IamA Father, Vietnam War Veteran, and Pearl Harbor Survivor in the beginning stages of Dementia, AMA
May 23rd 2017 by yaboiauggieg • 75 Questions • 209 Points
Hello all! I got a lot of requests for an AMA in a recent post I made, so here it is! Here's the basic story, when I was about 5 years old my parents, 2 doctors, decided they wanted to sail offshore. So, they took lessons, bought a boat, and we took off! We lived on the boat for several years, sailing along the West Coast, until through some unfortunate events the boat sank out at sea. Feel free to ask any and all questions, and I will do my best to answer! Since a lot of it is from memory, it may be slightly off in timeframe, so forgive me.
https://imgur.com/XkAulos Here's a photo of our second boat, Ra, for proof.
Edit* Ok everyone, thank you so much for the questions! I have to take a break now, my fingers are getting sore! I appreciate all of your questions and comments.
Never stop exploring!
Gold?! Why thank you kind stranger! You made my day :D
What's the worst technical detail of the A320 in your opinion? What would you improve in that plane?
When you get stuck during a math problem, what are some of your tips for getting un-stuck? Also, how do you get yourself excited to do math? Sometimes, it's hard to start, but once you get going with a problem, it can be fun! Have you ever felt that you weren't as good as some of your math heros?
As an adult now, would you do it again? Alone? With your parents? Your own family? What would you different?
No. They probably took one look at all the shitposting and memes in my twitter feed and were like "naaaah".
It uses bleed air, or air drawn from the engines, for air conditioning/pressurisation.
I occasionally get a whiff of JET A1 fuel when we're starting the engines.
I'd prefer an electric air bleed system like the 787 has.
Forget everything you tried and start over.
Untangling a knot is more difficult than tying a new one.
Good question, now I probably wouldn't but i'm not really sure. I guess I would have to see what my child would be like and for that matter whoever I marry in the future. Not everyone can do boat life, and I wouldn't want to press that on my family. Alone, no way in hell, too dangerous and lonely. I'm a social guy, I wouldn't be able to handle it I don't think.
First of all - you have the thanks of many! I'm sure it's been a whirlwind of publicity and lack of privacy since you assisted with the WCRY takedown. Despite the hassles, what is the best thing that you've taken away from this experience?
Have you ever seen anything strange or unusual while flying at altitude?
Hi! Thank you for this AMA--my father was a student at school 57 until 1991, when he came to the United States. I heard from him that you helped Jewish students who were unjustly rejected from Moscow University. Do you think there was a lot of anti-Semitism in the Russian education system, and is there still anti-Semitism today?
now I probably wouldn't
Just wait until you hit adult life and the alternative is sliding papers around your desk for 30 years.
I've always wanted to do educational videos and possibly conference talks, but until i got dragged out into the spotlight I wasn't confident enough to make the leap from being anonymous. Now that my identity has become public, I feel more confident to give it a go as it's a much smaller jump to make.
Flying over Portugal at night. Hundreds of flashing white lights, spanning miles and miles. It was like being in a stadium with thousands of camera flashes going off. I was completely transfixed, the other guy was completely not bothered.
Turns out Portugal has lots of wind turbines, the tops of which have a flashing white light on them.
There certainly was- And I did everything I could to stop it
Thankfully, It is nonexistent today.
Good point. I'm partial to camping, maybe I'll go off the grid out into the woods with my family or something like that.
What's your PC setup specs?
Also, what VM software provide the best isolation for malware testing?
What do you do when you're cruising on a longer flight?
Are you allowed to listen to music when the plane's on autopilot?
Hello, Nikolay Nikolaevich!
I am graduated from your "M" class (school 179) in 2005 and now i am a graduate student in University of Miami. First i wanted to say thank you for your work, without you i wouldn't be here. And i have one question.
Here in US physics in schools is not mandatory and i think this is a big mistake, because it is so important in many sciences. I see how students struggle with it in undergraduate but they have to take it. Therefore, many of them hate it. Do you think that physics should be mandatory in schools? or us system is better?
I'm OPs mom and sailing was so awesome and you were so brace. What was your favorite part of sailing and living out at sea?
CPU: i7 6700k
Ram: 2x 16GB DDR4 3200 Mhz (G.SKILL Ripjaws)
Disk: Samsung 960 PRO
MB: Asus Maximus VIII Hero
GPU: Nvidia GTX Titan X (Pascal)
Monitor: 3x Dell u2715h
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos 2
Not sure about best isolation but I use VMWare Workstation for local VMs and ESXi for remote (VMware fanboy here).
Talk to the other Pilot. Some guys have a newspaper.
Nothing Should be mandatory- just highly recommended
What is you full name? I might remember you!
Can confirm, this is mom! My favorite part was probably living in Mexico, the people were amazing, surfing each day and all that lobster.. oh man the lobster. Can't think of a better time :)
Firstly, massive thanks MT ... were you at work when you found the bug in the code or was it something you thught you'd have a dig into?
Do you like your job?
I was actually on holiday. I made it a grand total of 3 days into my week off before i got sucked back in :)
Whenever we break out through the cloud ceiling and climb away, or conversely when we're in the descent and reach the layer and cloud surf for a bit before dropping through...I can't help but grin. Surfing those clouds at 300 knots is so cool.
What are some good resources or ways to learn about cyber security?
Will there ever be a point in time where the braking right after touchdown doesn't scare the hell out of me?
Nothing Should be mandatory- just highly recommended
Could you elaborate a bit more on this, please? Do you believe that even such important subjects as Math and your primary language (in your case Russian) should be optional? Does it work this way in the schools you founded?
Ugh, you (and your mom ) are so frigging cool. Sorry about your dad being a barnacle though. :/
For cyber security in general I'd honestly say twitter. Find out who the major players are in the part of the security industry you're interested in and follow em. You will learn so much just by reading all the writeups others tweet (you can use google, but twitter you will always know when and where something new is happening).
I'd recommend watching some cockpit landing footage on youtube so you can get a look at what's going on during the landing roll, it might help with any concerns you have.
There should be different schools dedicated to different interests.
You should know the basics of everything, but to go further is your choice
Why thank you! She's pretty damn cool, best mom I could ever ask for.
