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Syntax – Arrested Teenager to Motorcycle Racer To Pentester

Last updated on May 18, 2020

  • Was arrested in High School for disclosing a vulnerability in the school IT system
  • Syntax is an internal pentester for a large organization
  • Went to college for Computer Science, but dropped out
  • Inspired by the Movie Hackers
  • First computer had a 1MB hard drive (Yes, not a typo!)
  • Still went to Defcon even when he was not in IT or working in security
  • Was a professional motorcycle racer
  • Kept all his rejection letters as a way of motivation to keep going
  • Had some business and entrepreneurial experience in the past, which helped him get back into the field
  • Got back into security through… IT!


  • “A lot of our time is spent arguing with the other departments and justifying our findings.” [2:58]
  • “Is this cross-site scripting really a problem.”
  • “I get stuck a lot… it’s kind of the nature of the beast.” [5:17]
  • “I’m not going to work in tech again.” [12:21]
  • “You’re a motorcycle mechanic… why should we hire you?”[19:07]
  • “It’s my hacker family. These are my people. Everyone in security, they make sense to me, cause they’re all kinda like me.” [19:41]
  • “I kept getting this projects coming my way and I constantly said YES.” [22:07]
  • “Have you done this before… no, but I’ll learn!” [25:06]
  • “No, this is website scraping… because I had that mindset… I was seeing it different than other analysts.” [26:00]


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