I’m Taylor Banks, Founder of ACE Hackware, and This is How I Pwn

Posted by Taylor Banks on

how do i pwn thee? let me count the ways

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 part of an ongoing series. Enjoy!

Location: Full-Time Digital Nomad
Current Gig: ACE Hackware
One word that best describes how you work: kaos
Current mobile device: iPhone 6S Plus
Current computer: 13” Macbook Air

First of all, tell us a little about ACE Hackware, and why you founded the company?
Although the short version of the story is on our about page, ACE Hackware came about as the hacker’s supply shop I really wished existed. Inspired by Tim Ferris to create an e--commerce store, a “hacker toy store" was quite literally the first idea that popped into my head, and after a few trial incarnations, ACE Hackware is what resulted.

What apps, software, or tools can't you live without? Why?
These days, I hack business more than I do computers, so my day-to-day tools are more business and productivity related. The things that save me the most time are Alfred, Hazel, Homebrew, MySpeed, Shimo, Slack and TextExpander.

What's your workspace setup like?
It varies, week to week and often day to day. :) This week, we’re parked in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. This shot was taken from my patio a few days ago.

sonoran desert

What's your favorite security tool or app?
A true favorite is tough — there are some really amazing tools available, and security has such broad meaning depending on the audience. I’d say Dave Kennedy’s SET (The Social-Engineer Toolkit ) remains very near the top of my favorites list though I think the following “daily use” security-related utilities also deserve honorable mention: Authy, Dashlane and Password Chef. Also, when I’m not on an internet connection I trust or (mostly) control, I rely on AirVPN and Private Internet Access.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without and why?
My #r00tabaga for getting and securing internet wherever I go.

What security fu are you better at than everyone else? What's your secret?
Better than everyone else? Wow. Well, I’m certainly not the world’s greatest hacker or social engineer, although I have had the incredible privilege of teaching and mentoring many security professionals who I think might qualify for the title.

While I’m pretty good at a lot of “security stuff," I’d say I’m pretty even better at connecting smart people when and where they need to be connected.

What do you listen to while you work?
Bonobo (and tons of other Ninja Tune) and lately, Brain.fm during periods of focus.

What are you currently reading?
The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential...in Business and in Life by Leo Babauta

How do you learn new skills?
I learn by repeatedly trying and failing until I succeed. I also read and watch videos, but nothing reinforces the lessons I’m learning like a google search, a little elbow grease and some old fashioned trial and error.

What security app or tool do you *wish* existed?
Anonym.OS v2.0 :)

Fill in the blank: I'd love to see _________ answer these same questions.
Chris Silvers

What's the best advice you've ever received?
Don’t take yourself too seriously.

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