Like that one where the exaggerated yoke movements at slow speed make the pilot look like he is calmly wrestling a cobra on PCP? Yeah, that'll help.
This is really cool!
Please give Nikolay my sincere thanks for the work he has done throughout his career.
My question: Has your study of mathematics shaped your perception of life and the universe at all? How so? Do you ever think of its implications on a philosophical level?
I thought earlier in a post further up you said she was (deceased)?? Glad she is ok but that did that mean when you wrote it earlier?
look through the list of people i follow on twitter and pick out the ones you think are best.
But he was calm though
Yes, It's pretty difficult to stare at a piece of paper 8 hours a day and to not start wondering about the meaning of life.
On a serious note, I strongly appreciate your interest to my work and I wish you to surpass it!
Sorry, I probably wrote that wrong, I meant my mother's mom was deceased by that time.
if you were to be removed by a foreign power, what would be your favourite and why is it best Korea?
Cheers. My dad was a captain on the A320 back in the day for Northwest. How did you get into flying? Former military or civilian trained?
What do you suggest for someone who wants to learn mathematics but thinks they cannot?
Did the boat sink while you were on it? Did you have to be rescued?
Because glorious leader can speak in 1567 different languages and doesn't need to research because he just knows things from birth.
I hope he enjoys his retirement!
You can! A lot of teaches call children stupid and tell them they have no potential- they become unmotivated and start fearing mathematics. In my school the children have respect for the teachers and the teacher never raises his voice- an environment where studying can exist.
Start by forgetting the " I can't do it " part!
My mom and I were not on the boat, so what happened was that my dad wanted to sail from San Diego to Hawaii. My mom had a bad feeling about it, and wouldn't go, so he decided to solo it. My mom and I flew over while he tried to go solo. Something went wrong and the boat took on water, he had to ditch into a life raft and got rescued 12 hours or so later by a cargo ship. We were stuck in Hawaii for about a year while they worked to make enough to go home.
Do you think pilot should be able to show kids the inside of the cockpit? Because that is my all time great memory of flying and wish they would bring it back.
There is a simple internet game named "QWOP" where the player must make an athlete run by individually "flexing" the thigh and calf muscles using the Q-W-O-P keyboard keys. It has become a bit of a running joke due to how incredibly awkward it is.
Would you care to comment on the game designer's approach to human leg movement?
Example video here:
holy shit that's a story
Yes, but please don't buy me a drink (the more drunk I get the less able I am to say no to a free drink and I usually end up passed out in a hedge somewhere).
Unfortunately we can't do it in the cruise anymore.
I love doing it on the ground.
If we're delayed we like getting all the kids up in a row to come talk to us, their parents love it too as it keeps they busy.
Oh, I've got so many more too but I don't have photo proof for all of them unfortunately. Ran with the bulls in Spain at 15, climbed a mountain (I do have a pic of that one), got my scuba license as a kid and went scuba diving in Panama, checked out Morocco... So many adventures.
What has been the oddest corporate offering you've been given. I spotted the free t-shirts and pizzas, anything else ?
Hey! Thanks for doing this. I'm an instrument pilot myself working on a commercial license. Sometimes after a long day of training I feel like I never want to get in a plane again. What did you do throughout training to keep pushing yourself through?
Join us over at /r/flying if you haven't already.
How would you suggest someone learn all of the fields of mathematics? How can someone be like Poncair and master all of the current mathematics?
I am a student who is immensely passionate about learning mathematics. I want to learn everything from combinatorics to sets to higher level differentials to advanced algebra to even physics applications such as quantum physics.
So far I have taken calculus 1 and calculus 2. Next year I will take linear algebra with differential equations. After that I will take multivariable calculus.
How should I proceed to real analysis and higher level math classes?
Sounds like you missed out on a lot of childhood things but also lived a fun and adventurous childhood!
I think free pizzas was probably the weirdest, though I did get offered my own radio show which was interesting.
I know the feeling chief.
I would be so down when I messed a lesson up. Pilots are predominately Type A personalities (So I'm told!) and we are ambitious, time pressured, tenancy for high blood pressure. We don't like messing stuff up. So when we inevitably do it sucks and we get annoyed with ourselves and hate flying.
There was a great bit of advice from PM/EMPANNAGE a few years ago on /r/flying to a student about hating flying and planes when you had a bad day. It happens to everyone.
Don't compare yourself to other people. We're all learning.
You just have to keep going. When the examiner said I'd passed the CPL the first thing I said to him was "Really?! Are you serious!!?" without any kind of mental filter being able to stop me. The relief is amazing.
And it's a feeling you'll be enjoying really soon. Just keep going and give that little bit more.
You most likely heard most of the information you need to succeed. I don't know you in person but I can tell you something that is universal- NEVER and I mean NEVER be afraid to ask your teacher questions- That is the only way to grow.
Yes and yes, it was a mixed bag but I wouldn't trade it for anything. some of the best years of my life!
Behold the most common question. How did you get into ethical hacking and security and what books did you use?
How did you get into flying commercially? Did you start in military or privately? And if the latter, how much does that cost? Thank you!
How have advances in computing changed the way you'd approach a problem like this one? Or haven't they?
What hawaiian island did you live on? I thought this was a funny post to stumble across because I lived on a boat (docked in a harbor) in oahu for about a year. Boat life is definitely not for everyone, but it sure is memorable and fun.
Technically I'm not an ethical hacker but a malware researcher (I consider ethical hacking to be more the pentester route). I got into it through programming and a fascination with how malware works.
Books I'd recommend to get started: Practical Reverse Engineering. You should also look into python books (python is great for automating tasks) and Assembly (you'll need x86_64 for reversing on windows/linux and a form of ARM or MIPS for "embedded" devices).
Edit: as others have pointed out, practical reverse engineering won't help if you're a general beginner not a beginner reverse engineer. If you're not coming from a programming background then knowing ASM is a must and C is always helpful. You should be able to engineer software before trying to reverse engineer it
A home remortgage and a significant percentage of my hairline.
The basics stayed the same, but you don't need 2kg of paper to write a simple program nowadays.
