Category: podcasts

InfoSec career day

If you are currently looking for a career in InfoSec or looking to move up, there have a been a few great podcast episodes recently worth checking out.

InfoSec Daily Podcast episode 315 was a fantastic open discussion tossing around the topic of certifications vs. degrees and everything in between.  Special guests Dave Kennedy and Adrian Crenshaw hashed it out with your regular hosts and everyone in the IRC.

Also worth noting is Securabit episode 71.  Those guys have been knocking it out of the park lately with some great shows.  This one in particular is good because it features head hunter, Lee Kushner giving some excellent perspective about personal development vs. continuing education.  He also brings up career planning stating that the guys who actually bother to plan out their career paths(15%) have much more success in life than everyone else(85%) who simply fly by the seat of their pants.

Lastly, InfoSec Daily had another career day special for episode 300 where they discussed what to do when you make the WRONG career switch.  Many of us have been there.  Left something good for greener pastures and wished we could go back.  Listen here for some helpful advice about not burning bridges and what not to do.

If you are attending higher ed or digesting a pile of certs, I hope you have a plan.  I hate to see people out there WASTING money on making the schools rich and if you don’t really know where you are going, that is exactly what you are doing.

Social Media Security podcast

I have been listening to various security podcasts for over a year now and just recently stumbled on the Social Media Security podcast.  Just recently I finished listening to all of the episodes from the beginning.  I found them all still to be relevant and full of good information. Naturally, most of the focus is on Facebook.  I doubt there will ever be an episode where they don’t mention Facebook but with over 500M users (as of 2010), it’s not a big surprise.

Tom and Scott who run this podcast are always very laid back and professional compared to certain other security podcasts.  This is one you could certainly send to your 90 year old grandma without worrying about bad language or risqué topics.  Not too technical but still very important information for anyone who uses social media in any capacity.  Even if you decide that listening to podcasts is not for you, you should definitely grab the Facebook Privacy & Security Guide that they link to on their site.

SecuraBit podcast review

I’ve been meaning to review the SecuraBit podcast for a long time but the most recent episode(Episode 67: We’re all gonna get HAX!) pushed me to do it.  Their format is fairly informal and that has sometimes led to what they refer to as a “SecuraBeer” episode where everyone talks over each other and the topics drift into the gutter but SecuraBit has been REALLY stepping up their game lately and delivering some excellent content.  I would said pretty much everything in 2010 has been great.  They focus on malware forensics, reversing and several other topics along those lines.  I’m glad that I stuck it out with them and kept listening because an earlier review would have been unfair.

That being said, EVERYONE needs to listen to episode 67.  Everyone who uses a computer at all for anything at home, at work, or wherever should hear what there guest, Roger Grimes, has to say about antivirus software, patching, embedded systems and all of the fortune 10,50, 100 & 500 companies of the world.  The message is fairly grim but it boils down to antivirus NOT being a magic bullet.  Roger also mentions how fake antivirus is the number one source of infection that he encounters.  He goes on further to talk about Mac OS X and people’s blind ignorance when it comes to OS X security. He refers to Charlie Miller winning the “Pwn to Own” contest at CanSecWest:

Roger takes a minute towards the end to plug his own favorite operating system, OpenBSD.  Even if you don’t understand some of the things Roger is talking about at the start of the interview, stick it out.  He starts speaking in very plain English towards the middle and the message is something that everyone needs to hear and anyone should understand.

I’m looking forward to many more well-picked interviews on SecuraBit.  It seems that they have finally found their niche.

RetroMacCast podcast review

I ran across the RetroMacCast the other day when I was looking for podcasts focusing on older computers.  This podcast is ran by two guys, James & John who are both collectors, restorers and modders of old Macintosh computers.  They seem to be mostly interested in 68000 and early power PC architectures but certainly mention G3’s and G4’s all the time as well.  I like to listen to podcasts from the start when I find them.  The RetroMacCast started on December 17th, 2005 so they have been around a long time now.  As of today (6/27/2010) they have 165 episodes under their belts.  Their goal is to podcast once a week.

