My new idol

· by Peter · Read in about 3 min · (455 words)

I’m very interested in computer security. From the beginning I’ve had an idol, or idols even, who I’ve followed and learned from. I think it’s started with Kevin Mitnick after reading his book The Art Of Intrusion. Which was not exactly what I was hoping for. I’ve not known much about computers back then, so I’ve thought I would read more about scripts and such rather than how to trick a secretary. So it wasn’t a long relationship. But it’s opened my mind a little bit, so I’ve focused more on how things work rather than getting ready to use solutions.

Next was Bruce Schneier. I’ve read his blog regularly and also few of his books. Guy was, and to some degree still is, a genius to me. But for some reason he lost interest in producing content, at least about computer security, and now his blog feels like RSS feed for other sites. Shame.

For a moment I’ve followed Brian Krebs, but this guy is like main character of Conspiracy Theory. Just too much. Maybe his stories are whole truth, but it just feels like cheap sensation.

Right now I’m following Troy Hunt. Brilliant guy. I love his deep analysis of the problems and how he always tries to be objective. His knowledge is vast and he’s doing lots of good with his ’;–have i been pwned? site. But he’s just too nice. He wants to be there for everyone. Which works great for him, so he definitely knows what he’s doing. But I need a bit of an asshole with my security stuff:) And although he’s shown some claw recently, it’s still not it. He’s also sometimes pushing toward his sponsors too much and it’s a bit annoying.

And this brings me to Robert Graham, my new idol. He’s a genius, his views are sharp, he’s not afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. He’s just challenging me intellectually. I can admit that he’s sometimes too much, but I still love his texts. He’s simply a dying breed in the industry where friendliness wins with professionalism. Where companies would rather have team of ten averages, than one brilliant asshole. Which is somehow understandable, but so far I’ve seen more great things coming from assholes than from these cuddly software devs. Maybe I’m a dying breed as well.

Small explanation here. By asshole I don’t mean person who’s rude and offensive, no organization needs those. I just mean people who stand by what they think is correct. But also are able to accept if they’re wrong. Not because boss said so however. But simply because somebody has convinced them with arguments. Unfortunately these days more and more such individuals are considered assholes. Which is simply sad.