I lived on Oahu! Right in Honolulu :D How funny.
Any advice for someone looking to avoid being doxxed? Asking for a friend.
How much sex is involved in your profession?
Do you have something in maths that you're working on or something you hope to achieve in the near future?
Why'd you have to stay in Hawaii - didn't they have insurance on the boat? I mean, I just assumed "whoops, I sunk the boat" was just pops pulling off a classic insurance scam.
Simply put: if you want to be truly never found you can't share any personal stuff about you online, you need total separation of your real life and online identity (including avoiding any use of your real name and address for online services, including billing). Honestly it's not fun and not worth it unless you've actually got something to hide.
Initially I lost out on many job offers because I wasn't comfortable publicly linking my online identity to my real one.
Allegedly a lot.
Aviation is a tiny industry and everyone knows each other. I have to be careful with my magnum dong.
I'm 85 years old! I want to help advance and motivate the younger generations to study mathematics- that is my main current goal.
I do have some projects but explaining would take at least half an hour!
No insurance that I know of, pretty much everything we had went down with the boat so it was pretty devastating. We really didn't have any savings so that's why we had to stay there for a while, we were able to move back after about 8 months though.
Aren't you afraid that the WannaCry hackers will want retribution?
What's the best airline food you've eaten so far and what's the worst?
Maths is my favourite subject at school. But, what are your personal views on the Mathematics Curriculum in Schools? Do you believe it is adequate, or do you believe they restrict the truly wonderful ideas and concepts of Maths?
Was living in hawaii nice?
Nah, you quickly learn not to worry about things you can't control or you worry all the time.
Emirates in economy. Morrocan Tagine chicken or something. Holy shit was delicious.
I had an egg salad sandwich once that I suspect dissolved most of my tastebuds. It was like eating vinegar from Brian Blessed's fupa.
I strongly dislike regular curriculum mathematics!
For this reason I helped found The 3 Special mathematics schools located in Moscow: School 179, Л2Ш, School 57.
Unfortunately, not really. The circumstances surrounding being there made it hard, and it was tough to integrate. I got beat up a lot, called "howle" because I was white, and overall I just didn't like it. Beautiful place, but not for me.
Have you spoken to your buddy that sold you out to gutter press?
What percentage of the time is the plane on autopilot? Is it different for trans-oceanic flights?
I'm not sure it was a friend anymore, I think someone who knew me pointed them in the right direction and they did the rest themselves.
Autopilot is a bad name for it.
What autopilot does it more like cruise control in a car.
It doesn't make decisions. It's not sentient. We give it information and it does what it's told.
Fly this heading, climbing at this rate in feet per minute, to this altitude, at this speed. Feed that information in, and then we monitor it to make sure it is doing what it is told. It doesn't always.
Unless they are complicated and thus busy and thus it would be a dick move by putting more pressure on the other Pilot who is monitoring me, I like to hand fly the departures and arrivals so for me, maybe from 5000ft at departure - 3000ft at the other end.
If you could go back in time, would you register the domain again?
The worst flight you've ever flown?
Yes. I think in hindsight knowing the damage caused by this malware would make me more likely to do it, even knowing the personal consequences. It's pretty heartbreaking when all the emails in your inbox not from journalists are people pleading with you to find a way to recover the lost photos of their kids or dead relatives.
In terms of what, weather, my performance, delays, failures?
What changes would you like to UK press regulation? Is there anything that could outlaw the privacy intrusions that you have suffered while still enabling a free press and genuine investigative journalism?
The one that scores highest in all of the above. The one that made you think "I want to go home".
Ideally make people's houses/friends/family off limits until they've been charged (and found guilty of) a serious crime.
The downdraught event in this post.
At the time I was thinking how to safely manage and get out of it.
It was once I parked up on the ground and thought back to it that I thought "shit that could have been really bad."
What have you learned from malware about programming that general programmers would do well to learn from?
That must really scary. What do you do in a situation like that? Is it a case of pointing the nose down and gaining speed to generate lift or is there more to it?
Follow up question, what is the worst thing to happen to you while on the boat? Thank you.
Generally how not to code. Most malware developers seem to have learned programming from writing malware, so they fall for all the gotchas and make some absolutely horrible mistakes.
It was a case of just keep going until I got past the ridgeline in particular that was generating lots of mechanical turbulence and rotor zones.
Probably lost about 500ft over about two minutes then I got out of it and could climb again.
I think that him saying no to the 1000000$- that's very noble, I would do the same ( If I got the chance )
Hmm... two things stick out in my mind. First, we went to this island called Cedros. The thing about cedros, is that going through the passage in the middle of the island seems like it'd be ok, but it's a nightmare. the wind is crazy and it nearly tipped us over, I really thought we were going to die there. Once we got out, it was fine, but damn that place. Second, I had a lot of trouble getting my "sea legs" so I would puke a ton, the first month of each trip out was just un-fun. Couldn't eat, hard to sleep, just uncomfortable and sickly. So yeah, those two are the only ones I can think of.
What languages can you code in?
What is your opinion on certifications in IT and do you think it's necessary? Do you have any?
Regarding post 9/11 security on flights, do you and your co-pilot feel 100% safe when flying?
Also familiar with: Python, Lua, Objective-C, ARM32, Visual Basic (but wouldn't say I'm fluent as I've not been programming them for long).
Certifications: None (but I imagine they'd help).
No one is getting through that door.
In terms of airport security...the UK is probably a world leader. The Department for Transport take these things incredibly deadly seriously.
Could they do more without restricting even more of our liberties? I don't know.
It does make me laugh though that I'M FLYING THE AIRCRAFT and have access to the crash axe etc...but I can't be trusted to bring a Yoghurt through security for breakfast.
Yeah, but I wasn't on it for that event so I don't count it.
How do we know you're not one of the people who made the ransomware?
I assume it's likely a requirement to have paper manuals on board because paper doesn't fail but do they provide electronic manuals loaded on a tablet so you can search for errors / messages quicker and easier? It seems silly to be flipping through pages looking for something rather than typing it into a search box.
How far has the science/art come since then? How close are we to not realizing it's not an actual animal's movement?
