20 Years in Infosec; Time to Party like its *1999

I am not a big fan of AT&T (here), but this video from AT&T released in 1990 is about the most insightful view into modern day infosec I’ve ever seen (here) and since it was produced pre-brick walls on fire and simple clouds to depict complex relationships it is more believable than most security marketing crap.

Neat story;

We began homeschooling this year – why? convictions, ideals, teaching to excellence versus teaching to the medium – as part of this the boys (11 & 13) are to keep up with current affairs of their choosing. My older son was quite intrigued by a story in the Economist about **Iran, something about how if they are bombed it would only slow down their nuclear ambitions, not destroy them, and worse it would dramatically increase global crankiness.

As he was sitting down to prepare his report I received an email from a reporter in Azerbaijan asking for comment on Iran’s cyber-security capabilities, especially as it relates to their nuclear program…a topic I am uniquely unqualified to comment on, but here nor there…so the other morning my son read his report, which included  his dad’s quotes from the Azerbaijani article. As a father it’s cool to draw the world full-circle like that, but the the entire experience made me feel really old and reminded me that a new generation of folks needs to be mentored and enabled.

* why would a disciple of the eternal order of the packet want to party like its 1999?

Perhaps 1999 was the first year that folks actually believed they could make a difference or more likely that was the year that the majority of security products in use today had all been invented by, since then its been a three-way battle between fail, bravado, and dreams deferred to produce iterations of the previously invented, but really nothing new

** disclaimer: I know very little about making money (or Iran), but the markets will be impacted as western powers continue to intentionally spread democracy across the Middle East, do with that information what you will

One Warm Coat…Two Changed Lives

<Warning: This post has nothing to do with technology, information security, or anything else I normally blog about>

This post is dedicated to the memory of Stephanie Renee Fong

When I was in my early 20s I met a young women named Stephanie, we quickly grew very close. Stephanie was special to me in many ways, but most of all she always seemed to provide me so much warmth and comfort.

One winter she had bought me this really cool warm coat, she ended up wearing the coat most of the time to the point that the coat smelled like her…which always brought a smile to my face.

Stephanie was allergic to legumes and also suffered from Asthma, which required her to use a special prescription inhaler. I never realized the extent that allergies can impact us until one day in August 1994.  Continue reading

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Technology Acquisitions

It is the foundation for the free market system and capitalism and it is every entrepreneurs dream; build a great technology, execute and achieve excellence in GTM, deliver fantastic value to customers and take great pride in watching your passion grow – fast.

Then it happens; the exit, the liquidation event, the ‘golden ticket’ and in a blip of your time on this tiny little rock your life changes.

Last year, after spending almost four years as the CTO of BigFix, we were acquired by IT industry behemoth IBM (IBM to acquire BigFix) for what was the largest acquisition of a private software company in 2010 (second was CA’s acquisition of Nimsoft at around $380m) and my life changed…

Continue reading

Looking back on the past 365 – Balance is key!

We become so caught up in the day to day activities of work and family that it is easy to forget what is truly important. I try to mediate and reflect on life as often as possible, but the end of the year affords me the time to get back in touch with me. Was the I the best father I could be? the best husband? the best friend? – did I live with integrity and respect and did I provide the same to those I work with professionally? Did I live every moment of my life with excellence or was I just going through the motions?

It has been an amazing year!

I rode an elephant through the jungles of Thailand, walked the beach at Phuket where the Tsunami hit, held a Koala at refuge in Brisbane, swam with Dolphins, touched a wobbegong shark, ate Satay at 3 in the morning in Singapore, tossed back cold sea urchin in Hong Kong for breakfast, meditated at Gargantua Del Diablo (the Devils Throat) at the mouth of Iguazu falls, took pictures of a Favella in Rio (not recommended for the faint of heart), touched history and art in Amsterdam, walked through Hyde Park, and met so many beautiful people along the way.

I taught my youngest son to play baseball, my oldest to defeat Mega-Godzilla and both to ride bikes – with no hands. I celebrated my ten year wedding anniversary, buried an uncle and held my mothers hand in the emergency room. I changed careers, bought a new home, gained and lost and gained and lost again dozens of pounds. I took up photography – again, advanced belts in martial arts, began work on two books, three screensplays, and started a blog.

As I reflect on the past year I realize now, more than I ever have, the importance of balance. The ability to live life to its fullest while still nurturing and growing and learning what it means to be human. For me balance is the key to happiness and sucess in life.

It has been an amazing year, and I am truly blessed to have the friends, family and opportunities in my life that I have. I wish all of you the very best that life has to offer in 2007.

Tibetan Refugees Shot by Chinese Forces, Witnesses Silenced…


Thanks to Boing Boing and Xeni Jardin for posting this story, which has truly saddened me, but needs to be told…

A group of ethnic Tibetans trying to flee Tibet were shot dead by Chinese troops on September 30, at a Himalayan pass near the border of China and Nepal (Tibet is an “autonomous region” of China, having been taken over by the PRC in the 1950s). Reports are emerging that Communist party officials have attempted to silence witnesses, including Western trekkers who were in the area when the killing occurred. Snip from The Independent:

Chinese diplomats in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu are tracking down and trying to silence hundreds of Western climbers and Sherpas who witnessed the killing of Tibetan refugees on the Nangpa La mountain pass last week. This ominous development comes as fears grow for the safety of a group of Tibetan children, aged between six and 10, who were marched away after at least two refugees including a nun, were shot dead.

I was born in Kathmandu, my middle name is Tsering which means “immortality” in Tibetan. My step-father is Tibetan and was part of a small group of resistance fighters, the Khampa Army, funded by the CIA to disrupt and harass the Chinese in and around Nepal and to gather information on Chinese troop movements from Tibetan refugees fleeing Tibet. Coincidentally the first undercover CIA agent killed in the line of Duty died trying to flee China as Mao’s army took control (here). That was a long time ago…

Tibet is the only society to demilitarize themselves and as Tibet gets wiped from the history books, as China continues its genocide of the Tibetan people and its culture, and as world leaders and terrorists drive us closer to a nuclear confrontation, can we afford to lose the level of compassionate spirituality the Tibetans embody?