Howdy, my name is Marcus, and I’m a hacker. You probably picked up this book to learn from the best in red teams. I’m going to start off with one of my favorite sayings: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This quote is attributed to the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus. Trying to live out that wisdom is something I may never master.

When I was young, I was a know-it-all. I’d argue just to be right even when confronted with facts that definitively showed I was wrong. I was that kid in class who would raise my hand at every question, practically jumping out of the seat when a question was asked.

At some point, my parents bought an encyclopedia set, which I read from cover to cover. I read dictionaries to learn new words. I wanted to be like Einstein and Martin Luther King, Jr., rolled up into one. This behavior of wanting to know everything and believing I was the smartest person on Earth was crushed when I joined the military.

I was pretty smart and an excellent test taker, so I got into the U.S. Navy’s cryptologic program. After I left basic training and arrived at my technical training command, I noticed it was swamped with nothing but really smart people.

When I arrived in Scotland for my first duty station, it was more of the same. I worked with senior noncommissioned officers and civilians who absolutely blew my mind. The old me was still there, but I eventually put my pride away and started asking more questions. ...

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