but not go to jail :) Thus I started building attack tools and reverse engineering my own devices that I owned, and continued to release open source projects. Got super interested in privacy and the secrets that our computers, phones, etc held from us. At some point started running across hackaday projects...was so amazed by what people were creating! Tried to learn hardware by reading an electronics book and failed miserably. Just could not deal with scores of pages about resistors and capacitors, I just had no idea how to apply it...until one day someone handed me an Arduino. From there, dove in and learned you could just write software on it, which made it so accessible and easy for me (as I wrote software), and then making the jump to desiging my own hardware, firmware, etc was much easier (and I even kind of know what capacitors and resistors are good for now :) And here we are today...that's the short version! If you're interested in seeing some of my projects (both hardware and software), I have some of my more favorite projects up at my homepage, https://samy.pl So happy to dig into questions and also ask/ammend anything in the chat if you'd like!
Hi friends, I'm Samy Kamkar. I've been fascinated by and fortunate to be learning about technology since I was young. Around 16, dropped out of high school as I was spending most of my time playing Counter Strike and writing open source cheats once I learned a little bit of programming and that you could actually manipulate memory, sniff packets, draw over applications, etc. Learned you could actually make a career out of programming and started contracting remotely (so that people wouldn't know I was young), and kept exploring different OS's, languages, software and protocols, Fell in love with hacking and reverse engineering, until it bit me when I was 19 -- released a worm onto myspace that ultimately caused anyone who viewed my profile to add me as a friend and append "samy is my hero" to their profile, along with replicating the code to their profile...within a day, one million friends were added, myspace had to shutdown, and I got a visit from the US Secret Service. After 6 months, ultimately had a deal with the government that I couldn't touch a computer, the internet, or myspace for 3 years -- actually a really interesting experience for me and glad I had it!
Jørgen Kragh Jakobsen Any day job?
samy kamkar I've started a security related startup with some friends recently. I cofounded a VoIP company when I was 17 (fonality.com) and grew that for about 6 years, then didn't really have any real dayjob since then, instead I mostly worked on my own projects, released them as open source, and have been really fortunate to have people reach out to me afterwards about my projects to either license some of my work/resesarch or do short consulting projects, while still allowing me to spend a lot of time learning new things
I am cautious about opening your homepage at work, will it add my linkedin automatically
samy kamkar I found the more I did on my own on things I was really excited about, and shared for free, somehow the more well paying projects would come my way and became a bit cyclical
@billybob it's safe, I promise :)
Alex Peron +1 @billybob
samy kamkar So I'll grab some questions from the doc
samy kamkar @madaerodog asks What is your favorite/best tool that you never leave home without in your line of work (other than laptop)?
samy kamkar In my bag I keep a Saleae logic analyzer, arduino nano, teensy, and a handful of other small and portable tools...but I think those might top it. I have a pocket multimeter in there as well which can be useful.
madaerodogKwel, have some of those as well, i'll add the rest to my list of to buy :D
samy kamkar The important things to me are to be able to inspect and create, so a computer, microcontroller,...
Read more »