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Request[AMA Request] Stock Image People

May 21st 2017 by f1ndme • 50 Questions • 50 Points

Hi Guys,

I was very disappointing when browsing Reddit earlier as I came across an IAMA from someone claiming to be a Commercial Pilot. It was full of downright lies and bullshit. He was quickly shot down by the Pilot community on reddit and he deleted his post but the IAMA is still up.

It inspired me to do an IAMA of my own so you guys on here could be given proper answers rather than be lied to by a stupid kid.

My Proof: My Commercial Pilot license, along with the A320 type rating endorsement.

http://i.imgur.com/lWVNjrl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ptk7Vxp.jpg

Q:

I don't think you really need to study anything to be a stock photo model. You just need to have a desire to be photograped. Stock photo models are just models that are too ordinary to be a famous model. My 7th grade science teacher modeled underware for local department stores. He was as average as the were.

A:

Did you receive some job offerings from governments?


Q:

What's the worst technical detail of the A320 in your opinion? What would you improve in that plane?

A:

Well... That question kinda relates to what they wanted to do.


Q:

No. They probably took one look at all the shitposting and memes in my twitter feed and were like "naaaah".

A:

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.


Q:

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?

A:

Have you ever seen anything strange or unusual while flying at altitude?


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

What's your PC setup specs?

Also, what VM software provide the best isolation for malware testing?

A:

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?


Q:

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).

A:

Talk to the other Pilot. Some guys have a newspaper.

No.


Q:

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?

A:

Do you like your job?


Q:

I was actually on holiday. I made it a grand total of 3 days into my week off before i got sucked back in :)

A:

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.


Q:

What are some good resources or ways to learn about cyber security?

A:

Will there ever be a point in time where the braking right after touchdown doesn't scare the hell out of me?


Q:

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).

A:

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.


Q:

Could you suggest some good Twitter accounts to follow?

A:

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.


Q:

look through the list of people i follow on twitter and pick out the ones you think are best.

A:

But he was calm though

http://imgur.com/BUVNdb3


Q:

if you were to be removed by a foreign power, what would be your favourite and why is it best Korea?

A:

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?


Q:

Because glorious leader can speak in 1567 different languages and doesn't need to research because he just knows things from birth.

A:

Civilian.

I hope he enjoys his retirement!


Q:

Are you going to DEFCON and can I buy you a drink?

A:

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.


Q:

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).

A:

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.


Q:

What has been the oddest corporate offering you've been given. I spotted the free t-shirts and pizzas, anything else ?

A:

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.


Q:

I think free pizzas was probably the weirdest, though I did get offered my own radio show which was interesting.

A:

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.


Q:

Behold the most common question. How did you get into ethical hacking and security and what books did you use?

A:

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!


Q:

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:

Privately.

A home remortgage and a significant percentage of my hairline.


Q:

Any advice for someone looking to avoid being doxxed? Asking for a friend.

A:

How much sex is involved in your profession?


Q:

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.

A:

Allegedly a lot.

Aviation is a tiny industry and everyone knows each other. I have to be careful with my magnum dong.


Q:

Aren't you afraid that the WannaCry hackers will want retribution?

A:

What's the best airline food you've eaten so far and what's the worst?


Q:

Nah, you quickly learn not to worry about things you can't control or you worry all the time.

A:

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.


Q:

Have you spoken to your buddy that sold you out to gutter press?

A:

What percentage of the time is the plane on autopilot? Is it different for trans-oceanic flights?


Q:

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.

A:

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.

No.


Q:

If you could go back in time, would you register the domain again?

A:

The worst flight you've ever flown?


Q:

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.

A:

In terms of what, weather, my performance, delays, failures?


Q:

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?

A:

The one that scores highest in all of the above. The one that made you think "I want to go home".


Q:

Ideally make people's houses/friends/family off limits until they've been charged (and found guilty of) a serious crime.

A:

The downdraught event in this post.

