Fabio Alfaro

When, why, and how I got into computers

In 2007, I was 13 years old and I had just purchased my first iPod shuffle (1st generation). I’m talking about the long vertical iPod shuffles, not the new generation rectangle iPod shuffles.

Being 13 and not to savvy with technology (at the time and as opposed to kids nowadays); I had trouble putting music on my new iPod, so I consulted one of my friend’s older sister who was in high school. It was by her help, that I came to learn about the necessary software needed to put music on the iPod (iTunes) and other peer-to-peer software (Limewire, Ares Galaxy, Bearshare..etc.) that would allow me to download any music I wanted.

From there on, I was hooked on technology.

Before my iPod, I was running after the school bus with my CD Player inside my backpack. – I’m sure many people of my generation can relate to that. I was impressed by the fact that this small device, that fits in my hand; could hold over 240+ songs, while my CD Player was much bigger but held less than a fraction of that.

Since 13, I’ve been focused on learning as much as I can about computers. The following Christmas of that year, I received a Desktop computer that was running Windows XP. At 16, I used my dial-up connection to download Visual Studio Community Edition (a software used to create windows programs) and created my first .Net application.

The story of my first program is long, but the short story is; I created a software that would scrape YouTube usernames of people who had recently commented on viral YouTube videos. The software would then send a message to those users promoting another YouTube video, log out, log into a new account and repeat the entire process again. If I left the software running overnight. Within 24 hours, I could send out 10,000 messages (With a DSL connection and sending 20+ messages per account) to people who were most likely already on Youtube. I put ads on the software and made it so that every hour on the hour, the software would browse to one of my ads and click it. – I wasn’t aware this was against ad rules (I was 16 and not reading the TOS agreement). I did make about $600 a month for a couple of months until I was caught and my ad account was terminated. – The click-through ratio wasn’t adding up.

I Moved a lot

From Royal City to Tricities, from Tri-Cities to Umatilla OR,  back to Royal, and finally back to Tri-Cities.

I grew up in Royal City, WA a small town with a population of fewer than 2,000 people; at the time. At the end of 8th grade, I moved to Tri-Cities, WA and attended Chiawana High School. Therein, it became evident that even though I didn’t have access to computer classes in Royal Middle School; I was still at the top of my computer classes at CHS. Due to my skills, I received a letter of recommendation from my computer teacher. I moved back to Royal City, finished high school, and moved back to Tri-Cities the next day after graduation; to start my B.A.S in Cyber Security.

Since 2013, I’ve been passionate about Cyber Security, specifically with a focus on three areas; network security, wireless security, and digital forensics. I received a 4.0 in major courses such as Ethical Hacking, Wireless, Security, Network Security, UNIX Administration Security, Capstone and more. I went above and beyond in homework by creating test environments at home with hardware such as routers, servers, virtual machines, and wireless adapters.

In my wireless security final, I used Parrot OS to hack my friend’s WPA2 wireless encrypted network, (with permission) to gain access to his internet. I was successful, as this is easy to do nowadays. Nevertheless, throughout all the projects and homework I’ve completed. I’ve learned that one cannot know everything about computers because technology is always advancing. It is because of this, that I am passionate about Cyber Security as a whole and seek to learn more every day.

 

“The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.” – Newton D. Baker

My Favorite Quotes

“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”—John F. Kennedy

“The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.” – Newton D. Baker

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for” – Epicurus

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” – Henry David Thoreau

“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.” — Albert Einstein

“The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” — Alden Nowlan

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – B. F. Skinner

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” – B.F. knowledge

“Cheaters often accuse you of cheating. Liars often accuse you of lying. Insecure people often crumble your security. Behavior speaks…How someone treats you may have nothing to do with you; but can be a reflection of who they are.” – Steve Maraboli

“What Orwell failed to predict was that we’d buy the cameras ourselves, and that our biggest fear would be that nobody was watching” – Keith Lowell Jensen

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” – Malcolm X

“Everyone you meet always asks if you have a career, are married, or own a house as if life was some kind of grocery list. But no one ever asks you if you are happy” – Heath Ledger

“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.” – Tom Goodwin

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile but is morally treasonable to the American public.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“We live in a country where if you want to go bomb somebody, there’s remarkably little discussion about how much it might cost. But when you have a discussion about whether or not we can assist people who are suffering, then suddenly we become very cost-conscious.” – Prof. Andrew Bacevich

“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

“Don’t say “I can’t afford it”, instead ask “How can I afford it”? – Robert Kiyosaki

“Don’t compare yourself to who someone else is today, compare yourself to who you were yesterday” – Jordan Peterson

“Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man’s?” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong” – Bertrand Russell

“The only thing I know is that I know nothing” – Socrates

“We ask 18-year-olds to make huge decisions about their career and financial future, when a month ago they had to ask to go to the bathroom.” –Adam Kotsko