Updated: May 18, 2022
This platform has been in the making for close to three years. Man…that hurts to say out loud! So many things have caused this project to be postponed over and over. Everything from work to family events, finishing grad school and starting a doctorate to everyday life. Which brings me to the realization that…well… life happens, and things will always come up.
Another important thing to consider is how quickly technology is advancing at such a rapid pace. Vulnerabilities, threats, data breaches, ransomware, encrypted chat, blockchain, non-fungible tokens, cryptocurrencies, and the list goes on and on…hit the headlines every day. These technologies are crucial to the modern world and understanding how they operate will be vital for years to come. Throughout my career in the workforce and academia, I realized these things have a steep learning curve and finding resources to study was difficult because they were either scattered all over the place, were expensive, or just nearly impossible to find. I wanted a place I could go to for all my technology and cybersecurity educational needs, but it didn’t exist the way I envisioned it. So…I decided to build it.
This project is a great work in a progress and will expand drastically over the next year. Read more below about who we are, what we do, and where we are going!
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Bit Byte Hash's mission is to provide an ecosystem of cybersecurity educational resources to the world.
What We Do
At Bit Byte Hash, we want to focus on one of the biggest problems we face in today's world, which is the lack of access to technical information and quality educational resources, all in one consolidated place. Nobody has time to scour the internet searching for the things they need to enhance their technical skills. That is why we will work diligently each day to provide you with access to various tools, books, downloadable resources, reference sheets, virtual machines, and many quality blogs and articles on a wide variety of technological topics.
Note: Some of these items are still being developed, but we will notify you of updates via our newsletter!
About The Name
Shortly after I had the idea to build this platform, I started brainstorming on a name. I wanted something that was unique and had meaning behind it. I believe life is all about relationships which thrive via communication and trust.
We live in a world consumed with mass amounts of information. This information is most often transmitted, received, and consumed via different digital communication platforms such as email, text messaging, various social media platforms, and even this very website you are reading this on. The exchange of information is how we communicate to build and maintain our relationships.
Just as every solid, liquid, gas, and plasma is composed of the basic building blocks, neutral or ionized atoms, today's digital world is composed on the basic building block known as a BIT. These bits are represented by either a 0 or a 1, telling the computer to turn that piece of information off, a 0, or on, a 1. Actually, groups of lots of bits make up the information we understand! The most usable group of bits is called a BYTE, which is a collection of 8 bits.
The other key element I wanted to represent in the name is probably one of the most important aspects of communication and relationships, which is trust. How do we ensure these bits and bytes are honest, truthful, and free of malicious content? This is where the use of a HASH comes in! No, not a "hashtag" although they are also beneficial. "Hash" is short for a "hash function." The specific type we would like to focus on is a "cryptographic hash function" which allows you to create a "message digest". We accomplish this by taking the message (input) --> running it through a specific hash function--> and getting the message digest (output), often just referred to as the "hash." This allows you to verify the data's INTEGRITY!
For our name, we chose to use the "Secure Hash Algorithm 256, or SHA256". The abbreviation of our name is BBH. We took the "H" and ran it through a SHA256 function and got "44BD7AE60F478FAE1061E11A7739F4B94D1DAF917982D33B6FC8A01A63F89C21"!
Read below to find out more about each topic and to test an Online Hash Calculation of your own!
About Our Founder
I grew up in a small rural town of East Tennessee, Bristol to be exact, in a time where personal computers and the Internet were just coming into existence for the common American household. My first experience with a computer was in elementary school where I played the The Oregon Trail on an old Apple II. Ahhh the memories! From that moment, I knew technology was my passion and would certainly pave the way for future generations. At the time, I had no idea just how much of an impact technology would have on my personal life.
I joined the Marine Corps in 2004 and was granted the military occupational specialty (MOS) of 2651 – Special Intelligence Systems Administrator / Communicator, which has now been renamed to “Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems Engineer”. This field exposed me to a very wide range of technical skills in the tenants of Signal Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, Information Operations, and ultimately Cyberwarfare. I also had the unique opportunity to work with the National Security Agency/Central Security Service and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command.
Throughout my personal and professional life, one theme has been consistent: Quality technical training and resources have been difficult to get access to, especially in one place. Sure, there are a ton of resources on the Internet and a million different boot camps you can attend for professional licenses and certifications, but most come at a steep price that many folks cannot afford. I know firsthand as I have been one those folks most of my life. Technology and cybersecurity challenges change constantly, which requires someone within this profession to be passionate and ensure they keep their skills sharp through studying and practicing their craft. In my pursuit of being a lifelong learner, I have used hundreds, if not thousands, of websites, books, tools, techniques, study material, practice exams and quizzes, and the list goes on. I have even built (and rebuilt) my own security lab at home several times throughout my life, as most professionals have.
One night while working on a lab for an Applied Cryptography course, I found myself referencing several websites, books, numerous virtual machines, and countless tools. I felt like I was all over the place trying to find the things I needed just to set up my environment to learn, practice, and get the lab done. That is when the thought hit me…”What if I made a centralized place for people to come get the things they need when dealing with technology and cybersecurity?!”
That was the beginning of Bit Byte Hash.