What keeps a good security guy from turning to the dark side

I’m reading the excellent Blackhatonomics right now. And one thing I read in it reminded me of a question that someone asked me last year. I was probably the third or fourth guy with an advanced security certification he’d met, and he asked me one day what it is that keeps us from turning criminal.

I said, “Well, for one thing, good guys have much longer careers.”

I didn’t cite a specific example, but Blackhatonomics cited the case of Albert Gonzalez, the infamous hacker convicted of breaking into TJX, Dave & Buster’s, and others. His crime spree, which ended when he was captured in 2008, netted him $2.98 million.

He was convicted in 2010, and had to give back what was left of his fortune, and now is serving 20 years in a minimum-security prison.

I like my approach better. Read more

CPE opportunity: Exploding the Phone

This week Cnet interviewed Phil Lapsley, the author of Exploding the Phone, a book about the early history of phone phreaking.

Phone phreaking is absolutely fair game for the CISSP exam. I couldn’t tell you anymore how many phone phreaking questions I had to answer, but let me just say I’m glad I’d read those pages in the CBK about phone phreaking.

Read more

Busted at the Safeway for phone phreaking

Software developer, author, and blogger Jeff Atwood wrote his confessions of the 1980s this week. As a teenager and not-quite-adult, he was a phone phreaker.

More of this went on than anyone wants to admit. Rob O’Hara has podcasted about it. Read more

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