being an autistic and studying infoSec
#11
I consider myself on the autistic spectrum, though certainly not anywhere near a designation of 'non-functional'. People generally perceive me as 'normal', but I struggle to form relationships and make friends - partly because people don't realise from the start that I am different and don't automatically adjust their expectations.

I generally atribute my problem solving skills and memory retention with being autistic. I don't have a photographic memory, but I seem to retain information and pick up small data points much more effectively than my colleagues.

The biggest problem with being autistic in the security industry is that I lose my focus very easily, and work passionately on a project until I become bored, and then look for the next thing to interest me. It's very difficult to finish anything.

I also struggle with dabbling into the black hat world - not out of financial interest, just because of the challenge. I've been in trouble with the law before and it completely ruins your chances to work in infosec at high levels, but I still have this very strong tendency to be black hat... Perhaps it's a combination of lack of impulse control and a reduced ability to consider the implications for my actions. Not that that should detract from my individual agency, but I definitely believe autism influences me to develop along certain paths.

In any case, I have found it a considerable asset for studying and researching infosec. Providing I stay interested, it gives me a strong competitive edge, but comes with some disadvantages I need to keep in check. Hope that's helpful!
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#12
(03-19-2018, 01:37 PM)EnigmaCookie Wrote: I consider myself on the autistic spectrum, though certainly not anywhere near a designation of 'non-functional'. People generally perceive me as 'normal', but I struggle to form relationships and make friends - partly because people don't realise from the start that I am different and don't automatically adjust their expectations.

I generally atribute my problem solving skills and memory retention with being autistic. I don't have a photographic memory, but I seem to retain information and pick up small data points much more effectively than my colleagues.

The biggest problem with being autistic in the security industry is that I lose my focus very easily, and work passionately on a project until I become bored, and then look for the next thing to interest me. It's very difficult to finish anything.

I also struggle with dabbling into the black hat world. It naturally suits my thought processes, and it is also something I can focus on passionately until I either become bored and stop or successfully complete a hack. I've been in trouble with the law before and it completely ruins your chances to work in infosec at high levels, but I still have this very strong tendency to be black hat... Perhaps it's a combination of lack of impulse control and a reduced ability to consider the implications for my actions.

In any case, I have found it a considerable asset for studying and researching infosec. Providing I stay interested, it gives me a strong competitive edge, but comes with some disadvantages I need to keep in check. Hope that's helpful!

I just read this post and the one where you tell your story into infosec...
Stay in the clear side man, hacking for revenge is not usually worth it and as you said it fucks your career.
Use your power for good and everything will be fine ^^
Welcome to the forums by the way!  Tongue
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#13
Quote:I just read this post and the one where you tell your story into infosec...
Stay in the clear side man, hacking for revenge is not usually worth it and as you said it fucks your career.
Use your power for good and everything will be fine ^^
Welcome to the forums by the way!  Tongue

Thanks! I don't do it for revenge, I do it because there's not much else I enjoy so passionately - I just wish I could have the chance to be white hat!

Resources like hackthebox.eu are a great 'patch' whenever I get the impulse to be black hat though!
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#14
(03-20-2018, 09:57 AM)EnigmaCookie Wrote:
Quote:I just read this post and the one where you tell your story into infosec...
Stay in the clear side man, hacking for revenge is not usually worth it and as you said it fucks your career.
Use your power for good and everything will be fine ^^
Welcome to the forums by the way!  Tongue

Thanks! I don't do it for revenge, I do it because there's not much else I enjoy so passionately - I just wish I could have the chance to be white hat!

Resources like hackthebox.eu are a great 'patch' whenever I get the impulse to be black hat though!

Thanks for the advice. So for autistic people, is hacking an addiction?
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#15
Quote:Thanks for the advice. So for autistic people, is hacking an addiction?

I certainly have addictive tendancies, and they apply to hacking (and a lot of other areas in my life) - and I believe they is rooted in my autism; but whether that's true for all autistic people, I'm not certain.

