I'm Mark Wolfgang, Owner of Shorebreak Security, and This is How I Pwn.

Posted by Laura N on

Wonder what it’s like to work as a professional hacker? We’ve asked a few of our favorite hackers to share some insights into their work habits, favorite tools and more. This is the first of an ongoing series. Enjoy!

Location: Cocoa Beach, FL
Current Gig: I wear many hats as owner of Shorebreak Security. I do everything from pen testing, proposals, hiring, project management, product development (Lifeguard), to invoicing, paying the bills, and other administrative functions.
One word that best describes how you work: Focused
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Current computer: Macbook Pro

First of all, tell us a little about Shorebreak Security, and why you founded the company.

The main reason I became self-employed 8 years ago was that I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny. I wanted control. I wanted to be able to choose when to work hard and when to slow down. I wanted to choose my income, and being self-employed allows you to do that.

What apps, software, or tools can't you live without (doesn't have to be security related)? Why?
Lastpass - We use Lastpass Enterprise with Toopher for two-factor auth. I have unique and complex passwords for hundreds of websites. So if some website that I have an account on gets owned, I don't have to worry about the hacker cracking my password and using it elsewhere. Not to mention, if a bad guy forced me to reveal a password to something, I legitimately wouldn't be able to tell him, because in most cases, I do not know my password.

PGP - For when I need to send sensitive via email or encrypt files.

Various Chrome Browser Plugins - to block flash/java/ads/tracking

What's your workspace setup like?

Today is March 30th and I'm sitting in my backyard overlooking the canal, working from home. It's 68 degrees and sunny and I'm really loving the weather. This is very atypical for me, however, as I am usually stuck indoors behind a desk like most people. I use a Jarvis sit-stand desk that I absolutely love. It has 4 memory positions so is easy to change my stance. I stand for at least half of the day, which is a great improvement.

On my desk is a 27" Apple Thunderbolt display connected to my Macbook Pro, with an external mouse and keyboard.

What's your favorite security tool or app?

nmap - a staple in my arsenal since around 1998. Whether I use it on a pen test (which I always do) or use it to verify a service is shut on one of my computers, it's incredibly handy and worth mastering.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without and why?

Apple TV and ipad. For entertainment, reading and browsing.

What security fu are you better at than everyone else? What's your secret?

As a pen tester, when I dive deep I am very thorough and persistent. I will pour through a compromised server for hours or more until I feel it's of no further use. I also make sure I frequently get out of the weeds to ensure the big picture is properly served. Breaking into everything is fun and all, but ensuring the customer is happy and the goals are met is the most important thing. As a business owner, I really do care and want everyone to be happy, which is sometimes hard to do.

What do you listen to while you work?

Mostly roots reggae and dub, but I also listen to 80's music a bit.

What are you currently reading?

A bunch of magazines - the Economist, Fortune, Inc, Outside. Next book in the queue is Zero to One

How do you learn new skills?

The hands-on way. It used to be, find, download, compile, learn. It's gotten simpler now - but the process is the same - read, install, learn - repeat.

Fill in the blank: I'd love to see ______ answer these same questions.
ESR - good luck with that :P

What's the best advice you've ever received?

The shit for dollar ratio. Make sure the "shit" you have to put up with is worth the dollars. I let this guide most things in my work life. Although one cannot be absolute, I do often ask myself if something is worth doing, and I'm not afraid to change my mind, cutting losses if necessary.

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