Monthly, 07/23

Look ma, I managed to release this post early!

  • I already spoiled it in last months post, but yes, I’m now legally permitted to call myself a cErTiFiEd iNtElLiGeNcE PrAcTiTiOnEr. Now on to mention and include this wherever remotely possible.

    Jokes aside, I did indeed pass the final exam of that certification. I have attended quite a few trainings and courses throughout these past couple of years, including ones from the expensive, big names (It’s SANS. It’s always SANS.). And while it might sound like hyperbole, this was one of, if not the, best courses I did.

    The only criticism I can come up with is that for some reason, the course authors do not seem to have bothered with checking the spelling and grammar of the texts and slides all that much, because there are some blatantly obvious errors of that kind in the material.

    Other than that the material is excellent, it’s not highly theoretical, instead combining theoretical knowledge and explanations & examples of practical applicability. The regular assessments at the end of each chapter are actually meaningful. With a few exceptions there aren’t any multiple choice quizzes, instead you have to write small intelligence assessments that directly put what you learned about in the previous chapter to good use.

    Paired with the reasonable price of around 600 bucks (which is still a lot of money, I agree, but peanuts when you compare it to what some other vendors out there ask for) it’s a training that I’ll try to force on as many of my junior coworkers as I can from now on.

  • For some reason I was able to get more training budget out of my boss. Michael Bazzell is somewhat of a household name in the field of OSINT, his book “OSINT Techniques” was the first contact I had with the topic. So I’d say that taking the training for “Open Source Intelligence Professional” a decade later is only fitting.

    The training material is much more vast than my previous choice of training, with the transcribed notes of the course author being around 1000 pages, so I’m guessing I will be working on this for a while.

  • I got around to deleting my Mastodon-account. I haven’t logged in since last winter, and I wasn’t missing it. And I genuinely don’t feel like I’m missing out on things, neither content nor personal interactions with other people. I’m open for this to eventually change, and with the rise of the Fediverse there are now - luckily - plentiful alternatives to Twitter. But, for the time being, one less account in my password-safe. Deleting the account also made me realize that Yubikeys are very limited in the amount of TOTP-tokens they can store, with 32 tokens in total.

    Maybe I should finally separate personal and professional accounts into separate physical tokens. But that would be another thing I would have to carry around. I’ll see about that .. which is code for “I’ll probably forget about it in a matter of days”

  • I wrote a blog post that isn’t the monthly journal for once. I’m hoping to get into a rhythm of writing more. Not necessarily with the goal of producing regular output, or hitting certain, entirely imaginary performance goals. But I loathe the fact that almost all of the time I think about or start writing a post, I end up questioning myself, thinking that what I could come up with isn’t

As for the opposite of writing, I managed to read the following throughout last month:

  • “One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps” by Andrea Pitzer; on a technical level, the way it was written, this was an engaging, enjoyable read. If we’re talking about the content, this was (as I expected when I bought it a few months ago) depressing. Humans are good at a lot of things, but especially at two - one being mean to each other, the other being “really not learning from history”.

  • “Salvation’s Reach”, “The Warmaster”, “The Anarch” by Dan Abnett - “Gaunt’s Ghosts” have been a staple in my life since I was a kid, comfort literature I came back to every few months. But for whatever reason I had never read the last three parts, a fact I decided to change in July.

    The books were as you’d expect them to be, as something written by Dan Abnett, excellent. The only criticism I could lever is that the end of “The Anarch” felt a bit rushed, and one particular plot point was a bit much, even though this “tad bit much” was well executed.

    Because I am too lazy to add a few snippets of CSS to enable <spoiler>-tags, I’ll not go into details about the plot. All I’m going to say here is: Jesus christ, fuck you Dan. That hurt.

I pretty much continued to listen to the same albums as last month, with one addition: usedcvnt - ultraviolet - I’ll never be able to distinguish between D’n’B, Breakcore and the various other sub-genres of eletronic music influenced by techno and industrial, but whatever this is in the end, it’s 🔥.