I am pretty sure anything can be addiction under the right set of circumstances, even for non-autistic people.
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#16
(03-20-2018, 09:49 AM)enmafia2 Wrote:
(03-19-2018, 01:37 PM)EnigmaCookie Wrote: I consider myself on the autistic spectrum, though certainly not anywhere near a designation of 'non-functional'. People generally perceive me as 'normal', but I struggle to form relationships and make friends - partly because people don't realise from the start that I am different and don't automatically adjust their expectations.

I generally atribute my problem solving skills and memory retention with being autistic. I don't have a photographic memory, but I seem to retain information and pick up small data points much more effectively than my colleagues.

The biggest problem with being autistic in the security industry is that I lose my focus very easily, and work passionately on a project until I become bored, and then look for the next thing to interest me. It's very difficult to finish anything.

I also struggle with dabbling into the black hat world. It naturally suits my thought processes, and it is also something I can focus on passionately until I either become bored and stop or successfully complete a hack. I've been in trouble with the law before and it completely ruins your chances to work in infosec at high levels, but I still have this very strong tendency to be black hat... Perhaps it's a combination of lack of impulse control and a reduced ability to consider the implications for my actions.

In any case, I have found it a considerable asset for studying and researching infosec. Providing I stay interested, it gives me a strong competitive edge, but comes with some disadvantages I need to keep in check. Hope that's helpful!

I just read this post and the one where you tell your story into infosec...
Stay in the clear side man, hacking for revenge is not usually worth it and as you said it fucks your career.
Use your power for good and everything will be fine ^^
Welcome to the forums by the way!  Tongue

Definitely agree there... if there is a tendancy to be black hat as opposed to white or grey in terms of infosec, consider ethical hacking, or pentesting.  It offers you the opportunity to apply your thought processes as an attacker while staying on the right side of the law.

(03-21-2018, 01:31 AM)fogbright Wrote:
(03-20-2018, 09:57 AM)EnigmaCookie Wrote:
Quote:I just read this post and the one where you tell your story into infosec...
Stay in the clear side man, hacking for revenge is not usually worth it and as you said it fucks your career.
Use your power for good and everything will be fine ^^
Welcome to the forums by the way!  Tongue

Thanks! I don't do it for revenge, I do it because there's not much else I enjoy so passionately - I just wish I could have the chance to be white hat!

Resources like hackthebox.eu are a great 'patch' whenever I get the impulse to be black hat though!

Thanks for the advice. So for autistic people, is hacking an addiction?

I think not so much hacking but fascination with how things work perhaps can be addictive, and maybe challenges of any kind for some yes, while people not labeled as ASD may give up after a "reasonable amount of time" for some on the spectrum this can become an obsession with solving a given problem becomes an addiction at times but certainly it can apply to anyone who's passionate about something not just someone with an ASD.
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#17
Quote:I think not so much hacking but fascination with how things work perhaps can be addictive, and maybe challenges of any kind for some yes, while people not labeled as ASD may give up after a "reasonable amount of time" for some on the spectrum this can become an obsession with solving a given problem becomes an addiction at times but certainly it can apply to anyone who's passionate about something not just someone with an ASD.

That's an interesting point actually because when I have a problem or a challenge I never get bored with it, and will literally stay up all night for days obsessing over it - for example, a code function that isn't working right, or where a vulnerability exists but something weird (sometimes a silent WAF or IPS) is stopping me from exploiting it, or even something silly like an electronics problem I'm doing for fun. I never stop until I solve it, and in the past this has taken months. Normally if it takes that long I spend less and less time on it every day, but it's always at the forefront of my mind and it get physically annoyed if I'm not working towards resolving it!

Once I solved a problem, then I generally get bored after a while, even if I was very enthusiastic about the project as a whole to begin with.
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#18
I found an article that might be worth a read here. I only skimmed it but one particular quote of interest is as follows:

Quote:[...] a number of jobs and industries that could be great fits for [autistic people]—including IT and cybersecurity—are facing talent shortages.

So there you go; it even specifically mentions cybersecurity Smile
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