Some folks are pissed over my recent posts about efforts in the security community to fight job burnout and depression. I won’t change your minds, so I’ll just clarify a few things and move along. Mood music: People have made five observations: The data is far too insufficient to declare a problem specific to the […]

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Jeff Bauman has gotten so much attention since the Boston Marathon bombings a year ago that I had resolved not to write about him here. I’m as inspired by his story as everyone else; I simply thought there was nothing I could say about the guy that hadn’t been already said. Then I started reading […]

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Curse You, 403: Forbidden Error!

April 15, 2014 News

UPDATE: We believe we have fixed the setting issues behind the problem. But if you encounter an error message, please let us know. Thanks! For months, my OCD has been triggered by a vexing, mysterious problem: Some of my readers keep getting “403: Forbidden” errors when trying to read posts. I’ve looked high and low […]

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There Are Other Things Besides Hacking

April 14, 2014 Work-life balance

During that SOURCE Boston session on security burnout last week, someone in the audience made an important observation: One of the reasons depression runs deep in the security industry is because hackers spend most of their time staring at a screen. Mood music: When a researcher is trying to break into system weaknesses, there’s an […]

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Layne Staley, 12 Years Later

April 12, 2014 Addiction

“What’s my drug of choice? Well, what have you got?” –Layne Staley, Alice in Chains This month marks 12 years since Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley was found dead. Mood music: Like Kurt Cobain, Staley had a big impact on me in the early 1990s. But while I identified with Cobain’s depression, I identified […]

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SecBurnout: Much Ado About Nothing?

April 11, 2014 Depression

At the SOURCE Boston security conference yesterday, I ran a session with former colleague and friend Josh Corman on the topic of security burnout. It’s an issue I’m increasingly dedicated to, given my own history with mental illness and high-profile deaths in the community. When I think of the suicide of Aaron Swartz and the accidental […]

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A Hacker Walks Into a Vape Shop…

April 10, 2014 Compulsive behaviors

A while back, I wrote about my use of electronic cigarettes as a way to avoid tobacco products. Since then, the phenomenon known as “vaping” has taken off. It’s especially popular in the security industry I work in. There’s some symbolism in that, as I’ll explain shortly. But first, a self-assessment. Mood music: E-cigs have […]

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Success vs. Failure: Not as Simple as This Image Suggests

April 9, 2014 Inspiration

LinkedIn and other social media sites are publishing a lot of articles and graphics lately about things successful people do and don’t do. There are many good points in all of them, and they at least give us things to strive for. This graphic in particular caught and held my attention: For the most part, […]

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Eleanor Roosevelt Was a Badass

April 8, 2014 Courage

I’ve always admired Eleanor Roosevelt. She defied the society of her day and forged a new path for women. She was a tireless fighter for the disadvantaged. During WWII, she traveled to the front to visit the troops, despite the danger. She was an early fighter for civil rights. One of her most famous quotes […]

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The Misguided Coping Tool of My Teenage Rage

April 7, 2014 Coping tools

The first car I ever owned as a kid was a beat-to-shit 1983 Ford LTD wagon. It had a catalytic converter that always flooded and stalled the car. The power steering was gone. And it was the misguided coping tool of my teenage rage. Mood music: The LTD’s exterior was a toxic green, covered over in […]

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