As the end of 2016 comes around, it's been roughly 9 months since I started this blog, and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this year's academic / research endeavors.
- First off, I officially became a Computer Scientist, as I graduated from UCSB with Honors. A dream that I had been following for the last 16+ years finally came to it's conclusion as I walked up a stage and received that diploma. Let me also take a small chance to express my gratitude towards my family and friends who were the ones who fueled this success.
- On the blogging aspect of things, I managed to keep updating this blog at a decent rate of 2-3 post per month, which is fantastic! 🙂 I managed to touch on some varied topics such as building Chrome Extensions, Keylogging, Pentesting, PUFs, Scala, etc. This was definitely fun, yet challenging to achieve since each write up takes quite a while to achieve since I always want to get things right and not simply repeat content that can be found elsewhere on the web.
- I released 4 papers:
- On a work related note, I motioned to and successfully released Pydradis as Open Source. Pydradis is a python API wrapper for the Professional Pen-testing writeup tool, Dradis. It was fun to see some people take note of it. 🙂
- I was able to attend the DEFCON and CHES conferences. I had always dreamed of going to the DEFCON conference, seeing as it is the biggest hacker convention on the US. CHES on the other hand was a welcomed surprise as it focused purely on Hardware Cryptography and I considered it a crash course into all things relating with Side-Channel Attacks. Plus, I got to meet the R in RSA 🙂
- As part of my thesis program, I delved deeper in the world of Post Quantum Crypto as I study R-LWE KEX. What initially started as my professor asking me to write a funding proposal from a famed national lab, ended up in me focusing on the more fringe aspects of PQC for my thesis.
- This winter quarter, I dedicated my studies to the area of Machine Learning & Neural Networks with 2 projects. While both consisted on using Neural Nets, one consisted on sentiment analysis, while the other consisted in spam analysis.
- I released Duckhunt, a tool to help prevent automated keystroke injection attacks (e.g. RubberDuckies) and received some attention for it. I was happy to see it featured in a few news websites including Hackaday!
- I also released an old project of mine Pylogger (a Python Keylogger), which also received some level of attention. In fact, it was the most popular article of my blog this year, with around 2k unique hits.
- A simple joke among friends, quickly became (within 12 hours) a Chrome Extension and Hidden: Auto-Incognito was born.
Overall, the year has been pretty active, both academically, professionally, and personally. It has been a year of great changes, some which are still underway. It was definitely a year of "biting more than you can chew" and then chewing it regardless.
As for this new year, it feels as though I am still on the verge of big changes, as I will transition from graduate school to the so called "real world" and full time work. I don't think anyone read this blog consistently, except me, but I still thoroughly enjoy writing on it, and hope to be as active as possible reporting on all the research and academic/professional shenanigans I do! 🙂
Cheers and Happy New Year!