In November, 2013 I took the fateful deciding of taking SANS’ FOR610: Reverse-Engineering Malware: Malware Analysis Tools and Techniques class with Hal Pomeranz. Hal isn’t the course author for the class, but he is taller, louder, likes strange beers and has plotted my demise a couple of times.
Anyway, I won’t give a review of the 610 course as many, many others have already done so. However during the class there was much mocking from Hal and my classmates, shockingly, I was the target of the afore mentioned mocking - making it a most enjoyable time. Really, take any of Hal’s classes and asked to be mocked, it makes the days fly!
I promise Hal on his death bed I would take and pass this exam for him. Yes, yes, Hal wasn’t on his death bed, but he’s somewhat accident prone – especial if pushed at the right time.
So I’ve had some time off to ponder home repairs and gardening and now it’s time to crush the 610 exam. Slight problem I haven’t taken a SANS exam in a while now (oops) and need to get back on that cyber* horse.
Starting my exam preparation training plan. Practice, practice, practice all the hands on labs, make hugely useful indexes of each book and then make a play book of my own and practice examining real malware with 610′s techniques, tools and procedures. Some of you may be asking “Chris, why aren’t you listening to the MP3 they give to you ask addition study?” The answer is simple. It’s complicated.
Okay, Lenny isn’t Hal. Yes, Lenny has some great stories, wrote the class and is an all nice guy, but unless I can get recordings of Hal mocking me, it won’t have the same psychological impact. Hal’s like Mr T in Rocky Three, I have to beat him mentally before stepping in the exam ring. Lenny’s just too nice and helpful.
Must. Crush. Hal.
Er, pass the exam, by using Hal as motivation.
Day one of prep and the laptop and virtual labs are built, plus I carried one of the books around with me all day. I can feel the knowledge seeping through the bag, over the air in in to my brain without turning a page. Actually, that’s more of a hallucination, so I have to resort to reading the book on the journey in to work tomorrow.
The only reason for these blog posts are a “Get on with it and study!” reminder.
Right, off to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey as that should help me wind down and forget all about Hal.
* Cyber – it’s synonymous with everything that right about IT security today and it makes things sounds more complicated/scary. Cyberknife, Cyberlight and CyberButterChickenandNarn are examples.