Hacking Is Problem Solving

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People are always asking me “How do I hack?” That’s not an easy question to answer. It becomes a matter of learning. The question then becomes “How do I learn?” Now that is something that can be answered quite easily. Learning comes from an inbound curiosity and dedication to solving problems. A hacker is a problem solver, someone who will find a way around any obstacles to secure a resolution. Take for example my recent foray into lockpicking:

It only took one minute to rake the Masterlock padlock open with my inexpensive toolkit purchased from eBay. But this other one, an ancient and obsolete warded padlock posed a problem beyond my skill level and capabilities. I was officially stuck.

Nevertheless in this proof-of-work demonstrative photograph, you can see that the lock has in fact been opened. As a hacker, I had to solve my problem despite being personally incapable of doing so for myself. What did I do?

I went out for a jog on Monday, after sitting and contemplating all day Sun-Day, and made it down to Don’s Keyway in Fort Collins, my local neighborhood locksmith. I did not have to pay a dime to have the gentleman working there assist me with my problem, I just utilized some simple HUMINT skills to genuinely express interest in the craft and inquire why I had been stumped.

RESULT: Not only did I succeed in solving the original problem of opening the old lock, but I met a professional locksmith who was kind enough to answer questions which explained to me what I had been doing incorrectly and a better way to approach a similar problem in the future. I even got to see the tool used to open the lock and now know that warded padlocks are quite different than modern pinned locks. I was also inspired to jog down there which doubled the function of my sojourn into a chance for healthy exercise, and I was inspired to know that was seemed impossible to me took only thirty seconds for someone with more experience to accomplish.

You might ask yourself  “Why did I just read this article? It’s not even about hacking!” But let me tell you as a security researcher and business owner, and someone who has come into contact with the intelligence apparatus and defense contractors, with deep cover experience and lots of fieldcraft expertise, this is precisely how you learn to hack (even computers!). Sometimes the tool you think you need to do a DDoS can’t put out enough juice, or maybe the script you ran last week for some reason isn’t working this time, maybe that link you clicked was a spear phish and now you’ve got a JAVA rootkit on your box. . .

Trust me the way is straight and narrow is the gate. The obstacles are many and they will increasingly thwart your operational progress. This is when the script kiddie n00bs who ask me on Facebook “How do I hack?” will crumble and falter. If you want to hack, you have to solve your problem and it may or may not have anything to do with the computer, the Kali Linux terminal—you may have to use a trick.

Parallel Computing VS Cloud In Security Deployment

This article is written by our lead technical consultant, Brian Taylor of Always In Tao.

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Imagine for a moment you keying up a serious computer with real muscle. One of those fancy $40,000 Puget Systems jobs. You login to a server and see a distributed network waiting for a command, everything is pristine, a controller GUI – no even better a CLI list in front of you shows which resources on which machine are just waiting for your command. Now of course the question becomes, “Which process on which machine do you actually need to do what?” If what you needed was to solve a massive resource issue, you might need to break it into components and let the machine solve it in Parallels.

Clustered Nodes

Parallel computing is mostly this kind of computing, 200 machines being controlled from one terminal. You don’t need a $40,000 computer to do anything like that. You just need an interface that has the ability to issue commands across the networks of clustered machines and spit out solutions in assembly ready chunks. Not much practical purpose to that sort of thing at home, but maybe at work.

Clustered Nodes As A Cloud

Similar scenario, except a different problem altogether. You key into your $40,000 Puget, login and are faced with a readout of available resources slipping into and out of a variety of systems already in use. You notice that a central storage area has access to hundreds of Petabytes of space which isn’t filling up very rapidly. You decide to try to solve the same resource issue and the machine files it in the cue for the next go around with processing.

What Differences Do You Spot?

The number of users may seem obvious, but multiple users can make use of Parallels on distributed networks. The resource allotment cue is different, the process of getting at storage is perhaps somewhat different, and most certainly the functionality is different. You can use a cloud system as though it were a massive computer, multiple users can access the same files, generally at the same time. That means that is someone in Bolivia is watching the Matrix in their native language, you can still watch it in yours at the same time. What parallel computing does is more akin to staying on task with as much power as possible, where clouds generally distribute power in calculated shares on a per user basis.

Can The Same Hardware Do Both?

Yes – at a cost. There are configurations of cluster systems possible that make use of virtualization in ways that enable a wider assortment of user experiences and in some cases can perhaps integrate them well enough on a user basis somewhat smaller than a system dedicated to just one configuration or another. VDI’s on distributed networks is a system as a service and in fact can be utilized for cloud desktop systems. Some systems exist which offer a degree of security that can be incorporated into your infrastructure without the same hassle as some of the other VDI’s on offer.

What Can This Do For Your Business

It can enable your business to make use of security technology in more compliant ways. A dog groomer might not need this technology, but a successful one who has a franchise under their management almost certainly does. It may be possible to individually secure a network for everyone who has a professional IT team at their disposal, but even then it’s rare. Compliance with security protocols across large systems is akin to locking the backdoor at night. A smart business does it, and a foolish business never does. If you are interested in discussing this technology I can recommend you contact BriqHausLtd. Tell them “Always In Tao” sent you, to get a free consultation and ask how it could help your organization.