Busy Days

Posted February 28th, 2007 by

Phew, I’m glad today is over.  It’s been a long, hard-won battle.

It started out with a commute out to Largo from Virginia.  It’s an hour-long metro ride, but I have a project that I had to check in on, and it’s been a month since I was last out there.

Then Mark Curphey officially launched ISM-Community.  In the course of 12 hours, we gained 35+ forum members and a sizeable amount of traffic.  It’s like somebody suddenly opened the floodgates.

To top off the day, Andrew Jacquith read my indicator species post and liked it enough to send the link to the security metrics mailing list.  If you haven’t heard of Andrew or his security metrics site by now, you need to go look.  His book is due out on the 30th of March, and it’s none too soon–I’ve been holding my breath ever since he put out the call for peer reviewers.  I don’t consider myself skilled enough at metrics (my metrics are spoon-fed to me by the government) to provide feedback to Andrew, but I sure will learn from reading his book.  I love talking to people who make me feel like I’m Mikey the Village Idiot–Security Geeks-DC was good for this.

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Clearance Paperwork

Posted February 27th, 2007 by

So it’s that time of the decade again.  I have to fill out more clearance paperwork.

I absolutely hate this stuff.  It has so many hidden undertones, like the neocons want to weed out anybody who doesn’t fit neatly into 5 sheets of “where have you lived, what have you done?”  Or they wanted to punish anybody who has moved around like the military makes you do.

  • For example…. how do I find people living in Eugene, Oregon who don’t hate my guts?  Oh yeah, I need to remember 3 of them because I lived in 3 different places in that town.
  • And then again, why did I change residences so much between 1999 and  2002?  Let’s see, got out of the army, went to school, and became a victim of Web 1.0.
  • Marital status is fun.  You can be either married or divorced, but not at the same time.  I guess I’m supposed to forget those 9 years.

If you really squint and read between the lines, it’s a conspiracy plot against anybody who doesn’t “fit the mold”.  The really scary part is that these are the same people who society depends on to actually create something instead of rehashing the same old tired ways.  Everybody who as innovated is in some ways a rebel, it comes with the territory, so to say.  If you look at the Soviets, they had a love/hate relationship with their scientists.  When they needed innovation, it took relaxing of the social rules.  The nuclear program is a good example.  But then when the scientists got too self-assured or they didn’t need creatives anymore, then it was gulag time.

I think that ultimately it comes down to an interesting factoid:  The psychological profile between most good/talented security people and computer criminals is very much the same.  Think about it–I’m the one guy that they always put in the personnel security handbooks to look out for: the guy who is highly talented, doesn’t have many friends, overlooked for promotion, in a position of high responsibility, has nobody watching them.  The only real difference is that I have a sense of right and wrong, and that’s hard to show up on a questionnaire.

On a side note, I hope a future employer reads my blog some day.  Their one comment will be along the lines of someone who will remain nameless: “Dude, you are obsessed with fish!”

Now that I’m done with this stuff, where did I put my copy of The Shockwave Rider, Ender’s Game, and Catcher in the Rye?  I need a little subversion after exposing my life to The Man.

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Self-Quote Time #2

Posted February 26th, 2007 by

“At some point, all activism devolves into self-loathing.” — Mike Smith

You learn these things when you live in Eugene, Oregon.  I was utterly shocked the first time I saw treesitters driving a brand-new Yukon.

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My Inbox This Morning–Metasploit

Posted February 26th, 2007 by

Some presentations from HD Moore:

Introduction to the Metasploit Framework.

Economics of open-source projects and the future for Metasploit LLC and the Metasploit Fund.

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Business Leadership Training

Posted February 26th, 2007 by

I spent the first 2 days of last week in business leadership training.  Some of it was how an engagement proceeds from proposal into something that is billable.  Some of it was etiquette.  Some of it was leadership styles.  Some of it was “we love you, don’t go!”  Some of it was basic networking and etiquette skills for professionals.

I love how the majority of the world is extroverted.  It gives them so many more people to meet.  As for myself, I always get the feeling that I’m walking into an ambush when people are too eager to introduce themselves to me.  I guess that’s why I’ve never been in sales–I’m too cynical to the core to absolutely believe in anything.

So I did my own thinking over the past couple of days on business networking.  I did google searches for “business networking introverts” seeing if I could come up with any good advice.  Here’s what I came up with:

  • Network with a small amount of people, but get to know them well
  • Limit yourself to only a handful of large social events
  • There are many extroverts who claim to be introverts

Now, the interesting thing is that I’ve been doing this exact strategy for years now.  I always joke that I operate like the mafia.  When you come to me, I know the people who can fix your problem, but later, I’ll come to you asking you for a return of the favor.  Somedays, I feel like my job involves introducing people to other people.

But only people that I know well–don’t go thinking I’m an extrovert. =)

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Falling Springs Branch

Posted February 24th, 2007 by

Back in 1998, I took a trip to Chambersburg, PA to fish the Falling Springs Branch.

It’s a small stream, what we would call a creek back home.  It is, however, a limestone creek, so it has a very healthy population of scuds, sowbugs, insects, and trout.

I was fishing western-style with a 9-foot 4-weight, and I was massively overpowered for the delicate presentations and tight areas on the Falling Spring.  Now I have 7.5-foot 1-weight, so I’m looking to going back this spring and summer.

Falling Springs Branch Article at Flyfisherman Magazine.

The weirdest thing about fishing the Falling Spring is fishing in somebody’s back yard.  I never got used to it.  Here I was out in a 1-acre horse pasture complete with white rail fences, and I’m casting for trout.

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