Lifestyle

I live in Canada and have been telecommuting since January 2011. I will never relocate. I rarely travel, usually once per year for a company's all-hands meeting, and have no interest in changing that. I have three small children, and avoid working beyond ~40 hours a week. People seem to like me and find me useful, despite these things.

Work Experience

SecurityScorecard

Principal Threat Researcher

May 2017 – February 2021

  • Write programs to scan the entire Internet for vulnerable or misconfigured hardware and software.
  • Collect and aggregate data for feeding into the company's data processing engine.
  • Wrote and maintain roughly half of the company's data parsing and issue generation logic.
  • Bulletproof processes, code, and continuous integration to ensure all the problems I cause only happen once.
  • Strategically break things to prove that they're unsafe.
  • Occasionally shout "BIG DATA" while making jazz hands.

Online Business Systems Inc.

Senior Security Consultant, Technical Lead

March 2015 – May 2017

  • Performed penetration tests and code audits of desktop, mobile, and web applications.
  • Acted as an advisor to clients with security-related questions.
  • Assisted with writing statements of work and RFP responses.
  • Designed and (remotely) built on-premises customer scanning infrastructure so I never had to travel.
  • Uploaded truly impressive numbers of custom emoji to the corporate Slack team.

Leviathan Security Group Inc.

Security Consultant

March 2014 – February 2015

  • Performed code audits and penetration tests.
  • Developed training to help organizations meet their security goals.

Tenable Network Security Inc., Reverse Engineering Dept.

Senior Reverse Engineer, Technical Lead

August 2012 – February 2014

  • Reviewed code from my team, prior to submission to Quality Assurance.
  • Participated in interviews and assisted in hiring decisions.
  • Wrote and maintained NASL protocol libraries, including ACAP, IPMI, JSON, NNTP, SSH, SSL/TLS, and X.509.
  • Researched vulnerabilities, applications, and protocols and wrote detection/enumeration/vulnerability plugins.
  • Gave presentations on the use of tools to improve our work.
  • Wrote a static analysis framework to lower defect rate and maintain consistency across 60,000 plugins.
  • Occasionally dove into the Nessus engine to add language features my team needed.

Tenable Network Security Inc., Nessus Plugins Dept.

Research Engineer

January 2011 – July 2012

  • Wrote hundreds of Nessus plugins, partially listed here.
  • Overhauled the entire SSL, TLS, and X.509 subsystems.
  • Added support to the SSH library for certificate-based login.
  • Designed and implemented a new workflow to transition the department from email-based code review and patch submission to using Git and an issue tracker.

Telenium Inc.

Programmer

June 2009 – December 2010

  • Wrote plugins for Asterisk that perform real-time Fourier analysis for checking phone lines against milliwatt test lines.
  • Ported OpenSSH to QNX, creating an emulated 64-bit integer library to work around an ancient C89 compiler.
  • Uncovered a local exploit that allowed users to cause a kernel panic QNX 4.
  • Wrote a render manager in Python to spread map tile generation across multiple servers.
  • Reimplemented an OCX program as a single-page web application in JavaScript.
  • Researched and deployed USB smart cards for login to Cisco ASAs, Apache websites, and servers running SSH.
  • Convinced organization to start managing configuration and source code by storing it in a centralized, versioned repository.

Telenium Inc.

Programmer

May 2008 – August 2008 [Co-op Workterm #3]

  • Updated a compiler and runtime for a proprietary scripting language — created circa 1985 and mostly left to rot until 2008 — to adhere to modern coding standards including using consistent code formatting, unit testing, version control, and instituted reproducible builds.
  • Created several new constructs for the scripting language that offered an interface to speech recognition libraries for interactive voice response (automated telephone) applications.
  • Ported the compiler and runtime to an embedded device built atop a PowerPC core.
  • Wrote a unit testing framework that emulates the scripter's current environment — Asterisk's AGI interface — to ensure that language constructs operated as expected in a variety of situations.
  • Designed and implemented PostgreSQL stored procedures to be used on a geographic information system (GIS) for provincial road condition reporting services.

