New Position in Cyber Security at Percipient Networks

Saturday, May 30, 2015
Tags: personal


If you’re hitting this from planet mozilla, this doesn’t mean I’m leaving the Mozilla Community since I’m not (nor was I ever) a Mozilla employee.

After working for The MITRE Corporation for a bit over four years, I left a few weeks ago to begin work at a cyber security start-up: Percipient Networks. Currently our main product is STRONGARM: an intelligent DNS blackhole. Usually DNS blackholes are set-up to block known bad domains by sending requests for those domains to a non-routable or localhost. STRONGARM redirects that traffic for identification and analysis. You could give it a try and let us know of any feedback you might have! Much of my involvement has been in the design and creation of the blackhole, including writing protocol parsers for both standard protocols and malware.

So far, I’ve been greatly enjoying my new position. There’s been a renewed focus on technical work, while being in a position to greatly influence both STRONGARM and Percipient Networks. My average day involves many more activities now, including technical work: reverse engineering, reviewing/writing code, or reading RFCs; as well as other work: mentoring [1], user support, writing documentation, and putting desks together [2]. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the varied activities!

Shifting software stacks has also been nice. I’m now writing mostly Python code, instead of mostly MATLAB, Java and C/C++ [3]. It has been great how many ready to use packages are available for Python! I’ve been very impressed with the ecosystem, and been encouraged to feed back into the open-source community, where appropriate.

[1]We currently have four interns, so there’s always some mentoring to do!
[2]We got a delivery of 10 desks a couple of weeks ago and spent the evening putting them together.
[3]I originally titled this post “xx days since my last semi-colon!”, since that has gone from being a common key press of mine to a rare one. Although now I just get confused when switching between Python and JavaScript. Since semicolons are optional in both, but encouraged in JavaScript and discouraged in Python…