How I Became a “G” in Information Technology


The path to becoming a Geek in Information Technology isn’t the same for all people. Admittedly, I was not born a G in IT. This quest became a rather serious one albeit around 4 years ago shortly after the release of my first official, full-length studio debut album “I’m High”. This was when I’d decided the road to Hip-Hop riches was not one that I was equipped to travel upon any longer. (Not to mention the obvious- that gangsta/reality/hardcore rap was dead.)

Having spent a significant amount of time working on or with a computer while putting that album together, it only seemed right to stay with the computer even though the microphone stand got put away and the digital audio workstation got uninstalled. (With this new found quest I was certainly going to need the free space on my hard drive.) So I jumped in. I jumped into the field of Information Technology head first without a parachute. Salta! SocEng

The thing is, I jumped head first into an area where most seasoned professionals even would have considered a no-no. The average individual shall began this quest with Intro to IT. While I unabashedly did have to retract and regroup after hitting the ground and splitting my head open, I didn’t start with Intro to IT. I, Mr. Smarty pants here deemed it a good idea to jump into the area of IT known as Ethical Hacking. Mind you, it seemed like a good idea at the time. From rapping to hacking!! Yeah, I can do that. NOT! (Note: Noooo rapper can do that. Granted, it is conceivably possible to reverse this process successfully. One can make a fairly decent transition from hacker to rapper. Think YTCracker. Hey, Bryce, it’s cool. I’m not trying to get any points off of you, dude. Truce? :) )

Truth of the matter is that becoming a Geek in IT is a process.

Preliminary path to becoming a Geek

Preliminary path to becoming a Geek

A process that after so long of enduring, one starts to get a different interpretation of movies like The Matrix. At this point in the process I’m not so sure whether I’ve taken the red pill or the blue pill. But one thing is for certain. I’m so geeked out that I’d like to think of myself as a redpill .

If there’s a Facebook in heaven…

Buddha statue

If there’s a Facebook in heaven….. well, mom, I know that you’re following me. (Hello, I can see my followers). With that being said, I think it’s only right that I be the first one to tell you feliz cumpleanos, mamita’. Happy Birthday! We love and miss you. I’m sure that you have a lot of partying ahead of ya when you guys get out of church this morning so I’ll let you get back to it. Tell everyone that I said, “what’s up?”. Ya me voy. Las nietas se despiertan. Besos…..

Will exam results decide our fate?

What started as an assignment for my Public Speaking course turned into an opportunity for me to quote what I feel is one of the most inspirational spoken word pieces of our generation. For short it’s called Exam Results by Suli Breaks. This is a message that speaks to and for an entire generation of students of all walks and ages who struggle with the stress of trying to make the grade, feeling that otherwise they’re future and place in society is useless. On the other hand, it also addresses the society and parents who hold these unrealistic standards over their children’s head. Enjoy….

The Three Jewels

The pot, the soil, and the water.

These are the three components that are crucial to the overall growth and development of the plant. The pot is the plants underlying temporary environment. The place where it is to be molded and shaped into what it will become. The soil is important because it holds the roots that provide support and store nutrients. And just as water is the life-blood of all living things, this is equally important to the plant. Without the proper amount of water it is impossible for the plant to grow and develop successfully. Now, if I were to draw upon a synonym (hence, symbology) and liken my life to a plant that needs the pot, the soil, and the water. I can see clearly how these three components are crucial to my overall development and have been in the past.

The pot, the soil, and the water.

The pot is a container. This container for me is representative of the communities that I have been fortunate enough,
or rather,
unfortunate enough to be molded by.
Unfortunately these containers were by far, NO PLACE IDEAL
to nurture and foster the growth and development of a healthy individual.
But fortunately,
these pots have taught me some of the greatest lessons that I have sustained,
and helped me navigate through this minefield of a maze that I call a chapter in life…..
The lessons on what NOT to do.

The pot, the soil, and the water.

The soil represents my relationships. Relationships have been the soil in which I’ve grown intellectually and psychologically. I’ve had soil around me of poor quality which has only served to stunt my growth. But on the other hand….
I’ve been in the midst of a lot of good sand which has helped me grow stronger and more mature as a man.
Thus, I’m a firm believer that there can be NO REAL GROWTH,
intellectually, psychologically or otherwise without good relationships. Bad relationships are poisonous soil.

The pot, the soil, and the water.

The water represents my flexibility. Just as the plant cannot survive without water,
I know that it is impossible for me to grow and continue to strive without being flexible.
The water represents my persistence.
Just as the plant cannot grow without a persistent flow of water,
I know that it is my long term persistence to my goals that will play out and prevail in the end.
For me,
slow and steady always wins the race.

The pot, the soil, and the water.

My community.
My relationships and my persistence.
These are the three jewels which nurture my overall development. Peace….

Boston Marathon: Suspect Number Two

Could this be possible?

