Lectures on Information Security

René Pfeiffer/ July 1, 2020/ Discussion, High Entropy/ 0 comments

It’s time for an editorial to end our premature Covid-19 induced Summer break. We (as in the staff behind DeepSec/DeepINTEL) were busy with projects, preparations, following the news about the pandemic, and collecting information for our event(s) in November. Personally I have been involved in teaching for decades. The past months have shifted the focus heavily on virtual presences in the form of teleconferences. Keeping hundreds of students busy while explaining how operating systems work and how secure code looks tends to take up some of your time. Good network connections and decent hardware helped a lot, but there are a couple of problems with conveying content, concepts, and ideas. Let me show you what I mean. Getting good tutorials is hard. The new agile way of computer science is to ditch good documentation

Read More

Thoughts on the Information Security Skill Set

René Pfeiffer/ July 13, 2018/ Discussion, Security

As mentioned in an earlier blog article we moved our office infrastructure to a new location. Once you use a space for more than a decade things inevitably pile up. So I had to sort through hardware, software (on optical storage hardware and floppy disks), lecture notes from a previous life, ancient project documentation, and notes on ideas for a brighter future. Most things were thrown away (i.e. responsibly recycled), some stuff could be saved by enthusiasts (for example the two old Amigas that were sitting in the basement). All of the things we had to move had a purpose once. The main purpose was to get familiar with technology, accumulate knowledge, and understand how things work. This is essentially the hacker mindset, also found among scientists. Given the many presentations at past DeepSec

Read More

Unicorns in the Wild – Information Security Skills and how to achieve them

René Pfeiffer/ July 27, 2017/ Discussion, High Entropy, Security

Everyone talks about information security, countering „cyber“ threats, endless feats of hackers gone wrong/wild, and more epic stories. Once you have realised that you are reading the news and not a script for a TV series, you are left with one question: What are information security skills? The next question will probably be: How do you train to be „information secure“? Let’s take a look at possible answers. First of all, yes, you can study information security or security-related topics. Universities, schools, and companies offer lectures, training, exercises, etc. Great. However it may not help you right away. We talked with top quality head hunters from a nameless big corporation. When they look for infosec specialists, they filter for anyone having worked in three different fields related to computer science (applied or otherwise) for

Read More

The Didactic Side of Information Security

René Pfeiffer/ May 18, 2016/ Discussion, High Entropy

Explaining complicated topics with a lot of dependencies is hard. Even the operation of devices such as computers, telephones, or cloud(ed) applications can’t be described in a few sentences. Well, you can, if you use the tried and true lie-to-children method coined by Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart. If you really want to dive into a subject, you need a good start and a tour guide who knows where the terrain gets rough and helps you through it. Information technology and its security is hard to learn. The basics are surprisingly simple. Once you get to the implementation and the actual parts that need to be touched, it gets a lot more complicated. Modern IT combines various technologies, most taken from computer science, others taken from other fields of research. The starting point defines

Read More