Interview with Cameron Noakes aka MonoLoyarili
Not all computer geniuses lock themselves up in their parent’s basements like how nerds are often depicted in media. Genius can come in all forms. They can have various hobbies other than comics and computers. Geniuses can also get physical and can even look ripped.
Geniuses can also be attractive and sociable and perhaps one good example is the character of Sam Winchester in the TV series Supernatural. One such real-life genius is 19-year-old ethical hacker Cameron Noakes aka MonoLoyarili.
Cameron Noakes is a self-taught ethical hacker and Python programmer who has just completed a cybersecurity internship at a major European firm. He can truly be considered a genius after accomplishing much at such a young age yet is engaged with other activities such as going to the gym and doing Thai boxing.
While continuing to self-study other skills and various aspects of cybersecurity and posting his explorations on YouTube, Cameron still finds time to engage in social activities.
He has already proven his worth by developing useful security tools which can be found on GitHub. Let us pick his brain for further details of his knowledge and explore more of his personality in the following interview:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 19-year-old self-taught Ethical Hacker (EH) and Python Programmer. I have been doing Ethical Hacking for around 2 years and am eJPT certified as well as have completed a cybersecurity internship with one of Europe's largest cyber firms.
I am not like most cliché Hackers out there. I self-teach, go Gym, do Thai Boxing, am sociable and focus a lot on my future career paths.
I have developed cyber security tools on my GitHub, invest in crypto and spend a lot of my free time working on improving my skills and learning more as well as career progression.
I am planning on taking my OSCP this summer just like 's.1.l.k.y' on this blog and am looking forward to learning more content and especially Active Directory attacks for Enterprise Networks.
England is home to some of the most innovative cyber skills out there with Government agencies like GCHQ, MI6 and NCA. I don't plan on working for the Government but it's nice to keep options open.
What's your journey into cybersecurity? and What are your hopes for the future?
My journey has been an interesting one. I started at 15 using Kali Linux just to get familiar with using it. Then at the start of sixth form (3 years later) I had dived in deeper with actually developing my Ethical Hacking skills and using the tools provided.
I did ICT at GCSE (high school) and then Computer Science, Physics, and IT at A level (Sixth Form). I did not learn any Ethical Hacking in ICT nor Computer Science, but it did help me learn some fundamental networking skills which has been noticed in my profession now.
My hopes for the future is to continue to gain relevant certifications, experience, education and keep giving back to the community as it is one of the things I love the most.
What skills do you think are important to be successful in cybersecurity?
Personally, I feel that having a can-do attitude is best as well as always being curious and constantly learning, never to get complacent, and to always do more research on the side.
For example, doing a full-time job, coming home and then studying in the evenings ready for future certifications.
What is it like to run your own cybersecurity YouTube channel?
It is definitely challenging at times, but it’s what I love to do, I get to make the content I feel will be the best for starter Ethical Hackers and the best to learn from. I try to make my videos as interesting and informative as possible with practical examples (like my HackTheBox videos).
I am simultaneously able to work on my editing, confidence, knowledge, colour grading, audio, and other topics whilst I am developing videos as well as visual learning can definitely help others grasp key concepts when starting out.
What types of resources have you found most useful for learning security? (Videos, courses, blogs, qualifications)
The resources have changed over a few years, when I was 15 years old I watched different videos to now so I will section them.
The channels on YouTube I watched for EH at 15 were: JackkTutorials and HackerSploit. Now it is more so: Json Sec, The Cyber Mentor, StÓk, Network Chuck and a little of NahamSec.
I have learnt a great deal from the eLearnSecurity PTSv4 course for the eJPT (eLearnSecurity Junior Penetration Tester) as well as The Cyber Mentor course “Practical Ethical Hacking” on his domain.
A blog post I read over and over again is Top 5 ways I got domain admin before lunch.
Do you have any advice for aspiring cybersecurity professionals?
Be sure to make yourself stand out! Give back to the community, have a blog post, post videos, answer questions on reddit or stack overflow and make sure you are also really comfortable with all the built-in Kali Linux tools at a minimum.
Alongside, also knowing basic networking, basic models as well as handshakes and ports as all these are relevant for the Pen Testing section Scanning and Enumeration.
You can find more about Cameron Noakes on his social media accounts:
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