So….I was taking a break from building databases and tuned into the news a second ago. As it turns out, the F.B.I. has released a photo of two of the suspects in this tragic event that has once again shook up our nation. As it also turns out….the suspect appears to be talking on a cell phone.

The thought occurred to me: wouldn’t it, couldn’t it, and shouldn’t it be possible to link the location where the suspect was seen on the phone to the approximate times of occurrence (via GPS and cell phone towers) and start narrowing down the suspects from there?

Well, maybe it’s not that simple. But you get where I’m coming from and what I’m trying to say, right? Of course….there were millions of cell phones and quite possibly million of calls made during this time period. Then….what cell carriers do you start with? Sprint, Verizon, ….a throw away phone from the dollar store? Okay, I hear ya: “needle in a hay-stack”. Was he really talking on the phone or “pretending” to be talking on the phone? What we do know is this, if he was indeed talking on that cell phone….he was talking to “someone”…and there is a digital footprint somewhere out there in the good ole place we call cyber-space just waiting to be discovered.

I dunno’. But someone knows. Cell-phones make for damn good informants these days. I do know that!

Rest In Peace to the victims of this tragedy and my condolences go out to the families of the victims. (Whoever you are).

Back to building databases…..




Kung-Fu Hacking: Defining Aims & Objectives (Part 2)

  • He who hacks for blood soon finds it dripping from his own terminal.
  • He who hacks for fame and glory never stays free long enough to hear his songs of  victory sung.
  • He who hacks for gold is already blinded by the glitter and glare of his own greed, all too soon led astray by all things shiny.
  • He who hacks for sport seldom finds the network administrators in a sporting mood.
  • He who hacks for the love of  it must leave what he loves the most behind so he can dance with the one he hates the most.— The Federal Correctional System
  • But he who hacks for security cannot be led astray.

( The above is what I call “ The Hackers Six Movers ”

First of all, it must be borne in mind that training for Kung-Fu Hacking is very demanding, calling for great discipline; and discipline in this field is defined more by what you do not do rather than what you do. This art calls for great endurance, perseverance, determination, as well as time and effort. Patience must be your greatest effort. Master Kung-Fu Hackers are not borne over night. As a matter of fact, some of the greatest hackers to date have been quoted as saying that it takes at least a minimum of 10 years before one becomes adept in the art. But the result is very rewarding, and the extent of your reward depends mainly on how much “ purposeful practice and training ” you have put in. Aimless training and practice, as was stated in part one of Kung-Fu Hacking, is a huge waste of time. It is therefore helpful to have some idea of your aims and objectives.

Aims are general in nature and long-term in perspective, whereas objectives are specific and immediate. How well we have achieved our aims calls for some subjective judgement, whereas the attainment of our objectives can be determined categorically.

A major aim of Kung-Fu Hacking training, for instance, is System Security- or more so being able to secure your own systems. This ability to defend ourselves is a general asset, and has long-term benefits as more and more vulnerabilities become exploitable to the general public. Generally we do not set a specific time frame for acquiring this aim; we adopt the attitude that as long as we keep on learning, practicing, and training, we will enhance our ability to defend ourselves. As the old adage goes: “ before one can protect others he must first be able to protect himself  ”. We are clear that if we fail to defend ourselves effectively in cyber-warfare, it means that we failed in our aim. Sometimes we may set a time frame for our aim, but the period is usually reckoned in years rather than months….all the while waiting for someone to try to successfully attack our systems. ( Unless of course we hire a professional penetration team to exploit our systems in order to see where we really stand overall in the realm of security. ) Otherwise it may not be easy for us to measure objectively how well we have achieved our aim. For example, we can say that we have achieved our aim of self-defense if we can effectively defend ourselves against a single attacker; but when we are faced with a group of attackers, let’s say, a Hactivist Group that targets our organization for “ whatever reason ” , we may falter.

Hack Cup, with Kung Fu Guy

On the other hand, we may set an objective to acquire the knowledge and skills to defend ourselves against web application attacks within six months. Or from an offensive security point of view we set the objective to acquire the skills to launch successful attacks against web applications in a six month time frame. Hence, our objective is specific: for the time being we limit ourselves to defending against these types of attacks or learning how to carry out these types of attacks…leaving other types of attacks to be covered by later objectives. We can go a step further and be more specific by deciding on the types of web application attacks we want to defend against or learn to carry out. As we have set a time frame of six months, our objective is also immediate: we are not pursuing this objective indefinitely. We can easily decide whether we have achieved our objective within our set time. For example, after six months of training we can ask a few fellow hacking buddies to try to exploit our web applications using the types of attacks we have defined; or we can conversely set up a vulnerable system of our own in a virtual lab and try out these attacks ourselves.

Above all, even though aims and objectives are closely related, an appreciation of the distinction contributes to our monitoring of our Kung-Fu Hacking practice and training. Aims and objectives provide us with direction and purpose in our Kung-Fu Hacking training, thus enabling us to achieve better results more quickly.

“ Test your systems with fire and ice, sand and sea, bile and blood….before your attackers do! ”