Government of Manitoba, Information Protection Centre

Security Analyst

August 2007 – January 2008 [Co-op Workterm #2]

Seccuris Inc., Labs Dept.

Application Developer

January 2007 – April 2007 [Co-op Workterm #1]

  • Added scoping and regular expression support to BSMTrace, a host-based intrusion detection system designed to minimize false positives.
  • Benchmarked alternate memory models for high-speed packet capture in FreeBSD.
  • Experimented with different synchronization methods for minimizing overhead in the FreeBSD kernel's audit framework.
  • Developed a reporting system that created Atom feeds from the logs of intrusion detection sensors at multiple sites, aggregating them to provide reports on malicious and suspicious network traffic.
  • Assisted in the design and programming of BSDSVC, a service manager for Unix systems.

Best Buy Canada, TechZONE Dept.

Customer Educator

September 2003 – March 2004

  • Spent two weeks training to give classes teaching customers how to operate consumer electronics.
  • Learned the importance of metaphors, reframing discussions, rephrasing explanations, and talking in the student's own language.
  • Taught several scheduled classes every week.
  • Offered impromptu explanations and demonstrations as necessary to assist customers.
  • Discovered that I am not well-suited for a career in sales.

Education

University of Manitoba

  • Received a Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Computer Science.
    • Graduated with distinction.
    • Completed requirements for the Networks and Security Specialization.
    • Completed requirements for the Computer Systems Specialization.
    • Received the University Program Medal for the Highest Standing in the Science Major Degree Program.
  • Received a Master's of Science, in Computer Science.

Teaching Experience

SSL Troubleshooting with Wireshark

Sharkfest

June 2013

  • Was asked to design and teach a full-day workshop with two weeks notice.
  • Did a trial run at SkullSpace, and again at the conference.
  • Covered the basics of asymmetric and symmetric cryptography, hashing, and signing. Detailed the structure, contents, and sequence of SSL packets.

Forth Introductory Talk

SkullSpace

May 2013

  • Introduced stack-based languages using Forth as an example.

C Course

SkullSpace

March 2012 – May 2012

  • Taught students with varying experience how to program in C.

Lua Course

SkullSpace

August 2011 – February 2012

  • Taught students with no programming experience how to program in Lua.

Nmap NSE Introductory Talk

Code Camp

February 2011

  • Explained the basics of the Nmap Scripting Engine, and how to write Lua scripts for it.

Organizations

SkullSpace

Co-founder

December 2010 – Present

  • Co-founded Winnipeg's first and only hackerspace with two friends.
  • Went to various events around town and talked up the concept of a hackerspace.
  • Served as a Director at the start, and temporarily in times of crisis.
  • SkullSpace currently holds the title of Canada's largest hackerspace.

The Long Con

Co-founder

July 2012 – Present

Papers We Love Winnipeg

Co-founder

January 2015 – Present

Programming Experience

Known Languages

With a weekend to prepare, I can program (poorly) in just about any language. Languages of which I have a working knowledge are those in which I have completed significant projects, or about which I have read several books. Languages of which I have a basic knowledge are those in which I have written only small projects.
  • Working knowledge of: Assembly (x86), C, C++, Forth, Go, Groovy, Java, JavaScript, Lisp (Common, Emacs), Lua, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, SQL, Unix Shell, VHDL
  • Basic knowledge of: Assembly (M68K, MOS 6502, SPARC), Erlang, FP, Haskell, Prolog, Scala

Open Source Contributions

  • BSMtrace: Added PCRE support.
  • Nmap: Wrote a handful of NSE scripts.
  • DNSrecon: Rewrote the NSEC zone walker algorithm.
  • XMLSEC: Added support for all the algorithms required by SCAP.
  • Libnasl: Wrote a Ruby parser for the NASL programming language.
  • Pedant: Wrote a static analysis framework in Ruby.
References available upon request.