9Skip Duckwall

“Don’t break the law! It’s that easy.”

Closeup image of the computer/network auditor "Alva “Skip” Duckwall."

Twitter: @passingthehash

Alva “Skip” Duckwall started using Linux before there was a 1.0 kernel and has since moved into the information security arena, doing everything from computer/network auditing to vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. Skip spent three years on the U.S. Army red team, where he got to break into military bases and not get arrested for it. Skip’s current work is as an independent security consultant.

How did you get your start on a red team?

I spent nearly a decade as a Unix system administrator before transitioning into the burgeoning full-time computer security arena. Unix sysadmin work routinely involves modifying an access control list (ACL) somewhere, be it a firewall, a file share, or whatever, so the transition to a security-minded role wasn’t bad. I eventually transitioned into a position with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), where I traveled to worldwide DoD sites and audited the sites versus the Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs). Having a deep background in day-to-day operations, along with a deep understanding of how various organizations attempted to keep their data secure in accordance with what are generally considered the top security standards, is what ultimately got me a job with the Army red team.

What is the best way to get a red team job? ...

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