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/6chejy/i_am_an_airline_pilot_flying_the_a320_across/dhundo3/

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."


Q:

What have you learned from malware about programming that general programmers would do well to learn from?

A:

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?


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

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?

A:

Regarding post 9/11 security on flights, do you and your co-pilot feel 100% safe when flying?


Q:

Coding languages I'm fluent in: C, C++, Assembly (both x86 and x64), PHP, JavaScript.

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).

A:

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.


Q:

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).

But can you create a GUI interface using Visual Basic to track the killers ip address?

A:

How often does FiFi do something completely unexpected - and "rebooting" the computer is the only way to fix it?


Q:

No, I can only create gooey interface for that.

A:

The A320 is 30 years old. Hundreds of millions of flight hours. God knows how many thousands of pages of computer/electronics certification requirements it had to meet when it was designed.

The computers behind the scenes sometimes do play up and crap out. Not all the time. Not exceedingly rarely. I'll probably see something small and insignificant crap out in 1 in 30 flights?

Sometimes it fixes itself and the caution message disappears after a few seconds. Sometimes it requires us to do the full failure management procedure and get the QRH (quick reference handbook) out to see which circuit breaker needs to be reset. Other times it's a case of spending hours in the cruise looking in the complicated tech manuals for system architecture drawings and descriptions and trying to figure out what the hell a particular obscure caution message actually means.

But the crucial thing is, there are back up systems and computers. There's no single point of failure. It is so so safe and so well designed.


Q:

How do we know you're not one of the people who made the ransomware?

A:

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.


Q:

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?

A:

Yeah it's electronic. Search function works really well, I was impressed with it.


Q:

What are your career goals long term? Has all the recent publicity changed them?

A:

Have you joined the mile high club?


Q:

Nah, will continue working for my current company and aiming towards launching our new platforms later this year.

A:

Ayyyyy lmao


Q:

could you hack my reddit account if you wanted?

A:

What is your most awkward experience while flying?


Q:

Hahahaha

A:

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.


Q:

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?

A:

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?


Q:

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.

A:

Nah he was just an oddball.


Q:

/u/MalwareTech - Really hoping you can answer this one. Also, for technical users what would you recommend?

A:

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?


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Why the cat? Why Sunglasses? Heard the U.K. Is rainy and dark - where is your ideal travel spot & why no direct flights -?

A:

If you weren't a pilot, what would you want to be doing with your life?


Q:

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.

A:

Emergency medicine.


Q:

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?

A:

Are you flying right now? And if so, how's the wifi?


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

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?

A:

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?


Q:

Yes, we will up your shitposting allowance to 100 shitposts per day.

A:

Unfortunately not.


Q:

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.

Cheers.

A:

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"... :-).

Cheers
ATC-DUDE.


Q:

Sure, DM me on twitter anytime.

A:

when checking in if I only answer with "BAW-XXX, Good morning"?

Not me.

Sounds like Nigel being awkward.

Thanks for the all the direct Tos and CPDLC instructions. We love it.


Q:

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 -

A:

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!


Q:

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.

A:

That's the bugger.

Remember 698 from ATPLs? Urgh.

Hopefully one day they will upgrade the dash to have working oleo struts!


Q:

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?

A:

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.


Q:

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).

A:

Yes.

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?


Q:

How many sinkhole domains did you have to obtain? and Favorite cat?

A:

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?


Q:

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.

A:

Yes.

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.


Q:

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.

A:

If you were to introduce one thing to make your job easier, what would it be?


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

Has your new-found fame helped you get laid more?

A:

What has been your scariest experience?


Q:

I literally didn't leave the house the entire time i was famous

A:

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 -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foehn_wind


Q:

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.

A:

What is your favourite plane to fly?


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

About to start a masters in cyber security, what is the best and worst thing about working Infosec?

A:

What sort of additional training would you have to do (if any) to fly newer gen aircraft like the A350 for example?


