Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My backstory

I became interested in computers and electronics growing up.

My first computer was a used system built by an acquaintance a 486dx running 33Mhz 4Megs of ram and . I purchased it after making a agreement with my father to match me in the purchase price. He was not aware that I had saved over $300 already. A tidy sum for an 11 year old. During the build we visited computer shows in the area to get all the parts needed. I was so stoked to have a 2x CDrom and sound blaster compatible sound card.

I wasnt quite sure what I was going to do with my new computer but I wanted to understand all the features and settings. I commed though the settings and managed to break the system a few times. Apparently autoexec.bat and command.com are important :P

A year later I purchased two 10baseT cards with coax cables and terminators in order to connect my father and my computers together. This would allow me to connect to the internet while my father was connected via America Online with the modem.

In elementary I networked three computers (shared across 4 classrooms) together so all three could use a single laser printer.

In middle school I was part of the computer club where we played computer games after school in the computer lab. In 7th grade an opportunity was brought forward for a website to be built for my middle school team. My first official website. I went to the high school and worked with a teacher on learning Adobe Pagemill. At the end of the session I was teaching the teacher how to use Pagemill. This was also the first time I started learning about Windows NT and Mandrake Linux.

In high school I tried to connect with the computer club but never really felt much satisfaction with it. I continued to build websites for a couple of groups. There was a Cisco Vocational class but I never got focused into that. In my junior & senior years I started working with a local electrician and upon his recommendation I set my sights on an Engineering Degree with the University of Akron.

I started at the UA working with the AV group pushing TV and setting up projectors across the campus. A few months into the job I started working on installs of av setups and scalers. After my first semester I was able to get a job at the Help Desk. During this time I got into lockpicking and building linux servers using Gentoo & Red Hat Servers. I also became more interested in Ham Radio and became a Technician Armature Radio Operator.

A few years after leaving the university I started working a an RF Engineer with GE in their MRI division. This was a contract position so a year later I went and got a job as a Help Desk with phone support. During this I got my A+ Net+, Sec+, & MSCA I was attempting to find advancement in the company. This didn't pan out. :(

Next job was a Systems Engineer/System Architect. The owner wanted me to be Cisco certified so I got my CCNA. During this time I really loved building networks and systems. Security became more of a focus to me. I heard about a local group called NEOISF and decided to come to a meeting. The topics there were new and were exactly what I was interested in. I wanted to know how I could get a job like that. I got some interest in ham radio again and tested to become a general level license holder.

In my next position I became a Sr Systems & Security Administrator. I looked at others in the security field and saw that a CISSP sometimes helped with opening doors so I decided to get my CISSP certification. My CCNA was going to expire so I tested for the Cisco Wireless and passed. I continued to attend NEOISF and wast elected a board member, I also heard about conferences like Information Security Summit, Notacon, BSides, Derbycon, & Shmoocon. I began attending these cons and attended my first training, a into to pentesting with David Kennedy at the Information Security Summit.

After attending a few BSides I heard that Cleveland, in previous years, had a BSides, so I reached out to David Kennedy the organizer. He let me know he wasn't able to do it this year.So I posted on the twitterverse if anyone wanted to help me restart up BSides Cleveland. Rockie Brockway and a few others responded and we started BSides Cleveland once again.

I was a part of BSides Cleveland for 4 years. I ran the social media, Swag design & purchasing, Website management, CFP & CFT collecting and communication, along with all the AV for the event.

I was attending a local conference Circle City Con and someone was asking for help administering tests for ham radio. I offered and became a VE, then got my extra license ticket.

Since then I have been attending local conferences, working at my newest position as a pentester, and helping others when I can.

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