I'm not sure Pearson Education really wants this question answered. In any event, I was born 11/24/1964 at 12:01 a.m. in NYC (I'm an old man, in other words), and like Forrest Gump, "I've worn a lot of shoes."
How did you gain interest in computer security?
I'd like to report that I was a crusader (like so many of the more committed hackers out there), but that would be a lie. My original interest was purely monetary, and focused on a comparatively small sector of the business (operating systems used by financial institutions). After I aced that area (and spent a few years exploiting the same, and a few more on vacation with the government), I went into healthcare processing. There, I really got into it. At one firm I worked, a billing manager operating under a false identity disappeared, leaving behind a Novell network and accompanying billing system, but no passwords. The professional staff of that hospital got increasingly concerned about not being able to bill for their services, and thus, hired me to break into the network and crack the billing software. (That was an interesting job, too, as the software used extraordinarily archaic security routines, and worse, assembled data screens on-the-fly from DBASE sources that were "parted-out" so tough, no one could conceivably extricate the data except using screen capture utilities, like WP's old "grab.exe." Talk about job security! Following that, I received an endless number of contracts to do the same (or substantially the same) thing for just about every sector you can imagine. Some of those jobs, I add here, were truly bizarre. You cannot imagine - or perhaps you can - what types of people "lose" or "need" data. For many years, that was my function in life - other than enjoying it, of course.
Why did you choose to hide your identity and sign your books as Anonymous? Why the secrecy?
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