One question that has been coming my way recently is how would those that are interested in InfoSec actually get started in this field of white-hat hacking. This page is a collection of suggestions that have been given to me by friends and colleagues in an attempt to answer that question. It is in no way supposed to be a concise list, nor would I want it to be. Start with what’s below and then reach out and find more.

Courses

Pluralsight

Pluralsight is a fantastic collection of online courses covering many topics. They have a great collection of Ethical Hacking courses.

Challenges

OverTheWire

This site is a fantastic collection of games and challenges. They start off assuming no knowledge at all with the great Bandit game. It teaches you the basics needed through a series of 26 levels, each one teaching you something new.

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A cloud. On a phone.

“The Cloud” is great isn’t it. For storing stuff and processing stuff and making stuff scalable. “Stuff” has never had it so good. Most of the world seems to be putting its “stuff” into the cloud. A lot of applications now process “stuff” in the cloud. At this rate the computer will soon be moving towards the dumb terminals of the 1970’s and 80’s. Which in some weird way brings me to my point. You see, our mobile phones are already doing a lot of processing of stuff in the cloud and it’s becoming a rather large nuisance; for me anyway.

A few months ago I had to start using an Android phone (for those who don’t know, I’m waiting for the Nokia 1020 before I upgrade and I’ve recently lost the use of the Nokia 900 I had) and I made good use of the Google Navigation app. Whilst it lacked a few of the features I was used to on the Nokia Drive app it did at least do the navigation bit to a high enough standard that I arrived at my destination.

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The good lady recently bought me a premium subscription to Spotify. Amongst lots of new features is the ability to play music on my mobile streamed from Spotify, which, when I connect it to my 3G Mifi, means I can stream almost any album from wherever I am.

Add into the mix the fact that I currently drive a Mercedes Benz A-class with a very nice music console and a 3.5m jack input for aux. input. If I run a short 3.5m stereo cable from the phone to the socket I can get streamed audio straight into car. However, there would appear to be a slight problem. For the past few weeks the setup has been producing a lot of feedback. The sort of engine noise, electric switch style feedback you used to get on old cars with no suppressor on the antennas or speakers.

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My most recent tech purchase was an Amazon Kindle. It wasn’t an easy one mind you. Life was beginning to get a bit expensive and I was trying to not spend any money other than on the essentials, but with a week-long trip to Juba in the coming week and a near 20 hour plane journey ahead I decided it would be worth the purchase. In the end I plumped for the bog standard, no frills, with-buttons, wifi-only, £89 version. And it only came in grey.

My previous experiences with e-Readers hadn’t been great. I’d tried to use “Books” on the iPad without much success. I even bought Stephen Fry’s most recent book in an attempt to push me into using the device as an e-Reader. This didn’t work. The device is too heavy to use as an e-Reader. I couldn’t hold it for too long before I needed to move my arms, change my position, even rest the iPad on something else. In the end I gave up because using the iPad to read simply became something I didn’t want to do.

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During my recent trip to Juba I encountered an office which was suffering from a collection of viruses on its computers. The AVG installation had a license which had expired some months before and this had left most of the computers exposed. A new license had been bought but this was too late for some machines who had already succumbed to a number of viruses.

One particular machine was being used by a good friend and he kept a collection of important documents on a USB stick which he carried round with him everywhere. Unfortunately in the past couple of days this had been attacked by a virus and all of his folders on the stick had been converted into shortcuts which pointed to a copy of the virus stored away in a hidden “Recycler” folder. The aim here was to infect any PC on which he tried to open a folder from the USB stick.

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