That's amazing. I can't even fathom something like that. I would have been awestruck by 5 dolphins.
I was going to give you a silly answer but then I felt I should answer this seriously as I've actually seen a lot of conspiracies.
I do not want fame nor money, so I'm not sure why it'd be worth the risk of spending the rest of my life in jail to get 2 things I don't want. Not to mention every intelligence agency in the world is looking at this right now, there's no way they haven't already investigated me to cover all their bases. Not to mention it took the media 3 days to find my real name and address, how long do you think it would take the world's most powerful intelligence agencies to find me if I was the person responsible?
Yeah it's electronic. Search function works really well, I was impressed with it.
It was a computer program that we (my team) stored on 200 paper disks that could hold 200 bits of information. It was far from perfect but it was the first program that could see legs as separate from each other and make them follow the body. It was revolutionary at the time, but the technology has advance very far since then.
I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing, it was so amazing.
What are your career goals long term? Has all the recent publicity changed them?
Have you joined the mile high club?
Nah, will continue working for my current company and aiming towards launching our new platforms later this year.
What is your most awkward experience while flying?
Have you seen the movie Good Will Hunting? If you have; what is your review on the movie, and was there any moments you found ridiculous?
Ive heard that people are always surprised by how much whales stink. Did you get any funk off the fucker?
Also, did you ever hear it sing?
Back in basic training I had an instructor who would eat apples with his headset still on, the microphone of which was 'fully manually squelched' i.e. it was hot-miced, so I heard everything.
Trying to fly the aircraft properly while listening to what sounded like Orcs feasting on the flesh of the innocent took a lot of self discipline.
I didn't watch it but I think I will today!
Wait for a reply!
Maybe a little but nothing horrible, and unfortunately no I didn't hear it sing that I remember.
3rd-party Windows anti-virus software causes more harm than good, claims ex-Mozilla engineer Robert O'Callahan — do you agree? If not, what would you recommend for non-technical Windows users?
Was the instructor intentionally eating an apple in order to create a tense atmosphere as part of your training? Or did he just happen to have an apple with him that day?
Basic question, but what first interested you in math as a child? And did you know it would lead you to such great things?
Can u describe a daily routine out at sea? Is it mundane?
Some AVs cause problems, most do things they really shouldn't (code injection into browsers), but the free version of Windows Defender (not the enterprise one, which is crazy good) is pretty much the equivalent of trying to bail out a sinking ship with a colander.
Nah he was just an oddball.
Thanks to my friend, when I was in the 8th grade I went To a Lecture that Isak Eglom was Hosting. I was Utterly amazed that "true" mathematics was completely different it was from the school curriculum. I was hooked immediately.
Not really, there was a lot of maintenance to do, we had electronics so we could watch movies, play video games and listen to music. There was also fishing, swimming, and other fun stuff. Also, it was before internet was really popular (at least for us) so I had a much easier time relaxing and not being go go go.
/u/MalwareTech - Really hoping you can answer this one. Also, for technical users what would you recommend?
Is it true that the pilot and the copilot eat different meals before their flight? And is their something you will not eat because it gives you the swoons?
Personally I'd recommend one of the better rated 3rd party AVs, unless you're actually worried about governments / criminal APT groups writing 0days to exploit your AV.
Can't eat the same meal for food poisoning mitigation.
Me personally? I can't stand deep fried batter, like you'd get on fish in a fish and chip shop in the UK. It gives me a headache.
Why the cat? Why Sunglasses? Heard the U.K. Is rainy and dark - where is your ideal travel spot & why no direct flights -?
If you weren't a pilot, what would you want to be doing with your life?
Have you discussed this point of your childhood with your parents as an adult?
Maybe to see what they were thinking when they decided to up and live on a boat, since I'd guess that wasn't a spur of the moment idea. Did they plan it out with a child in mind? Why not let you in on it beforehand?
It's from a meme I found quite funny: http://content.iwastesomuchtime.com/482012014934iwsmt.jpeg
Travel spots: I've only been to Vegas and Lyon, so definitely Vegas.
No direct flight: because I live in the middle of nowhere and only have non major airports.
Yes, I've discussed it, they basically say that they thought it would be an interesting way to raise me and they wanted to live their dreams. With not telling me, I think they figured it would be easier to convince me once it was already in motion. I can't blame them, but sometimes I do feel like I didn't get a chance to really have a solid foundation in my childhood, but I think what I got instead was pretty worth it. I don't really know though, I'll have to talk about it with my mom sometime soon.
Windows XP has been blamed for leaving NHS computers vulnerable to WannaCry. Is the simple answer correct: that if they were running more modern OSes (eg Win7 or Win10) then they would have been unaffected?
Are you flying right now? And if so, how's the wifi?
If you say something mean about your translator, will he translate it?
Did you know about The Wild Thornberries? Did you ever feel like you were just like them?
According to multiple analysts I've spoken the malware actually fails on XP (haven't had time to check myself yet), so that would suggest unpatched newer systems were to blame.
No. My airline doesn't have it :(
A lot of people don't realise that the antennae and stuff that have to be installed on the fuselage to accommodate passenger wifi and SATCOM phone calls and stuff have an aerodynamic drag penalty. Airliners with on-board wifi burn more fuel. Drag penalty plus the weight of the equipment installed inside the aircraft.
The smallest thing can cause a drag increase. We have a document called a CDL or configuration deviation list that specifies the drag and fuel penalty that we have to take into account should there be small components like rubber seals and stuff that are damaged or missing off the aircraft surface. It's surprising how much of an effect a small component actually has.
I loved that show and totally!
HELLO SIR, GOOD WORK WITH THE KILL SWITCH. MY QUESTION IS: 2sec4u should get a pay rise, can you confirm if you agree with this?
Is it at all possible to come up and chill with the pilots mid flight anymore? If so, what's the best way to do it?
A philosophical question.. are we living inside a simulation?
I have a few questions: What did your parents do for money? And how was it readjusting to land life?
Yes, we will up your shitposting allowance to 100 shitposts per day.
