BSides Idaho Falls – Day 2

The second annual BSides Idaho Falls conference is now done and it was great! There were many things to do but I kept things relatively low key in comparison to yesterday. Nevertheless, I got a lot out of this conference and once again it had me thinking of my next steps going forward in my career in cyber security.

Most of my time today was dedicated to the Tinkerer’s Village to learn more about my badge. Since the badge is a circuit board with LED lights, a resistor and a microprocessor, I just added one extra resistor to the circuit board to produce different colors than what the badge originally came as. This was nice but I was not quite satisfied. My badge periodically flashed red which indicated that an error had been tripped. That was no fun. Also, I wanted to get access to the microprocessor to tweak the coding. I’ve learned that the best way to do this as a beginner is to connect the badge to an arduino board and tweak it from there. I have some research to do once I am home again.

In second place for where I spent most of my time goes to the Career Village. As someone who feels that everything sounds interesting, it was good to get some grounding and a sense of direction. I learned about resume writing, a bit about self-marketing, and really got a sense of what I can bring to the community at large. Learning about these things were not new. If you have ever been to a class about resume building or mock interviews, you have probably experienced these lessons as well. What made the lessons from today different for me is that they were specifically designed for people in cyber security. This changed how I would talk about myself and how I present my job history. These are skills that people in the industry (IT/CyberSec) should have.

In third place, the memory forensics seminar. Thanks to my time trying out digital forensics in the past, I had some exposure to memory forensics though I had never delved into it. This seminar introduced tools like Volatility, DumpIt, RedLine, and LiME. I also learned concepts specific to memory forensics. A good example is that memory from a peripheral device gets mapped to the system memory address space. If I remember correctly, system memory address space is notwhat software programs load into to run because that address space is used by the OS and messing with it could cause the machine to crash. Instead, programs use a virtual address space where it thinks it loads at slot number 0 when in reality it is loading at some completely different slot nnumber in actual memory. It seems a peripheral makes it more difficult to capture data from memory. It was a good lecture to attend!

By the end of the conference, I began networking (another soft skill worth knowing) and gained a new mentor: my instructor from the cloud forensics seminar! Having a mentor feels as if it will boost my career and give me more opportunity to contribute back and help others. Speaking of which, networking also gives me chances to help others, collaborate, and learn. Networking is not a trait I naturally have but developing it has been a big boon. Technical people need connections too!

One last major thing happened that I cannot skip over. Due to my performance as team lead during the CTF (Capture The Flag) challenge yesterday, I received a challenge coin! It is the first time I received one and it was unexpected! Now I feel I have to get even better in this field.

I likely have more to say about my thoughts on my experience at the conference but it is getting late and I am saving all of my final thoughts for the next blog post. Stay tuned!