8Ben Donnelly

“There isn’t just one type of red team job. There are quite a few subtle differences between different companies/groups that perform this type of work.”

Closeup image of the omni-domain engineer and the founder of Promethean Information Security LLC "Benjamin Donnelly."

Twitter: @Zaeyx

Benjamin Donnelly is an omni-domain engineer and the founder of Promethean Information Security LLC. Ben has worked as part of teams hacking such things as prisons, power plants, multinationals, and even entire states. He is most well known for his research projects, including his work on the DARPA-funded Active Defense Harbinger Distribution. Ben has produced a number of field-leading advancements, including the Ball and Chain cryptosystem. He has spoken at Derbycon and BSides Boise and has contributed content to multiple SANS courses. Outside of cybersecurity, he can often be found skydiving, producing underground electronic music, or starring in indie films.

How did you get your start on a red team?

I competed in a high school cyber-defense competition called Cyberpatriot. My team did quite well, and from there I managed to talk myself into getting invited to come out and compete in the first-ever NetWars tournament of champions. At this point, my entire skill set was still entirely from a blue team perspective—that was the only thing that Cyberpatriot had trained us in. Recently graduated from high school, where else was I supposed to learn the black arts (“red arts”?)?

But it turns out ...

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