As of now, I’m only on episode 23 of this podcast so anything I mention now may change later but I like this podcast for several reasons.  Let me just list them off:

  • They keep it moving at a good pace.  Aside from interviews, no segment goes on for over a five minutes or so.
  • It is consistent.  You always know what to expect when you listen so if you like the first one, you’ll probably like them all.
  • The format is good.  They read some fan mail, talk about a particular retro mac of the week, a piece of hardware or memorabilia, an eBay find of the week and current news.
  • No sponsors so the podcast isn’t junked up with a bunch of ads.
  • Good audio quality and production.

I’m not a big Mac guy personally.  I like the MacBook Pro that I use but I’m not a fan boy, I don’t idolize every little nuance of the company and I don’t collect old Macs.  That being said, I always learn some new and interesting about old Macs and old computers in general from this podcast and never find it overwhelming to listen to.  Going back to the start, it’s fun to listen to these guys speculate about new hardware coming out such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, MacBook Air, etc.  To me, listening to these podcasts about the old Macs is better than actually owning most of the systems since it takes up less space to just listen to their podcast and look at the pictures they post.  I’m confident that if I ever DO decide to buy a retro Mac, I’ll have the proper knowledge to figure out which one to buy thanks to this podcast.

James and John do a very good job of keeping it interesting and leave the listener wanting to hear more.  One of my favorite segments of their podcast is the eBay find of the week.  They will discuss a few rare items that are listed, give recommendations on whether to bid on them or not and then the next week, they follow up and tell how much the items did or did not sell for.  I would not be as kind as they are when talking about some of these sellers such as the guy wanting $500 for a toaster Mac case back or the other guy trying to get $3500 from a third party external scsi drive.

If you are into old Macs, this is your podcast.  If you are into new Macs, this might also be your podcast since they do hit all of the major announcements and don’t tend to drag on about them too much.  If you are into computer history, this is definitely your podcast.  Sometimes they even step outside their scope and dare to talk about things like the Apple I, Apple Lisa and Newton Message Pad.  If any of this sounds interesting, check out their website or just subscribe in iTunes.

Late 2009 I started becoming interested in security podcasts.  In general, security podcasters put out a lot of excellent information in an entertaining format.  I’ve come to find that many of them follow the same format to the point of being a bit cliche.  Things like crazy sound boards, beer de jour, etc.  ISD has a couple of these formula elements but they also have their own unique angles that give them value and make them entertaining.

ISD is the first podcast I ever listened to so I didn’t really have anything to judge it against.  I’ve listened to a lot more podcasts since then however and I still find that ISD stands out as one of the better ones.  I find Matthew and Rick very entertaining since the dynamic they share reminds me of the way myself and a former co-worker used to banter about and finally solve our heated discussions with Google.  I also applaud Rick and Matthew’s dedication.  These guys podcast EVERY WEEKDAY.  Wow!!  Most podcasters would(and do) run out of steam but these guys have put out more content already than 95% of the other podcasters out there ever will.

One of the best things about ISD is Thursdays where they bring on Adrian Crenshaw, the Irongeek for a weekly technical segment.  Adrian must clone himself or something because I hear him calling in and talking on all the other podcasts, I see that he goes to a zillion cons, holds a day job and tweaks with hardware hacks as a hobby.  Incredible.  He’s very interesting to listen to and is always working on a fascinating project.

Overall, the ISD guys are obviously dedicated to providing good content.  They haven’t even been around for a year yet (as of 5/7/10) but they have brought on plenty of interesting guests to interview and spewed off a lot of well-thought out content so far.  I think these guys are definitely worth a listen even if you aren’t directly in the computer security field yourself.

One last thing to keep in mind is that the ISD guys are VERY slanted towards security and local events in the southeast since they are based in Georgia.  They proudly pimp all of their hometown security conferences, events and training.  If you don’t live in the southeast, you’ll probably have to find information about local events from another source.  Nothing wrong with that, it’s just an observation.

Keep up the great work guys!

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