I don't know, ask the guy who maintains the servers
They were doctors, so they traded work for food and money. It wasn't too hard adjusting back, I think being around people was the only tough part, you get used to being fairly isolated out on a boat so dealing with social settings became odd after a while out. It was fine though after a little bit.
Hey, I'm @CryptoCypher on Twitter.
I am currently working on a book that discusses identity security along with operational security. The purpose of this book is to explain the importance of pseudonyms and how to operate a persona "anonymously" online. In this, I will be covering various topics.
With that said, my question is this: would you be willing to get in contact with me to collaborate on my work?
I feel that your experience with UK tabloids as a security researcher would make an excellent example of why people should take the time to lock down their identity security and re-evaluate their OPSEC. Your story could help others realize the importance of locking down their persona.
I don't typically use Reddit, so if you're interested, my Twitter DMs are open.
Why are you always asking me to "confirm RADAR-contact/identified" when checking in if I only answer with "BAW-XXX, Good morning"?
I ask because your initial "Identified/RADAR-contact" is valid, and transferred across ATC-units, until someone explicitly states "Identification/radar lost/terminated"... :-).
What's with the project? Is this for a game (like sims) or for research purposes? And whats math to do with this? Thanks!
How did they earn while living on the boat? Like, stop at a place and exchange their services for goods then move on again? Or was there a regular hospital?
when checking in if I only answer with "BAW-XXX, Good morning"?
Sounds like Nigel being awkward.
Thanks for the all the direct Tos and CPDLC instructions. We love it.
A little of both, in Mexico they would barter work for goods and when we came back to the US they would work locums at the local hospitals. We would usually come back to the same towns, like Newport OR, so they had a kind of standing agreement with the hospitals there and it always worked out ok.
Future plans? If knighted, will you be Sir $real_name or Sir MalwareTech, Lord of Pizza - I feel like asking a 22 year future plans needs a bit of humor -
You planning on doing a display flight in your 320 any time soon?! Think you mean CAP413, I should know, I just read it for lack of anything better to do in the cruise...
Would definitely second the thanks for ATC, although I'd love CPDLC and I can't imagine my fleet's going to get it any time soon!
Which is your favourite Russian Mathematician and why?
How did you sink it?
Future plans are just to continue work and travel more. If I got a knighthood I'd definitely prefix all my online names with Sir just for the novelty, but keep my real name as is.
That's the bugger.
Remember 698 from ATPLs? Urgh.
Hopefully one day they will upgrade the dash to have working oleo struts!
My professor Prof.Kronrod, not because he was my teacher, but because we were interested in the same fields of mathematics
Dad tried to solo sail to Hawaii against my mom's wishes, ended up sinking it and having to be rescued. Not sure how it ended up sinking exactly since the story he tells about it doesn't sound right, but I never pushed the subject.
I would like to know the current rules, after the Germanwings Flight 9525 Suicide.
Does your Airline enforce the 2 people cockpit rule? Because i read that "Lufthansa" wont enforce it anymore.
I literally didn't leave the house the entire time i was famous
The thing about the 2 person cockpit rule is you now have a scenario where somebody who may have just recently passed cabin crew training is now present in the flight deck with 1 Pilot.
Becoming an airline Pilot takes years.
Becoming a member of the cabin crew, and with all due respect because they work really hard and are there for your safety, they are really well trained and take it incredibly seriously, takes a few months.
Is this safer than leaving the lone Pilot?
That's the position of some of my colleagues. Are we introducing a less safe environment by allowing the cabin crew member onto the flight deck with one Pilot?
How did you get started in this world? What resources do you recommend if you want to learn more about the technical aspects of your work?
As a Gate Agent for multiple european airlines here in the US, I have 2 questions.
1) In Europe, are you allowed to board passengers while fuelers are hooked up or no? Each captain i get give me different answers on the legality of it and we differ to them.
2) What was your worst experience with a Pax gate crew?
I got started through programming and an interest in the inner workings of malware. To get started in reverse engineering I'd recommend learning assembly and reading some books / blog posts from known reverse engineers (most of what i learned comes from just reading random blog posts and some trial + error).
With very strict procedures. Aircraft doors open. Line of sight with the refueller. Ryanair, I think, make the F/O stand by the nose gear wheel well connected to the interphone with the ground handlers heatset to monitor the fuelling directly.
Not had much go wrong yet. Fingers crossed.
How many sinkhole domains did you have to obtain? and Favorite cat?
If you were to introduce one thing to make your job easier, what would it be?
How did you feel after the simulation you created was completed?
What do you do now in life? Did real friendships derive from the time you lived on the boat?
It's hard to count because we use about 8 different registrars. All I know is the total of domain we've registered in the past 2 year exceeds 2,000.
As for cats, I love the Russian Blue's with the short legs and big chubby faces.
That's a good question.
I'm not really sure to be honest.
A 3G connection so we can get weather and loadsheets and stuff on our tablet devices would be great.
Now I'm a student, I mess around with crypto curriencies and have made decent money off of that, but my real passion is Biochemistry and i'm applying to the U of Minnesota to study it. Not sure what my career will be, but I know it'll be science-y! I don't have any friends from that time, I met a lot of people but always had to say goodbye and never kept in touch because of my age and the distance between us.
Hello, just a quick question. We now see the figures of the attack, and it's obviously been a huge campaign but maybe not as big as we thought first. Do you think the media coverage has made it look bigger than it actually is and do you think media coverage on those topics actually does more harm than good? I'll be honest here, i'm an infosec journalist, but had the chance to be off work those last two weeks. But i'm genuinely curious about this. But again, thanks for your work, you're doing great stuff.
What has been your scariest experience?
I honestly don't know. Our sinkhole only sees the infections we stopped, so I don't think anyone really knows the full scale of how many systems were infected prior to the sinkholing.
I think the media coverage was neutral. On one hand some got the word out that people need to do something, but on the other some made it sound like I'd come up with a miracle cure for ransomware.
Getting caught in a downdraught on the downwind side of a Mountain in a light aircraft while in basic training. Full power, pitched up 10 degrees and still sinking. Not nice!
Learnt a good lesson that day about route planning and weather hazard avoidance, specifically this -
How do you starting learning the malware enough to write simulation bots to interact with it?
