Saturday, July 13, 2019

Cultivating Infosec Knowledge

I often get asked through both work and social media channels how and where do I obtain all of the Information Security knowledge that I routinely share. So I though I would share my own personal workflow for how I cultivate Infosec knowledge and others can use what I'll describe in this blog post as a framework to build their own. I should point out that my workflow is dependent upon using a Linux distro that supports specific packages such as Weechat. If you are primarily a Windows user, you may need to make some adjustments

I often get asked through both work and social media channels how and where do I obtain all of the Information Security knowledge that I routinely share. So I though I would share my own personal workflow for how I cultivate Infosec knowledge and others can use what I'll describe in this blog post as a framework to build their own. I should point out that my workflow is dependent upon using a Linux distro that supports specific packages such as Weechat. If you are primarily a Windows user, you may need to make some adjustments such as start using Ubuntu.

Step 1: Twitter
By far the best source for cultivating knowledge is Twitter. First there are tons of Information Security professionals from pretty much every domain of knowledge within Infosec. This involves of course obtaining an account(make sure you leverage 2FA) and following users who specialize in the area that your interested in. Another great feature are 'Lists'. These are groups of Twitter users for a specific area. This one is a good start: https://twitter.com/DanielMiessler/lists/infosec. So got get yourself an account if don't have one and start searching using hashtags such as #cybersecurity or #infosec.

Step 2: IRC Client That Logs Locally
You may be asking what is IRC and why do I need an IRC client to cultivate Infosec knowledge? This will become obvious as this post progresses, but IRC was an Internet standard draft created 20+ years ago to create a real-time chat network. The reason you want a modern IRC client that supports logging locally is that there is an IRC gateway called Bitlbee that enables you to integrate with Twitter and the like into the IRC client, which enables you to log all of that content for later reference and searching.
I personally use Weechat due to all of the plugins available for it and being able to leave it running 24X7 in a Tmux session. Think of Tmux as a means of running persistent terminal sessions.

Step 3: Bitlbee
As mentioned earlier Bitlbee is an IRC gateway that acts as a relay between your IRC client and the platforms it supports such as Twitter and Facebook. For my purposes the Twitter integration is key, because it basically turns your IRC client into a Twitter client and most importantly your Twitter timeline is logged locally as long as you have it running. This is where Tmux comes in so even if you log out your sessions are still running. This becomes advantageous when you want to pull out a bunch of links or content, all you have to do is grep through your Bitlbee Twitter logs.

Step 4: Slack & WeeSlack
Slack is a modern attempt to displace IRC utilizing web based API's and pretty looking integrations such as emoji's and integrations with a large number of automation technologies such as Splunk and devops apps. There is one Slack channel that has LOTS of Infosec peeps on it and it's called Brakesec and is run by Bryan Brake. Follow him and send him a Tweet asking for access.
I use a very cool Weechat plugin called, WeeSlack that integrates with WeeChat and gives you the same great benefits that Bitlbee does with Twitter. WeeChat is turned into a full blown Slack client with logging.

Conclusion

With this setup I have a perpetual feedback loop that stores everything locally for referencing when ever you need to and with the content in plain text files you can query and extract it however you want.

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