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Paranoid Developers - It's a long one
Backstory: I was a freelance web developer when I managed to land a place on a cyber security program with who I consider to be the world leaders in the field (details deliberately withheld; who's paranoid now?). Other than the basic security practices of web dev, my experience with Cyber was limited to the OU introduction course, so I was wholly unprepared for the level of, occasionally hysterical, paranoia that my fellow cohort seemed to perpetually live in. The following is a collection of stories from several of these people, because if I only wrote about one they would accuse me of providing too much data allowing an attacker to aggregate and steal their identity. They do use devrant so if you're reading this, know that I love you and that something is wrong with you.
That time when...
He wrote a social media network with end-to-end encryption before it was cool.
He wrote custom 64kb encryption for his academic HDD.
He removed the 3 HDD from his desktop and stored them in a safe, whenever he left the house.
He set up a pfsense virtualbox with a firewall policy to block the port the student monitoring software used (effectively rendering it useless and definitely in breach of the IT policy).
He used only hashes of passwords as passwords (which isn't actually good).
He kept a drill on the desk ready to destroy his HDD at a moments notice.
He started developing a device to drill through his HDD when he pushed a button. May or may not have finished it.
He set up a new email account for each individual online service.
He hosted a website from his own home server so he didn't have to host the files elsewhere (which is just awful for home network security).
He unplugged the home router and began scanning his devices and manually searching through the process list when his music stopped playing on the laptop several times (turns out he had a wobbly spacebar and the shaking washing machine provided enough jittering for a button press).
He brought his own privacy screen to work (remember, this is a security place, with like background checks and all sorts).
He gave his C programming coursework (a simple messaging program) 2048 bit encryption, which was not required.
He wrote a custom encryption for his other C programming coursework as well as writing out the enigma encryption because there was no library, again not required.
He bought a burner phone to visit the capital city.
He bought a burner phone whenever he left his hometown come to think of it.
He bought a smartphone online, wiped it and installed new firmware (it was Chinese; I'm not saying anything about the Chinese, you're the one thinking it).
He bought a smartphone and installed Kali Linux NetHunter so he could test WiFi networks he connected to before using them on his personal device.
(You might be noticing it's all he's. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't).
He ate a sim card.
He brought a balaclava to pentesting training (it was pretty meme).
He printed out his source code as a manual read-only method.
He made a rule on his academic email to block incoming mail from the academic body (to be fair this is a good spam policy).
He withdraws money from a different cashpoint everytime to avoid patterns in his behaviour (the irony).
He reported someone for hacking the centre's network when they built their own website for practice using XAMMP.
I'm going to stop there. I could tell you so many more stories about these guys, some about them being paranoid and some about the stupid antics Cyber Security and Information Assurance students get up to. Well done for making it this far. Hope you enjoyed it.26