If I were to want to follow say, 5 steps I need to know about how it works and communicates, what are those 5 steps?
I'd like to learn more about this process but there is not much available publicly.
If you know of any resources, could you please share them.
Thanks and keep up the good work.
What is your favourite plane to fly?
For the most part malware just uses the same ways to communicate that normal software uses (HTTP wrappers, FTP wrappers, raw sockets), once you're familiar with these and possibly the windows crypto API, you can start looking into how it encrypts/structures the data sent to the C2.
Of the ones I've flown, the A320. I can fly 6 miles above the surface of the Earth at 600mph. Sick.
I'd love to fly a Tornado or Typhoon though.
As a student, is there a question even my teachers can't answer?
Sorry if it's off-topic, but could you elaborate on the crypto currencies comment?
Did you trade them like other currencies, like Forex? How did you get into that?
Oh they can answer anything
But weather it would be correct is a different topic
So I first heard about Bitcoin years ago, and it interested me. I kept an eye on it but never really explored it fully, until a few months back I really got into it. You trade it on several exchanges, like poloneix, kraken, or bitstamp, and it's sort of like Forex I believe. I'm still in the learning stages of it but with how much crypto currencies have grown recently I've done quite well, I got my mom into it as well and she's done amazingly. I would suggest the bitcoin subreddit for more info if you are interested.
After sinkholing a domain, what's the next steps? Do you run any specific script on the server? By the way, how many domains do you have registered?
What's your take on the United Airline situation? I have heard media coverage and everyone with a Facebook account, but I've not heard directly from a pilot. Why does stuff like that happen?
Did you basically model shadows that would have occurred if the cat were moving in 3d? Since then, have you ventured into simulating movement in 3d? Do you like modern software that makes this kind of thing much easier, and not require the kind of expertise you may bring?
This is such a random question, but what did you guys do with your garbage? I imagine you had packaging from food, etc.
Everything is automated so i just enter the domain + malware family name into the commandline and the system registers the domain, points it to the sinkhole, then sets up a tracker (all of this is using a bunch of python scripts I wrote). As for domains I really don't know, but it's over 2,000.
Airlines overbook seats because it's rare for everyone who's booked a ticket to actually show up.
We have to a procedure to recalculate the mass and balance and take off performance of the aircraft when the dispatcher gives us the final loadsheet after the gate closes...because pretty much every flight people don't turn up for whatever reason.
So airlines make more money by overbooking, banking on the statistical probabilities that they'll get away with it.
What happened to Dr Dao was extremely unacceptable. But you must understand that tickets and stuff are issues that have very little to do with the Pilots. On the ground it is the dispatcher and gate agent who run all these things. I read some criticism of the Captain of that flight and I couldn't understand it. Were people expecting him to go back and be a conflict resolution advisor? He would have been sat in the cockpit calculating take off performance and running through various procedures. It's not like he was sat watching down the aisle with Popcorn.
There wasn't a ton, plastic wrap from food and that kind of stuff. There was a little cargo spot towards the back we would keep plastics and stuff not biodegradable, but anything that would break down we would just toss overboard. As long as it wouldn't hurt anything in the water, we chucked it. Good question though!
How did you get started - why do you do it? Who are your heroes? Whom do you dislike but have learned from? What investment advice are you getting? What shapes and informs your worldview, and why?
Gotta run looking forward to learning more - thanks for taking the time -
Is being a pilot and knowing how things actually work make it frustrating to watch movies or shows that involve unrealistic plane scenes? For example what did you think of the movie flight with Denzel Washington? Edit: a word
Didn't you have to go to school?
Almost all of what I do is simply because I enjoy it and for no other reason. I'm not in this for fame or money, just passion.
I generally don't like the term heroes as it seems to cartoony, but the researchers at ESET and PrevX who published the TDL4 and Rovnix analysis articles are who inspired my interest in reverse engineering and are largely responsible for where i am now.
I don't really dislike anyone if I learn from them, that's an automatic like from me (unless they're truly an asshole, which I don't think I've met anyone who is).
Not getting any investment advice yet (hopefully soon).
My world view is mostly shaped by my own personal experiences. Although I remain open to other people's experiences, ultimately I feel I can't fully understand something until I've experienced it myself.
Haha God yes.
It made me laugh.
Homeschooled by my mom mostly, so I did go to school :)
Could you explain to us laymen how you actually went about stopping WannaCry? I have very basic computer knowledge, and am just curious how the process even works.
Im sorry if this is a really stupid quedtion, but Is it a matter of infecting a machine with the malware and then running 'triple-class-A-wizard-hacker'-diagnostic-utility-type-shit that gives you a sense of what the malware is doing? Is there like, an actual script the malware runs that you can look at and figure out how it works? I've always had trouble wrapping my head around how this stuff works as I have only the most basic knowledge of programming and computer systems. It surely can't be as simple as opening up 'virus.exe' and figuring out how it does what it does, right?
Is there some sort of video or documentary that kind of breaks down the process of fixing things like this?
Have you ever encountered any inexplicable unidentified flying objects?
My third grade elementary teacher taught me my multiplication tables through songs, numbers 2-9. To this day, I STILL use these songs as my go to and ever since I've learned from said teacher, my math prowess has only grown exponentially since then. Has there been any research don't to the correlation between song and mathematics or numbers and rhythm for that matter?
Did you notice a difference on school level when you returned to normal school aged 9? Were you homeschooled all the time?
Afraid not sorry.
Rhythm is a may to logically connect things that can't otherwise ( at least in a simple way ) be put together in one piece
Actually, I was a bit more advanced when I got back, I eventually was able to finish school a year early. My schooling was very...odd, so it's hard to say exactly. I moved a lot even after I got back and did all types of school, online, normal high school, college classes in the start of my junior year. So it's a little messy to say the least.
What operating system do you prefer to work in? (If it's Linux, which distribution?)
Did you see the 2012 movie "Flight"? Any grain of truth in that movie?
Здравствуйте, Николай Николаевич! Я инностранный студентка в России. Я учусь физика)
Sorry for the bad Russian.
Your intro says you don't speak English, but does that mean you don't know any English? Have you ever found problems with interacting with the rest of the scientific community outside of the Russian speaking countries?
