Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Just posting my resume. No reason. Have a look. Critique.


Monday, July 21, 2014

First assessment of Syracuse University's Veterans Technology Program

Yesterday I began the enrollment process for the Veterans Career Transition Program hosted by Syracuse University. The following are some noteworthy observations about the registration/pre-launch process.

June 17
Received acceptance email for the July 2014 Cohort!

June 25
Received "next steps" inviting me to view the VCTP admissions overview video.

July 1
The first email I received had an attached standard course registration form. Nothing really to note here except that the form was partially completed by a staff member (convenient) and the Social Security Number block was labeled "Optional." This is a good thing since it lets students know that you do not have to provide it. I do question why the option to give my SSN is even there. I'm sure it eases the burden on staff processing but the h4x0r in me shivers a little.

The second email I received was an official welcome letter from the Director of the Distance Education Programs. I liked the letter because it highlighted key information about the program and my cohort. It also clearly stated who I could call if I have any questions. Hazel, you will not get a call from me yet.

July 10th
Received email notification today that my registration form has been processed.

July 16th
Received an email today that was conveniently broken up into 5 easily digestible parts
1. Advisor: I was assigned an adviser and given her contact details. Ashley F. I am glad to make your acquaintance. Looking forward to our new working relationship!
2. Java Update: This section advised me of a new Java update. This is the second item so far that makes the h4x0r in me shiver. Unlike the SSN issue above, there is no workaround. Looks like I am stuck with using Java (and opening my computer to a whole host of vulnerabilities).
3. Social media: There are 2 social media platforms that the program uses to reach veterans. You can follow them on Twitter @SUgetvet and on Facebook They made it clear that this is not required for the course but recommended it for keeping informed of various veterans benefits.
4. Orientation: I have online orientation on Monday, July 21st at 12:00 PM. This will show me how to access the course work.
5. What's Next: Letting  me know what to look for in the future.

July 16th
Received the Veterans Career Transition Program Advising Guidelines which outlines the requirements and reminds the student to use the adviser.

July 21st
Received my log in creds for the coursework in Skillport. (via email) Doh! Logged in and changed my password. Standard for a university.

Class begins...

I get the feeling that SU has its act together with regards to this program. The process seems to be well documented and followed. Each email references the prior email and refers to a followup email. This acts as a chain that is easy to follow. I hope the course material is just as well done. More to come.

Monday, July 14, 2014

InfoSec Triple Crown 2014: It is Official

It appears that the InfoSec Triple Crown is on for another year.

Con Location Dates* Website Twitter
DerbyCon Louisville, KY 26-28 September @DerbyCon
SkyDogCon Nashville, TN 24-26 October @SkyDogCon
Hack3rCon Charleston, WV 14-16 November @hack3rcon

*Dates do not include any training that may be offered. Check websites periodically for this information.

See you there!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

August: The Month of the Geek!

I am officially declaring the month of August as "The Month of the Geek!" Why? What other month has a series of conferences the likes of Black Hat, BSides Las Vegas, PasswordCon, and DEFCON within the first two weeks? Not only that, they are all co-located within 3 miles of each other! What?!?!

Here is a list of recommendations leading up to, during, and after this whirlwind of learning, hacking, and frivolity.

1. Read blogs/sites about the cons so you can get perspective. I recommend these blogs:

Take what these site tell you as a grain of salt. Remember that YOUR con experience is set by YOU.

2. Follow @HackBus on Twitter. HackBus is an event in itself. Watch as a band of merry men, and women, journey from the Bay area through California and on to greatness!

3. Follow @defconparties on Twitter. You going to Vegas on a budget? @defconparties can get you free food, drinks, and entertainment!

4. Go with a purpose and a plan. Try to stick to it. If you suffer from "shiny object syndrome" this week can be exhausting. Even if your plan sucks, it is easier to deviate from a plan than it is to make one up on the fly.

5. Attend the DEFCON Toxic BBQ. During my first DEFCON (17), I met and spoke with Cap'n Crunch. Are you kidding me? Just make sure you bring some meat, sides, drinks, or volunteer to cook.

6. Attend the DEFCON Shoot hosted by @deviantollam. This is a chance to throw some lead down range with like minded individuals. Full auto guns usually make an appearance and there could even be a cannon.

7. Meet and greet. This one was a hard one for me at first but it can be a game changer. DEFCON even has a badge contest that requires human contact. Some of the greatest minds in the world attend. Collaborate!

8. Make sure you attend BSides Las Vegas. What you will find is the same level of talks as Black Hat (better in my opinion) and DEFCON. You can hear talks from the newest vulns discovered to how to properly make an Old Fashioned. No prior signup needed this year. You get your badges at the door.

9. Sign up as a volunteer at one of the conferences. You give back to the community and feel great about yourself. Some of these cons even feed you. (Remember #3 and the budget thing?)

10. Hang out at the Lock Pick Village/ Wireless Village. Heck, a couple of years ago I was hanging out at the Wireless Village when they started a training session for the Technician Class Ham license. I listened to what they had to say, took the test the next day, and got certified. Last year I studied a little, asked some of the Elmers some questions, and passed the General Class test.

11. Stop by and say hello to the staff of Hackers for Charity. They will blow you mind. You will walk away knowing that hackers do great things in the world.

Good luck to all! I hope to see you there! I am easy to spot. I will be the short, overweight guy, with stubble and wearing a tee shirt.