In this post, I’m discussing how I’m going about achieving my first $1,000,000.

Legal Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained below constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by me or any third party service.

The Goal

As the title said, the goal is to achieve $1,000,000. I often read that the first million is the hardest. After running some very optimistic projections, I can hit that first million pretty much within the four years and achieve the second million just several months later. …

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Photo by Kaur Kristjan on Unsplash

There’s been a lot of news lately surrounding the SolarWinds hack. It’s basically taking up all the news cycles in the security circles. Today I want to talk about a barely covered article that comes from ZDNet. It’s titled “This new Cyberattack can dupe DNA scientists into creating dangerous viruses and toxins.” It was published on November 30th, and I’ve been waiting for it to get picked up more by mainstream media, but I never heard a second mention.

This article basically covers that researchers at a university could craft a malware type that could replace genetic sequences in systems that order synthesized DNA. The impact that really struck me was now a remote attacker could have scientists create toxins or new viruses on their behalf without expensive equipment. Suppose I knew what genetic material I needed for a biological attack. I don’t need my own lab to create it. …

Our First Hackathon

Sometime in mid-June of 2020, Elastic invited my organization to participate in a hackathon they were hosting. For those that don’t know, Elastic is a pretty big up and comer in the Search space and described at times as the next Google. Those are some big shoes to fill, but that’s a discussion for another time.

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My organization’s primary business is in cybersecurity, and Elastic has been making moves into that industry, hoping to use it’s search tools to empower threat hunters and allow them to digest, analyze, and correlate events happening across the enterprise. They already have an out-of-box SIEM solution to rival the likes of Splunk. All of which brings us full circle back to the hackathon. …

Things to consider either before you join the military or while still serving

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Photo by Luemen Carlson on Unsplash

Serving in the military is a time-honored tradition for some Americans and their families. Such so, that our culture and politics continues to highlight the esteem of military service and the reverence placed on service members. The topics of national defense and the military have always served as talking points for political candidates, the inspiration for Hollywood action movies, and as a nontraditional career path for entering the workforce.

We can further see the importance and priorities the military receives by looking at how Congress handles it’s yearly budget appropriations. On multiple occasions when the federal government has had to shut its doors, congressional bipartisanship has passed bills to continue funding the military. These bills pass because Senators, Representatives, and Presidents can’t afford to lose political capital for alienating the military. …

Data is Everything

Whether hunting down hackers in your network, optimizing traffic flow, or just trying to build a network baseline, you’ll learn that data is everything. Data is our gateway to gaining deeper insights into the patterns or behaviors of our users and devices. The data we are hoping to gain insights into is network traffic.

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DIKW Model

Following the Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom (DIWK) model, we’re going to walk through building a pipeline for turning network traffic data into network traffic knowledge. Out two tools of choice will be Moloch and Elastic.

What is Moloch?

In short terms, Moloch is an open-source, scalable packet capture and indexing solution. Initially developed by AOL for handling their large volumes of traffic, the kind folks there released it under the Apache 2.0 license for use by the community. What makes Moloch a fantastic tool for Security Operations is that one of its core components is built on Elasticsearch already, allowing you to leverage your existing Elastic Stack if you choose to. …

Background on Myself

On August 30th, 2018, I graduated from the Udacity Deep Learning Nanodegree. Unlike many others to go through the program, I do not have a Computer Science or Engineering degree. In fact, I don’t have any graduate or undergraduate degree. My highest form of a completed college education is an Associate of Science in Electronics Technology from a community college, which basically went into basic small electronic theory like modulation, simple circuits, and circuit board components. My professional background is in Network Engineering and Cybersecurity.

Going into a field of study like machine learning with no exposure to statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and whatever little programming experience I got from Codecademy was a challenge. And I nailed it through long nights, lots of research, and tons of self-doubt. If you are passionate about doing something new, I believe you can find ways to make it happen! …


Kyle Topasna

Infosec Professional, AI Engineer, Data Scientist

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