What'd you get a degree in? What do you do for a living now?
It made me laugh, particularly the dramatic sound effect of the engines spooling up when it nose dived towards the ground...after we see a shot of Denzel pulling the thrust levers to idle.
The drugs thing. No fucking way.
Translators exist for a reason
And my main language is mathematics
Have my associates in science, working towards my BS in biochem. Right now I do the "wait for school to accept me" gig, but usually I'm a caretaker for disabled adults.
Will the recent explosion of followers change your tweeting habits at all? Will you be posting the same amount of memes?
Do you eat airline food?
No. I imagine I'm going to lose a lot of followers when I have time to return to normal twitter usage.
It's not that bad. I have my favourites. Moussaka awwww yisssss.
This may have been asked, and sorry if it was, but what is to stop the makers of this from simply releasing a different one that doesn't check a domain like the first iteration did?
What are some memorable times where your experience as a pilot have come in handy outside a flying environment?
Nothing stops them, that's why I went to great lengths to warn everyone to patch ASAP.
What do you think about Miria targeting the sinkhole domain? Just skiddies having a giggle, or harbinger of malware collaboration?
My dad wants to know: what happens to compass on the plane when you fly over Ecuador?
Silly question. I know.
I'm a math grad. Would like to ask your favorite topics in math? Do you a favorite mathematician? Someone you look upto?
How was the privacy handled? Did you have your own room?
Skids, always skids. If it's Mirai it's skids; I only ever saw one sophisticated hacker using Mirai and even then he had heavily customised the code.
We don't use compasses.
Our navigation equipment uses really complicated gyroscopes that have frigging lasers in them (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_laser_gyroscope)
to detect and display pitch/roll/attitude/heading.
The aircraft corrects for magnetic variation and consequently nothing unusual happens.
The A320 does have an old school compass in it though as a last resort...good question.
The errors compasses are subject to would reverse as they act in the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere.
Don't make idols and try to imitate them- Be yourself and do what you feel necessary!
There was a v-birth which is a little cabin up front, it had a curtain but besides that there wasnt much privacy. I was young though so I didn't really mind, you get used to it after a while.
In your opinion, why does Russia have such strong computer programmers and mathematicians? What is different in Russia when it comes to teaching mathematics than in the West?
If a V-Birth is the little cabin up front, where is the C-Section on the boat?
I'll reply with an half-true anecdote: An American institute is where Chinese students are taught by Russian Professors.
More towards the middle ;)
I gather you've been learning for 11 years now so for us starting out in infosec reaching that point and level of knowledge can seem hugely intimidating. My question is, for those 11 years how much time were you putting into learning? Was it every night after school? Just at the weekends?
And secondly, you seem to have load of friends in infosec, were you all learning together or was this something you did by yourself for the majority of those years?
During training, how did you feel about flying a plane for the first time ? And what's the hardest thing about flying ?
Yeah you're a child but your parents are adults....in a presumably sexually active relationship.....trapped on a boat for months with a small kid and no bedroom...
For most part odd weekends and when I could get away at school, I didn't start full time studying until i left college (4 years ago).
Flying a light aircraft for the first time?
Exhilarated. Vindicated after spending so long studying and wanting to do it.
There are a lot of unusual pressures and stressors being an Airline Pilot. Fatigue. Having the threat of losing your medical hanging over you until you get closer to the end of your working life and you are financially secure.
Flying in Europe can be difficult. Somewhere very busy like Charles De Gaulle. Mixture of French and English on the radio is terrible for situational awareness. They bring you in high and fast above what your ideal descent profile would actually be. On a bad day it takes a fair amount of mental exertion to stay in the loop. And we have always got to stay in the loop.
Don't get me wrong, it's not dangerous or anything. But on a busy day with poor weather it can be a good mental work out.
Loud music and a curtain, I would go to bed... They didn't... Now I need to take a shower, I feel dirty.
At what age did you become interested in cyber security and/or tech? Did you teach yourself a lot of the stuff whilst still at school?
I'm flying for the first time in my life on Wednesday in an A320.
I'm slightly nervous about it... Should I be? :)
My dream is to do exactly what your parents did (minus the sinking part). Any advice/warnings?
Around 11 and yeah I taught myself while I was in school (mostly against my IT teacher's wishes).
It's incredibly reliable. Over engineered. Safe.
Is that what you people do for fun today? What's so interesting in pretending to be a goat? Please explain...
Take good lessons for a long time before you do it, plan it out well in advance. Find a boat that's stable, not to damaged, and comfortable. Make sure to bring plenty of entertainment. One warning, everyone is sick for a while first going out, keep garbage bags nearby. Keep a life jacket on, always, you never know what might happen. Don't go alone, solo sailing is difficult to say the least and really lonely regardless.
New CS grad here. Any advice?
Also, what do you think about all the talk of Russian hackers and how the US is standing against it?
Ok my question - Is it possible for a Commercial Pilot to forget to extend flaps before takeoff? For some reason I'm always worried someone will forget and I'll die! Can someone explain if this is possible ? Warning lights or audible reminder etc?
Hello! This AMA is very interesting! I appreciate your time!
I was just curious do you feel attached or enjoy any equations, formulas or types of math the most? I'm weirdly fond of Algebra. as a visual learner, I find it fun and puzzle like to play with the numbers.
Also any advice for discouraged students of math who haven't practiced in years and never continued to within school due to frustration and poor teachers? I was always decent at math but came to dislike it overtime. I was often baffled by the notion of "only one right answer". I'd like to change how I interact and view Mathematics as a whole. Any tips?
Would I be able to bring a dog?
Look into getting some certs or public research up, will really help boost your profile.
I think the US is doing the best they can against a form of warfare they've never really been on the receiving end of. This type/level of PsyOps is unprecedented IMO.
Flaps are in the checklists several times.
The A320 has a take off configuration warning that is loud and angry as fuck if the flaps and slats aren't set when take off thrust is applied.