Q:

Best is definitely the many many selfless people you meet who will insist on always being there to help you and never accept anything in return. Worst is the scriptkiddie groups you will see who cause the same kind of pain serious criminals cause, but do it for "lulz" instead of money. Really makes you lose faith in humanity.

A:

Airbus have this design philosophy where the cockpit and systems design is very similar across the fleet. No new type rating for every new model.

It would take about three weeks at most for me to get typed on the A350.


Q:

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?

A:

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?


Q:

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.

A:

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.


Q:

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 -

A:

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


Q:

How i got started: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/6cmmdf/iama_the_accidental_hero_who_helped_stop_the/dhvtbpu/

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.

A:

Haha God yes.

It made me laugh.


Q:

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?

Thanks man.

A:

Have you ever encountered any inexplicable unidentified flying objects?


Q:

Check out my explanation at malwaretech.com

A:

Afraid not sorry.


Q:

What operating system do you prefer to work in? (If it's Linux, which distribution?)

A:

Did you see the 2012 movie "Flight"? Any grain of truth in that movie?


Q:

Windows 10 because I'm a heathen

A:

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.


Q:

Will the recent explosion of followers change your tweeting habits at all? Will you be posting the same amount of memes?

A:

Do you eat airline food?


Q:

No. I imagine I'm going to lose a lot of followers when I have time to return to normal twitter usage.

A:

Yes.

It's not that bad. I have my favourites. Moussaka awwww yisssss.


Q:

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?

A:

What are some memorable times where your experience as a pilot have come in handy outside a flying environment?


Q:

Nothing stops them, that's why I went to great lengths to warn everyone to patch ASAP.

A:

Tinder haha.


Q:

What do you think about Miria targeting the sinkhole domain? Just skiddies having a giggle, or harbinger of malware collaboration?

A:

My dad wants to know: what happens to compass on the plane when you fly over Ecuador?

Silly question. I know.


Q:

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.

A:

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.

https://www.decodedscience.org/aircraft-acceleration-errors-the-magnetic-compass/4696


Q:

So was it an accident? From what I read you used your knowledge of malware to inspect the code then used what you learned to stop it.
So I was somewhat confused how it was reported as an accident.
Did you trip and fall onto several years of anti-malware experience?

A:

What is your 'at home schedule ' like? Do you feel like it's easy to get back into a sense of routine or are you back in the air too quickly to even bother worrying about it? I imagine long haul pilots just sleep for days when the get home.


Q:

I guess it depends how you look at it. For me it seems accidental as I didn't know the domain would stop the malware at the time of registering it, so that part was what I consider an accident.

A:

I'm short haul.

I might do 4 days on, 3 days off.

I'm young and don't have kids yet so I lounge about all day watching Silicon Valley.

It suits me. I'd hate a rigid 9 to 5.


Q:

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?

A:

During training, how did you feel about flying a plane for the first time ? And what's the hardest thing about flying ?


Q:

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).

A:

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.


Q:

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?

A:

I'm flying for the first time in my life on Wednesday in an A320.

I'm slightly nervous about it... Should I be? :)


Q:

Around 11 and yeah I taught myself while I was in school (mostly against my IT teacher's wishes).

A:

Absolutely not.

It's incredibly reliable. Over engineered. Safe.


Q:

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?

A:

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?


Q:

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.

A:

No.

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.


Q:

Are you the King of the Netherlands?

A:

Don't tell anyone.


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

The one I get allocated to for the day is random but sometimes dependent on the route.

But do you always make it back home in the evening or could you find out in the morning that you'll be spending the night in Paris, Frankfurt or Milan?

A:

I know what I'm doing weeks in advance when the roster for the next month is published. There are/should be no on the day surprises.


Q:

What made you want to be a pilot?

A:

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.


Q:

Do people flying with you clap when landed? If so, can you hear it in the cabin?

A:

I can't hear stuff from the cabin due to the thick door/headset.

No idea!