Zero to Hero
Let’s talk about Cybersecurity.
Aside from the fact that over 2020-2021 it has practically become a household name, it also sends a chill down the backs of hackers that have no idea just how crazy things get for them when they think they are getting away with committing Cyber-crime. Sometimes the area is gray but, when the crime is carried out by an infamous “blackhat” or “bad actor”, it changes the narrative of just how ugly the crime can be. If you’re a programmer or a security professional then you know what you’re capable of. I mean let's face it, we’re dangerous, but in a good way. So, naturally, I would want to know how to stay in the loop while also shielding myself from some of the threats AND temptations of this industry. Look, some of the most intellectually sound and prophetically intense, and intelligent people in the world spend much of their time behind a keyboard, mouse, and about 5.5 lbs of LCDs and plastic. Some of us don’t have the time or care to spend time away or are distracted from things that matter. Anyway, the point of this article is to show some of the Cyber cadets and trainees that you can still be a badass without hurting people. Let's look at a couple of different scenarios
Ok, so I’ll just be blunt here, Cyber predators are like internet thugs
with cyber weapons that they mostly use to extort the technologically
defenseless. That sucks. What doesn’t suck, is locating a bad actor and
mitigating the proper protocol. You don’t want to make them suffer too
much because that’s not your job, just the fact that the threat was
eliminated and the bad actor’s position was revealed will be enough to
send em’ packing. The scary thing is, the internet, in my opinion, has
given us each the ability to spy or inflict our will on others by
forcing them into submission through Cyberwarfare. Not my problem, but
let’s face it, we have all experienced a lack of privacy or some type of
online bullying. Well, Cyber predators are just internet bullies, but
worse. So, you need to stay vigilant in your quest for justice!
Cybersecurity personnel has an obligation to the safety and protection
of their clients and data. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but being in
this field, you can’t trust anyone. So let’s look at an example
Here’s the Scenario
A student returns to school, he attends a back-to-school event. He spends most of his time in the STEM department. He approaches a programming professor and asks about the little sign on the front of the laptop that reads “Ask for a hacking demo”. So naturally, the student is intrigued. The professor tells the student to take a seat and he watches as the professor asks the student to log in to his Facebook. The student naively leans into the laptop with little hesitation and continues to click his way in. The student leans back in his chair and says “there, I’m in. What now?”. The professor replies, “Me Too”. The student then asks what the professor meant by that and the professor proceeds by informing the student that while he was login into his account, he failed to inspect the page or he would have noticed that instead of a Facebook address in the URL, it was replaced by these random numbers. Little did the student know that he has just been Social Engineered. The professor was kind enough to tell the student to change his password and log out completely, but mainly that he had just learned a valuable lesson. So you see, you can’t trust anyone 100%.
A vast increase in stupidity across the globe has lead to more social media users so, we have all had to bear witness to some of the most ridiculous content on the internet. So, it’s no wonder that some of us hide or go where none of the trolls will never look for us, like intellectual podcasts, physics, mathematics, and historical sites. You can also find intelligent people lurking outside the box, as most of them choose not to partake in the nonsensical transgressions of modern society. However, some of us within Cybersecurity is still tasked with the safety of the very same people. Although you may have the urge to lock down someone’s account or harvest credentials and DNS logs, don’t. You will be no better than the Cyber thugs waging war on the innocent. Here’s the thing about exploitation, it’s a form of abuse. I grew up and was mentored by a close friend that introduced me to programming and Cybersecurity. He was abused as a child and poorly treated by a system that failed him. If anyone has a right to be angry, it’s him. Unfortunately, the cycle of abuse continues and the attacks just keep on coming. You see, the exploitation methods that many bad actors use can be traced back to exploitation that they have experienced at one point and is now rooted within them. So, just remember that when you are looking for exploits in a defenseless target, you are essentially exploiting yourself and sinking to a lower level by continuing the cycle of abuse.
Autonomous Weapon’s Systems, we all know they exist. Look, I’m not sure if anyone else is making an effort to produce content that warns of the dangers of A.I. and Autonomous Weapons Systems, but I’d like to at least try and deter you from getting involved for the wrong reasons. See, weapons systems such as these are scary and it treads into a territory that may be unfamiliar for most. If these weapons were to break loose at any point, we could have a real problem on our hands. One day you may find yourself on the front lines of protecting our air and spaceways. You will be thoroughly briefed on the ins and outs of all these machines. What we don’t need is for an angry or disgruntled employee making their way onto a predator drone. The likelihood of this is low, but I do foresee someone developing a new piece of technology that's held up by the reediness of the algorithm and is shipped and ready for d-d-d-destrcution...not good. Again, you need to stay vigilant and remain that way because the future we are moving into holds intentions, I believe, maybe beyond our current imaginations.
Well, at this point if you're not convinced I don’t know what would convince you. Let’s be honest, this line of work is not for the faint of heart so if you don’t have a passion for technology and thirst for knowledge, maybe try retail. We need Cyber Heroes, not bullies, wannabe's or thugs. We need the cream that is rising to the top and is not afraid to sink their Cyber teeth into a growing and potentially endless field. Be a Cyber Hero, it’s more rewarding and the pay is great.
"Happiness can be found even the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - Albus Dumbledore