!! Some may well be, but not all are. Some of the best hackers I have ever met live in the hills in WV and NC and have never seen a computer, let alone used one. A hacker is one who makes, modifies, or improves something. Some will use these skills for good, some for bad.

Be careful, safety third!