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Who am I
My name is Israel Ojo popularly known as Ojo Iszy.
“Iszy” (pronounced, “easy”) is my nick coined out from Israel which is my first name.
You can find me (officially) on the following social media accounts YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest with the username
Some fun facts about me –Ojo Iszy
- My younger siblings call me a nerd. Because I spend too much time with computers but I’m often impatient to watch a T.V program for at least an hour.
- I smile a lot. And when something is really funny to me, I laugh so hard until tears drop from my eyes.
- I’m an avid gamer. I can play video games all day long forgetting that I have not eaten.
- I’m a lover of good music. When I hear music I like I put it on repeat till I literally wear it out.
- I’m the best dancer in Africa! Now, that’s a lie through my teeth. My friends know I don’t have even one single dance move and they tease me all the time.
- I’m an adventurer. I love to travel and see new places; especially meeting new people and making new friends.
Now, I’m going to give you a summary of my career’s
Before I even begin, I want to first and foremost express my eternal gratitude to God Almighty for giving me life and wisdom to do the things I do.
Next, I want to express my appreciation to these two wonderful individuals, Jerry Banfield (all round Internet marketing guru and entrepreneur), and David Kennedy (CEO, TrustedSec Inc.
If I hadn’t come in virtual contact with the work of Jerry in the online marketing and entrepreneurship space; or the penetration testing tools, DefCon presentations, and inspiration of Dave in the Information Security and Ethical hacking space, I don’t think I’d be here doing the things I do now.
Every other great person I later came to know and rode off their backs by learning from their work was because I first knew Jerry and Dave online. Thank you so much for the impact you both have made in my career. And thank you to the numerous others whom I cannot mention here.
How I Got Started
In my early years as a young teenager, I have always been fascinated by technology – especially the inner workings.
This was my motivation then when I started to take apart any piece of technological device I could lay my hands on. I started with opening up the old cassette players we had back then at home. Later I graduated to breaking open old, faulty (sometimes working) mobile phones I could find anywhere. All these was to try to find out why these things could work the way they did.
My fascination for technology led me to study Electrical Electronic Engineering at the University when I came of age. So I could get better acquainted with Electronics motherboards and their components like the ICs, transistors, etc.
While I loved to know about the hardware side of tech, I found out that I was naturally good with the software side of tech too. I could operate any and every gadget or electronic device that I found without even needing the operation manuals or having someone put me through.
Through trial and error, I would find out about all the functions of a device and then try to find out what more I could have it do. By attempting to make it do more than it was programmed for, many times I would brick a device and render it useless, at other times, I’ll find out something new. This was my approach to any new technology.
Having ‘won’ with reverse engineering mobile phones I wanted to take things a notch higher by testing my craft out on computers, so I went for the laptops.
Coming into Programming and Web development
Back in 2016 in my 2nd year at the University, I got my own laptop. O Boy, was I excited? I thought to myself this was the opportunity I had been waiting for. The time to explore computers finally!
This was not my first time handling a computer though. Before now I had worked with our old desktop computer at home some many years back where I first learned how to type. And of course like you might have guessed, I was closely monitored at all times NOT TO OPEN it up “for one of those my experiments” LOL.
I also had the opportunity to work for a Telecommunications company here in Nigeria where I had a small laptop I was assigned at work for SIM registration purposes.
And certainly, these were not the only times I had access to computers; I had used friends laptops, other family members laptops, etc.
But I couldn’t really manipulate those as much as I desired so I just patiently waited till I got mine and now it was happening. This may not seem much to you but it was everything to me at the time.
Anyways, I later decided against toying with the hardware of this my personal computer. It was because I knew if something happened and it broke, it would be a LONG time before I got another one. So I went ALL software instead and that was how I ‘landed on the web’ of programming and web development!
Or wait a minute…
Did I just lie about not opening my laptop up?
Yeah, I did! I couldn’t just resist that temptation. Below are actual pictures from my little expedition. Although not much, I definitely learned something new!
Going forward, I was formally introduced to the wonderful world of codes and programming, when I took my first ever Programming course on Udacity. It was a free course on “intro to computer science – cs101”. And I learned Python programming language along the way in that course.
I wrote my first few lines of code. Boy, I was excited! I can remember writing the Python code that printed “Hello World” on the screen. It felt like I had superpowers now.
I continued in this line, taking more free courses online and on other platforms besides Udacity, namely: Udemy, Codecademy, edX, Cousera, Cybrary. I took classes on programming, web development, and Networking.
…dedication to self-
My journey this far has mostly been self-taught online. I never really had a physical teacher put me through; neither did I take special classes at any physical institution (at least not yet).
