da_667 is creating Project AVATAR
3

patrons

Greetings to would-be or professional computer nerds everywhere!

My name is Tony. Many know me as da_667. I'm a moderately successful network security analyst who has around a decade or so of combined general IT and Information Security experience. I started writing a book.

In september of 2016, I started writing a book that I gave out for free. At first, this book was intended to be a simple introduction to IDS and IPS. I came to be dissatisfied with the book in general, because I felt like I was making way too many presumptions on what my readers knew and didn't know. If this was going to be a comprehensive introduction to building an IDS/IPS lab then I had to cover a lot more aspects than just installing the IDS/IPS software and setting up a firewall distribution for partitioning off the lab environment.

So my little book began to grow. I included guidance on how to create the lab network on Oracle Virtualbox, including recommend specs for RAM and disk space per VM. I started to include network diagrams. Then I started to cover additional hypervisors -- Microsoft Client Hyper-V (on both Windows 8 and Windows 10) VMware Workstation, Fusion, Workstation, and ESXi. I wrote about how to create the virtual machines for each hypervisor, cutting out excess virtual hardware, and hardening the VMs and the hypervisor itself from VM escapes and other security risks. 

Eventually, I started writing about how to configure the recommended firewall distribution for my lab environment, pfSense. I guided users through setting up network services and firewall rules for the lab environment, creating a secure, yet flexible baseline firewall policy that could be adapted to meet the needs of almost any IT professional with a desire for a lab environment to practice on.

After doing all that, I expanded upon the initial IDS and IPS guide, teaching readers how to implement an inline fail-close network topology in their lab using either Snort or Suricata. In addition to this, I taught readers how to integrate their IDS logs into the Splunk, the world-renowned logging and data analytics platform.

Not satisfied with these accomplishments, I expanded the guide, teaching readers how to configure remote access to their lab virtual machines, how to account for network differences inherent to baremetal hypervisors, how to harden Windows hosted hypervisor systems, and how to automate updates of their linux lab VMs, as well. I have even provided readers on recommendations on how they might reconfigure this flexible lab environment to better suit their learning needs for offensive security training, Incident Response and/or Security Operations training, and/or General Information Technology experimentation.

This endeavor, so far, has gone on for 9.5 months (or approximately 285 days if you're counting). Since those initial pages in a google doc way back in September of 2016, the book has exploded in both volume the comprehensiveness of the material covered. As it stands today, my book is over 580 pages, over 98,000 words, and contains well over 300 illustrations to help guide readers.

The craziest part about all of that? I've been giving the book out for free all along. Every so often, I would hit a milestone, such as adding a new chapter, and I would just give the latest copy of the book, complete with the newest chapter, for free. I did it because I wanted to make the world a better place, and this was my way of doing so. That, and people are VERY quick to scrutinize IT and/or information security training materials -- especially if they're given out for free.

At this point, my guide, now a book, is nearing its completion. Over the months I've hosted iterations of the book on my webserver (literally in the basement of my house), I've seen tons of interesting places download the PDF. I've had numerous students, teachers, professionals, novices, and everyone else in between send me thank-yous, and ask where they could send money. And well, here we are. As of mine writing this, on May 18th, 2017, I am still hosting a free copy of the book on blindseeker.com/AVATAR

That being said, it was always my plan to eventually remove the copies I gave out for free, and attempt to self-publish the book. At this point, there are five chapters of the book that me and Gunter have left to edit, before I dump the remaining material into Scrivener, and attempt to make a formatted, edited first edition that I can submit to either Amazon Create Space, or Leanpub, or pehaps even both or perhaps other self-publishing shops. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with the finished product just yet.

Before it gets asked, yes, I'm well aware that things put on the internet seldom ever leave the internet. That the free copies I have distributed so far have been saved and/or reproduced across the interwebs as we know them today. I also know that sometimes people prefer to not pay for material. Either because they don't have a use for it, don't like it, don't like the Author, or simply can't afford it. That's fine too. Use the existing free copies however you see fit. I'd like to make money off the book I wrote, but that was NEVER my primary goal.

So here's the deal. If you want to give me money for the material that me and Lord Gunter (My insanely talented technical editor who has volunteered time towards editing my crap pile of a book for the last 100 days) have produced so far, then thats fine. That is what this page is for. If you think I'm money whoring and you won't give me a red penny for the bullshit I produced, thats fine too, keep your doubloons, maybe donate them to HFC, the EFF, or your charity of choice. It makes absolutely no difference to me.

If you plan on buying the final product (or have already bought it) DO NOT DONATE TO THIS PATREON. I will not give you any rewards, I will not give you any special prizes, I will not give you anything cool. At least, not until I start writing the /next/ book.

I'm still not entirely sure how patreon works, but if you don't want to deal with their weird way of doing things, I also have a paypal link you can use for a one-time donation: https://www.paypal.me/da667

In any case, thats my story. Thanks for joining me in this mind-bending journey in which I have grown as both a student and a teacher.
Greetings to would-be or professional computer nerds everywhere!

