AFCERT Keeps the Faith

Next week I head back to San Antonio to teach Foundstone's "Ultimate Hacking" to members of the 33rd Information Operations Squadron, which includes the Air Force Computer Emergency Response Team (AFCERT). I served as a captain in the AFCERT from Sep 98 through Feb 01. Thanks to the magic of, you can see the first job I was stuck with doing, before I learned IDS -- redesigning the AFCERT web page! I provided content for some of the pages once that webmaster duty fell on other shoulders, but some of the pages appear familiar...

I'm looking forward to seeing some of my old colleagues. The May 03 Spokesman online magazine profiled the AFCERT. My favorite quote is by one of the best guys to ever work in the AFCERT:

The AFCERT of today wasn’t always such a robust organization. "Many people don’t realize we started in the early 1990s with only a handful of dedicated people who understood this business," said Tech. Sgt. Will Patrick, AFCERT superintendent.

I'd argue only a few still understand the business, and there's far too much work to go around! Thankfully, most of the people who served in key roles have brought that knowledge to the private sector. Instead of protecting the military, they're protecting your banks, insurance companies, utilities, and other pieces of critical infrastructure. Besides the military folks I'll visit, I'm also having dinner with the group of analysts Bamm Visscher and I hired at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. to implement the world's only, albeit short-lived, commercial managed network security monitoring operation. Like me, we've all moved to other jobs since the decision by BATC to yank our funding. Oddly. I left a month before funding was actually removed, since my family wanted to move from San Antonio to Washington, DC!


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