Most of the resources I used online were free and a few I had to buy. Normally I would navigate away whenever I saw one that was paid because I thought I couldn’t afford it. Until I later found out that some very awesome content and materials were being kept behind paywalls. This was when I changed my approach to saving up for courses instead and then later coming back to buy them.
Basically, I gathered knowledge from voraciously studying a lot of books (mostly PDFs), a lot of people’s blog posts and articles who had gone ahead.
I Followed on social media those who were important to my cause and I watched a lot of their videos mainly on YouTube – tutorials, presentations, talks, seminars, etc.
Some things I learned just for knowledge’s sake, to be versatile! The bulk I learned because that was my passion.
As I learned anything new I immediately put it to practice so that the concept stuck with me.
Over the years, all these time spent has translated to thousands of hours I have put into self-education online.
I still do everything I have described above till date. I’m ever learning new things, never relenting in self-education and now I’m going to be showing others my findings too.
How I came about Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking
Fast forward to 2017…
I continued learning to code throughout this time.
And though I was enjoying writing code I was not quite satisfied. I felt like there was something more that was missing for me.
I didn’t like that I had to write hundreds of lines of code for my programs to perform just a small task and then thousands of lines more for the program to be production-ready!
Even though this was
Was I going overboard with this? Well, this is how I have come this far. My mindset on technology ever since has been to make it do more than intended.
This was about the same time that I got to find out about one of Jerry Banfield’s courses on ethical hacking that had gone viral. I took the course and immediately knew this was what I was looking for.
Working with the Linux Operating System
I learnt a ton from that course and one of the things I immediately did as a result was to ditch the Windows Operating System for Fedora Linux. No hard feelings Microsoft, I still love you guys.
Now being a Linux user back then wasn’t a very pleasant ride. Things weren’t as intuitive as they were when I was on Microsoft Windows. But because of how I had wired myself to think, I embraced the challenge to learn the new OS. It was another rabbit hole I dabbled into for many months until I gained sufficient mastery of the OS.
I picked a lot of new experience working with Linux. I learned new concepts like full disk encryption, hard drive partitioning, bash programming, and my favorite, working with the terminal.
Working with the terminal is relatively difficult but (for some reason) I actually enjoyed it better than the point-and-click on Windows. I’d rather use Linux and have access to the whole building than to be allowed in “through the Window” LOL.
I absolutely love Linux and I have never looked back using the Linux OS ever since.
I found my passion…
From Jerry’s course, I
That was how I found Dave Kennedy. It was not very difficult to follow and learn, I guess because of my background knowledge.
I had found my real passion in Information security and combating cybercrime.
First thing I learned about in InfoSec was Remote Administration Tools (RATs) and malware. And how that cybercriminals were using these to infect and control their victims computers over the internet from half-way across the planet. It fascinated me a lot, so I got down to look into it.
But in my effort to develop these skills I built virtual labs (which was the recommended way) where I could test things out in a safe and legal environment. There, I mercilessly hacked my own devices in my lab to learn.
Think bad, do good – Samy Kamkar
I learned offensive hacking skills in order to become a defensive specialist.
NOTE: I NEVER attempted to do anything illegal with this new found knowledge. Because I knew it could cause serious harm to people in the real world and land me in trouble (I love my freedom).
I took my cue from those who had previously ‘got burnt’ doing illegal things but gracefully had a second chance to make things right.
Two prominent examples are Kevin Mitnick (arrested in 1995 for computer crimes) and Samy Kamkar (creator of the MySpace worm). They are both now renowned security consultants/researchers teaching and helping people and companies around the world to be secure online.
So coming into InfoSec, I wanted my knowledge to be a force for good as well.
Because I saw those whom I followed online, the likes of Beau Bullock (@dafthack), Chris Hadnagy (@humanhacker), Dave Kennedy (@hackingdave), Samy Kamkar (@samykamkar) living good lives, hacking legally (with the permission of their clients); and making a decent living using this kind of knowledge.
Most of all, doing what they enjoy!
Giving back to help others…
I wouldn’t be here if someone didn’t share their knowledge on Quora answering peoples questions, or made the blog posts, created the video tutorials and the books I used as resources online.
Also, I wanted a medium where I could share my knowledge
Furthermore, writing and teaching others about digital security and technology not only provides a great way to solidify the concepts I have learned but also is an integral part of my journey into InfoSec following John Strand’s 5-year plan.
Thanks for taking the time to read, I’m so happy you are here on this journey with me! If this message impacted you, please feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me a message at [email protected]