My name is Tony. Many know me as da_667. I'm a moderately successful network security analyst who has around a decade or so of combined general IT and Information Security experience. I started writing a book.

In september of 2016, I started writing a book that I gave out for free. At first, this book was intended to be a simple introduction to IDS and IPS. I came to be dissatisfied with the book in general, because I felt like I was making way too many presumptions on what my readers knew and didn't know. If this was going to be a comprehensive introduction to building an IDS/IPS lab then I had to cover a lot more aspects than just installing the IDS/IPS software and setting up a firewall distribution for partitioning off the lab environment.

So my little book began to grow. I included guidance on how to create the lab network on Oracle Virtualbox, including recommend specs for RAM and disk space per VM. I started to include network diagrams. Then I started to cover additional hypervisors -- Microsoft Client Hyper-V (on both Windows 8 and Windows 10) VMware Workstation, Fusion, Workstation, and ESXi. I wrote about how to create the virtual machines for each hypervisor, cutting out excess virtual hardware, and hardening the VMs and the hypervisor itself from VM escapes and other security risks. 

Eventually, I started writing about how to configure the recommended firewall distribution for my lab environment, pfSense. I guided users through setting up network services and firewall rules for the lab environment, creating a secure, yet flexible baseline firewall policy that could be adapted to meet the needs of almost any IT professional with a desire for a lab environment to practice on.

After doing all that, I expanded upon the initial IDS and IPS guide, teaching readers how to implement an inline fail-close network topology in their lab using either Snort or Suricata. In addition to this, I taught readers how to integrate their IDS logs into the Splunk, the world-renowned logging and data analytics platform.

Not satisfied with these accomplishments, I expanded the guide, teaching readers how to configure remote access to their lab virtual machines, how to account for network differences inherent to baremetal hypervisors, how to harden Windows hosted hypervisor systems, and how to automate updates of their linux lab VMs, as well. I have even provided readers on recommendations on how they might reconfigure this flexible lab environment to better suit their learning needs for offensive security training, Incident Response and/or Security Operations training, and/or General Information Technology experimentation.

This endeavor, so far, has gone on for 9.5 months (or approximately 285 days if you're counting). Since those initial pages in a google doc way back in September of 2016, the book has exploded in both volume the comprehensiveness of the material covered. As it stands today, my book is over 580 pages, over 98,000 words, and contains well over 300 illustrations to help guide readers.

The craziest part about all of that? I've been giving the book out for free all along. Every so often, I would hit a milestone, such as adding a new chapter, and I would just give the latest copy of the book, complete with the newest chapter, for free. I did it because I wanted to make the world a better place, and this was my way of doing so. That, and people are VERY quick to scrutinize IT and/or information security training materials -- especially if they're given out for free.

At this point, my guide, now a book, is nearing its completion. Over the months I've hosted iterations of the book on my webserver (literally in the basement of my house), I've seen tons of interesting places download the PDF. I've had numerous students, teachers, professionals, novices, and everyone else in between send me thank-yous, and ask where they could send money. And well, here we are. As of mine writing this, on May 18th, 2017, I am still hosting a free copy of the book on blindseeker.com/AVATAR

That being said, it was always my plan to eventually remove the copies I gave out for free, and attempt to self-publish the book. At this point, there are five chapters of the book that me and Gunter have left to edit, before I dump the remaining material into Scrivener, and attempt to make a formatted, edited first edition that I can submit to either Amazon Create Space, or Leanpub, or pehaps even both or perhaps other self-publishing shops. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with the finished product just yet.

Before it gets asked, yes, I'm well aware that things put on the internet seldom ever leave the internet. That the free copies I have distributed so far have been saved and/or reproduced across the interwebs as we know them today. I also know that sometimes people prefer to not pay for material. Either because they don't have a use for it, don't like it, don't like the Author, or simply can't afford it. That's fine too. Use the existing free copies however you see fit. I'd like to make money off the book I wrote, but that was NEVER my primary goal.

So here's the deal. If you want to give me money for the material that me and Lord Gunter (My insanely talented technical editor who has volunteered time towards editing my crap pile of a book for the last 100 days) have produced so far, then thats fine. That is what this page is for. If you think I'm money whoring and you won't give me a red penny for the bullshit I produced, thats fine too, keep your doubloons, maybe donate them to HFC, the EFF, or your charity of choice. It makes absolutely no difference to me.

If you plan on buying the final product (or have already bought it) DO NOT DONATE TO THIS PATREON. I will not give you any rewards, I will not give you any special prizes, I will not give you anything cool. At least, not until I start writing the /next/ book.

I'm still not entirely sure how patreon works, but if you don't want to deal with their weird way of doing things, I also have a paypal link you can use for a one-time donation: https://www.paypal.me/da667

In any case, thats my story. Thanks for joining me in this mind-bending journey in which I have grown as both a student and a teacher.

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