They shouldn't listen to anyone that say them can't achieve something
Continue your passion to mathematics by finding topics that interest you- Everything is person to person
Actually, we had a german shepard named max that we tried to bring but he hated it so much we had to give him away. It was really sad since I had him since I was little, but the poor guy wouldn't eat or drink. I wouldn't recommend it, but some dogs do ok. Depends on the dog I guess.
I'm a fourth year undergraduate math major. I dunno if this has been asked yet because my phone aint too great so here it goes. What is your favorite set of numbers to work with and why?
On a more serious note, is there a topic you would recommend I (or other aspiring math majors) study on my own time as a math major? Something you wish you knew about when learning math? (Other than "get a more realistic career / better paying career" as some of my professors tell me).
Do you fly a specific plane? Or just what happens to be free when you get to work? if specific, whats the flight number, id like to track you on flight tracker :D
Do you feel that growing up under the USSR limited you academically?
Do you still like eating fish? I'm assuming you had many during that "trip".
Airlines like mine that have large fleets tailor certain aircraft, with certain seating configurations and equipment, to certain routes. It's all quite intricate and clever.
My base has about 30 A320s based here. The one I get allocated to for the day is random but sometimes dependent on the route. I don't know for sure but the aircraft are allocated weeks in advance, it's all done by the operations/rostering department. Really complicated. The software they use to manage it all is really niche and probably cost millions.
For example we fly to Charles De Gaulle and are always busy on that route so it's always an A320 with a denser seating configuration (i.e. more seats)
I'd rather not disclose my Airline sorry :( I'm sure they'd feel the same way haha.
Thanks mate, just general curiosity, that's all.
My local airport when I was a kid had a car park right by the boundary fence, right next to the runway threshold. I used to go and watch airliners land when I was about 4. I guess it just stuck with me, I've always wanted to do it.
Of course! It's a good question, I never really thought about it.
Do people flying with you clap when landed? If so, can you hear it in the cabin?
how was social life? I imagine you guys made stops at some point. Did you meet new people while living this life?
I can't hear stuff from the cabin due to the thick door/headset.
Totally! Met people everywhere, the best place was Mexico, lived there for a while and I met so many cool people and other kids. It was great, my only regret was having to say goodbye so often.
Communication was probably tough but I'm sure you learned the languages, right?
Yep! Learned Spanish when we lived in Mexico, I got pretty decent at it too, although after we left I didn't really have any way to practice it so I lost it until years later when I took school classes in it. It came back pretty easily though.
Not really, we traveled up and down the west coast and would usually be offshore by about 200 miles (if I'm remembering correctly) so visits were difficult lol. We would visit them when we got back to shore, since we would only spend about 6-8 months at a time out before coming back to restock.
Would you rather have lived on the land during those years?
No, I think I gained a lot more than I lost, I mean how many people get to grow up on a sailboat?
What are some of the most creepiest/chilling experiences you've faced in the open sea?
I would say storms on the open sea are the hands down, most terrifying thing ever. Huge, macker waves, just such raw power it makes you feel tiny.
How did pooping work? I've always wondered.. is there a septic tank that you would have to replace when you docked, kinda like an RV or did it just get released into the ocean?
Usually released into the ocean, or you could also just sit slightly off the deck and go right into the water. "Hang tooky" we called it, nothing better.
Why did y'all stop sailing? What did your parents move on to?
Boat sank when Dad tried to foolishly solo sail from Cali to Hawaii, he was rescued but we were stuck in Hawaii for nearly a year and it wrecked my parents marriage. When we got back to Oregon they split and life got a little shitty for a while.
Do you sail on your own now? If not, do you think you'll go back to it? I'm curious what changes you might have noticed in the past ten years regarding new systems and technology for sailors. Also, were you part of any communities of sailors on the west coast? My parents live aboard a 42' Tayana and are going through the Bahamas currently, seems like a lot of work but a really nice way to live.
I don't sadly, I did a little bit of day sailing a dew years ago with my mom but it hasn't really been my thing oddly enough. I got my fill those years growing up, plus I get motion sick really bad now and school got in the way. I'd imagine the technology is just incredible now, I would love to see what a modern boat has under the hood so to speak. That's awesome that your parents are living the boat life, it is an amazing way to live and I hope one day i can do more day cruising in nice warm places like that.
I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was about 10 or so lol
No, nothing like that. Massive storms, but no rogue waves.
Did you ever come across any sharks? They're my favorite animal, but I've only been able to see/swim with them once in the wild. If so, what types?
We accidentally swam near great whites in Guadalupe, didn't see them but the locals we're screaming at us when we swam in. It was terrifying once we realized what they were saying.
A mix of both, we would stock up on non-perishables before heading out and then supplement with tuna that we would catch. You get sick of tuna though pretty fast, so one time we happened to pass another boat out in the middle of nowhere and we radio'd them to see if they wanted to trade anything. They were out of movies, and we wanted meat which they had! So we put the movies in a waterproof bag and tossed it to them as we passed each other, and they threw us the meat. It was an amazing moment and so funny.
Are you me? My parents did the same thing but from age 9 to 12 for me. We have a 49' ketch that we sailed down the west coast to Panama from Seattle. I wonder if we met/crossed paths.. The cruising community is pretty small and it seems like the same time range. 2000-2003.
Quite possibly! That would be amazing if we had, I do remember meeting a lot of boat kids while sailing, but we all went along our ways. Literal passing ships in the night.
You should write a book. What did you do daily if you were offshore for months on end? I'm guessing there was no internet so what was daily life like?
I'm actually writing one! I have a lot of other stories to tell, some amazing and some terrible, but I've always wanted to write a book so I figured why not? Daily life depended on things like the weather and where we were, if it was calm or stormy. Usually it would just be taking turns steering, setting lines to catch fish, plotting the course for the day. I had school work to do, as I was homeschooled, and then we would make dinner and my dad or mom would read to me before bed. We also had wind generator and electronics, so I could watch movies, listen to music or even play video games! I had a PS1 at the time, it was awesome.
In those years, were you introduced to the internet and did you have access? If not, how was turning back to shore on a world filled with it?
No internet, didn't really have it until we stopped sailing and even then it was dial up so I never really used it. I got my first real taste of it around age 11 or 12, and by then I had very much readjusted to land life so it wasn't much different then other kids my age.