Get to know the Review Board in a new interview series, Beyond the Bio. In this series, Black Hat Review Board Members offer insight from their favorite exploits and pastimes to their most memorable Black Hat experiences.
In this issue, Black Hat interviews Jamie Butler, Chief Technology Officer at Endgame.
Why did you choose your profession?
I was attracted to computer security at a young age because I felt it was me against the machine. That machine could be very expensive and owned by a corporation or a nation. With a small investment in a personal computer, one can truly take on the world. Hacking helped democratize the world for me.
Who’s someone in the community you’ve never met, but would like to?
I would really like to meet Steve Wozniak and learn more about the early days of hardware hacking.
What’s the biggest issue facing InfoSec that needs to be solved?
The biggest issues facing the industry today is lack of transparency among security vendors. Organizations spent $75 billion on security last year, yet they are still being breached at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, vendors are still making promises about their technology that they can’t keep, leading to confusion and discontentment amongst organizations. The InfoSec industry as a whole needs to commit to being more open and explicit about how their capabilities can solve problems for customers.
Have you ever been hacked?
Well, that depends on your definition of hacked. My corporate laptop was infected once in 2003 by the Blaster worm. At the time, I had two endpoint protection products running on my laptop; however, they were in detect only mode. When I dug into the logs of the products, I saw that they had both detected the buffer overflow. I was curious into how the protection software worked and how it could be bypassed. This research led to the Phrack Volume 0x0b, Issue 0x3e, Phile #0x05 article.
How do you “unplug” in your free time?
After a long day at work, I need thirty minutes to an hour of television or movies – something to watch or have on that is completely mind numbing. When I have a day to myself, I usually chose to read a biography or some other non-fiction book related to technology, entrepreneurship, or finance.