For our latest edition of ‘Stories from Cybersecurity’, we talked to aspiring cybersecurity enthusiast, Jesse a.k.a @arch4n63l52.He has been busy teaching himself all things ethical hacking via online course, books in person course.
We are aware that many of our readers are in the same position, and this is where Jesse has something unique to offer.
He also likes to break things and put them together. We asked Arch4n63l52 some questions to pick his brain on all things hacking and cybersecurity. Let's take a look.
What's your journey into cybersecurity?
For me, this started when I was a kid in the 80’s. I got my first and only Atari 2600. I wondered from that point on how it worked and what made it work. Star Wars and all the sci-fi just fueled my dreams and interest.
I remember being in the computer lab trying to figure out how to reprogram the games, never did, but it passed the time and had some seriously funny outcomes.
Later in the US Navy I found myself creating workaround and acceptable replacement parts for weapons system issues. Talk about a feeling of accomplishment, when you can take a PC board from one system and make it work in a completely different system that its not made for.
It’s funny because people tell me I’m not creative, yet I come up with some out of the box fixes for things. I worked at places like Texas Instruments, Best Buy service center, RCM Technologies, Brinks, and even now in a Level 1 Trauma Center and I have always been the person that gets asked to solve problems that require a “creative solution” or make things work.
It was not until 2 years ago I decided to re-enter the IT field. I found Cybersecurity to interest me specifically hacking.
I love having the stress of always learning, solving problems, and finding ways to make things work or work better. The moment I knew I was on the right path came about a few months ago, I had a moment where I was questioning myself.
We had a patient brought in as a John Doe with nothing but clothing and cellphone. My supervisor immediately asked if there was a way to unlock the phone. My response, I’m sure there is and I’m sure I can figure it out.
Normally this would be the Medical Examiner’s job, but they were extremely busy, so after playing with the phone for a while and working around the damage, lucky for me it was an android, I was able to get an email address to display.
From that, I moved to OSINT and traced the address to a possible owner. That led to a positive identity of John Doe and made me stop questioning myself.
What do you like the most about the cybersecurity community?
There are a lot of things I like about this community. One, we are all nerds of some type. LOL We are all pretty much willing to share information and learn from each other and teach anyone that wants to learn, regardless of who, what, and where they are from.
What skills do you think are important to be successful in cybersecurity?
I would say discipline above all. My time competing in strongman has taught me one thing that carries over to everything. Motivations get you started, but dies easily, discipline keeps you going when motivation dies out.
The next thing is an open mind, have to stay open to learning new things and new ways. Passion is always another list topper, without passion in what you are doing, then all you are doing is going through the motions.
What do you think are the biggest cybersecurity threats we are facing right now?
Where to start with this question? I would say right now ransomware is a hot item. As more and more people get hit with it black hats will find it to be an easier return on their investment. While we can create signatures to combat this, they can create it faster.
Another big thing is human hacking, with the pandemic there are a lot of people now that have been quarantined and almost cut off from everyone else. This creates a need for socialization and that need can be exploited easily.
Do you have any advice for aspiring cybersecurity professionals?
If your passion for computers and technology has become an obsession then you are more than ready. Even if you start and don’t stay you will still have an extreme amount of skills that can be used in other areas of IT or really any field.