Hi, I’m James, and in 2017 I spent 4 ish months sliding into important inboxes, pretending I was somebody I wasn’t. You can read more about my time as the “EMAIL PRANKSTER™” here on Wikipedia.
I don’t think it was inevitable, my transition from pranker to protector; deal sealed with a high-five as I’m emailed the AWS keys. “Hackers” in the more conventional coding sense seem to fairly well triaged into the security industry; but social engineering – and specifically email specific social engineering – is less of a go-to; “We fucking need that asap” skill-set, at least outside of Russia and North Korea it is.
So with a fistful of headlines; no US VISA (Yet), and a fresh autism diagnosis; I downloaded a task management app, and entered the world of the Silicon Valley start-up! Well kinda, I was remote.
Two and a half years later my journey with Agari reached its COVID-casualty conclusion, and I’ve had an opportunity to take some time out, and think about where I want to head to next. And I’ll be honest; I mean an entire strip down here – if I couldn’t make a case for remaining in infosec, I would invest my efforts into my other passions; writing, art, mental health; philosophy – any one of these could have become my cognative raison d’être if I felt it was the right path for me to embark on.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some really gifted people on some really creative projects, and that’s given me a great sense of conditions where my skills can blossom, and conversely where they perhaps may wilt.
So my ‘next chapter’ is driven only by a desire to keep talking to inspiring people; to see what’s over their horizon. AI is winking at me though… This much I do know 😉
A recent, and perhaps surprisingly candid interview I did with Cybercrime Magazine. I never avoid talking about the challenges I’ve negotiated over the years, I prefer a life where I can just be myself and not have to worry about what I may have said X months before. My outlook is that if I tell the truth I can be free to think about the stuff I find exciting, rather than worry about whether my elevator pitch is getting out on the correct floor.
A story from back in May 2019; Covering my thoughts on my first 18 months as an Email Threat Researcher. Read the full article here.
Jumping further back to Sept 2017; this an interview I did with WIRED. You can read the full article here.