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Written by Rick Deacon Recently I've been faced with a very difficult type of question... and it isn't even technical. No, it's not the typical 'How do you find a buffer overflow?' or 'Can you write me code entirely in assembly... in 20 minutes?'... it's much more difficult to answer. It's answer, to many people, may be the 'key' they are looking for in this industry. The question is very often phrased as "So what did it take for you to get where you are?" or "How do I get into the security industry?" and even sometimes "How do I become a hacker?" There are many different approaches to this subject, and I firmly believe there only a few ways to truly succeed in security or IT in general. A lot of people assume four years of school is going to land you your dream job, where you're a hacker in your own peaceful office behind a wall of 6 monitors watching packet captur... (more)

Snowpocalypse 2010: Report From ShmooCon 2010

Here I am at ShmooCon 2010 right in the middle of what people here in Washington DC are calling Snowpocalypse 2010. The Metro, busses, and taxis are all closed down and essentially the city has shut down. Being from Cleveland I find it a little laughable but it’s still a pretty bad storm. Well that hasn’t stopped ShmooCon from going strong. This being my first hacker con it took me a little while to get acclimated to what kind of talks would be interesting and relevant to me as a network/firewall security guy. The first talk I found interesting was about an OWASP project called O... (more)

Nothing New Under the Sun

I recently wrote a couple of to-be-published articles basically laying out all the reasons why we as security professionals should not be running away from so-called "new" technology. Essentially I am asking that we take the time to really understand what's so new about this stuff. SmartPhones, the "cloud", etc these are all repackaged versions of old technology. We're terrified of them because we think we don't understand them. The sad part is, we don't. We seem to be under the impression that all new technology is bad and inherently insecure, it isn't. It's not any more insecu... (more)

IPS Updates, Splunk, Check Point and You

IPS Updates, Splunk, Check Point and You How I Learned to Stop Hating the Term “Zero-Day” but Not Really By: Bill Mathews Zero Day attacks – you know, the ones that almost EVERY signature in your IPS claim to protect you against? Yep those guys, nasty little things. Basically, if IPS vendors are to be believed, those are the things that don’t have a patch yet and have active exploits against them. You update your IPS signatures and BOOM protection from zero day! The problem we always run into, and this is with almost every IPS vendor so I’m not just picking on Check Point here, is... (more)

Slow Down and Make Yourself Faster

Slow Down and Make Yourself Faster – Tips for the Terminal By: Aaron Croyle I spend most of my day typing arcane things into black windows with green text, as such I spend some time looking for ways to eliminate keystrokes. I’ve been using bash and vim for more that 10 years and I continue to learn more features that I can use on a daily basis. I’ll give you some tips at the end, but the moral of the story is learn how to make better use of your tools. How to Get Better 1) Anytime you’re typing the same thing more than once, ask yourself if there’s a better way to do it. If you d... (more)