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Tom Kraz IT & CTF 101

There are old admins and there are bold admins, but there are no old bold admins. Learn about IT from a not so old and not so bold Linux and Security Admin.

Old Unix Admin

Who am I!

Many moons ago I got hooked on Linux. It started off as a hobby but it grew to a passion. Although I really wanted to work in Linux my first Job in IT in Ireland was a junior system admin for Tru64. In Ireland at the time, options for jobs in Linux were rare and I had zero experience so couldn’t pick and choose what I liked. So I grabbed the first thing I could get. And I was happy (mostly).

Now all these moons later I am still in love with the technology and working in a role in Data-Center, technology. I don’t forget my tru64 days, I learned a lot and it was a great beginning for me. I found it was easier to switch from Unix to Linux than the other way round.

Along the way somewhere I discovered that along with Linux , that Security comes almost hand in hand. While creating Automatic installers for large environment I was also preparing hardened images that were CIS compliant. This was interesting but I felt that I didn’t have an idea of the other side, what the hackers were doing. It bothered me that I was building up hardened secure environments but I didn’t really know the approaches that hackers would take to break into my environment. Tools of the Hacking Trade and Social Engineering was unfamiliar topics to me. So I decided to take action, that I would learn the ways of the wiley hacker. And so my real journey into IT Security had began.

One of the things I found was there was a lot of repetition in the processes used to teach people these skills. For example; Lesson 1. Learn to use Linux, lesson 2. learn to use nmap, lesson 3. exploit. I had a lot of knowledge in these tools already and didn’t want to start from scratch. It was around this time I discovered “Capture the Flag events”. Suddenly my eyes were open. I always was a big fan of learning by doing, and here was a great way to get the knowledge I was looking for.

I found blogs a plenty on the internet with write-ups on how to complete a lot of these types of challenges, but very few of them really explaining it in a level of detail that I would liked. So I decided to give it a go myself. I will not just do another write-up blog but I will also learn and write the deep insights into Doing these types of Challenges and why we are loving them. So for me it will be an exercise in “Learning by Teaching” and I hope all of your reading this, will also learn from me and yourselves in the process.

Looking Forward to the Road Ahead,

Tom Kraz,

P.S. Welcome to my blog.