Cyber Frontiers

Cyber Roundtable with ACES Cybersecurity Students at UMD – CF018

This week on cyber frontiers Jim Collison comes to to join Christian and Ashton for a cyber roundtable conversation. We chat with students in the ACES cybersecurity program at the University of Maryland to gain their perspective on the state of the industry, educating students in the field, and potential future career paths for college students engaged in cybersecurity. With seven of us charging away at the conversation, we cover a variety of different topics with multiple viewpoints for the listener to digest. From recapping the biggest breaches of 2014 to discussing what it means to be a students pursuing cybersecurity in college, there is surely something for everyone to enjoy. Cyber Frontiers is all about Exploring Cyber security, Big Data, and the Technologies Shaping the Future Through an Academic Perspective!   Christian Johnson, a student at the University of Maryland will bring fresh and relevant topics to the show based on the current work he does. Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? We now have Video Large / Small and Video iTunes options at You can contact us via email at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Full show notes and video at Listen Mobile:     Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Music courtesy of Ryan King. Check out the Die Hard Cafe band and other original works at: / 
Continue Reading »
Cyber Frontiers

Cyber Legislation, Education, and A Healthy Dose of Realism with Special Guest Dr. Jim Purtilo – CF017

This week on Cyber Frontiers Christian, Ashton, and Jim catch up with Dr. Jim Purtilo (guest from Episode 3) to discuss historical and trending topics in cyber legislation, as well as many of the central issues surrounding cyber education in industry and academia. We explore some of the driving factors behind changes in mentality on where cyber legislation should be developed (and/or curtailed) – and where the disconnects are in understanding the current state of affairs in cyber legislation, education, and privacy matters that impact the average guy Cyber Frontiers is all about Exploring Cyber security, Big Data, and the Technologies Shaping the Future Through an Academic Perspective!   Christian Johnson, a student at the University of Maryland will bring fresh and relevant topics to the show based on the current work he does. Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? We now have Video Large / Small and Video iTunes options at You can contact us via email at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Full show notes and video at Listen Mobile:     Announcements: Cyber Frontier Labs is now publishing security alerts for public consumption. These alerts are designed to help web hosts, security analysts, and industry protect their network and encourage threat intelligence sharing and information security research. Visit for more information on our latest alert from our Bro IDS system. Cyber Legislation The Patriot Act – How did it get us to the policy decisions we are making today? ;src=typd International Cooperation between Executive powers on cybersecurity matters. We’re not asking for back doors. We have – we believe in very clear front doors through legal processes that should help to keep our country safe. — Agree or disagree? New cybersecurity legislation on the horizon Cybersecurity is an inherently shared mission between the government and the private sector. No single agency within the government can undertake cybersecurity alone, but even more importantly, the federal government cannot address the cybersecurity threat by itself. We must truly collaborate with the private sector on many levels in order to make our cybersecurity efforts effective.  — Do you agree or disagree? Ask yourself: Why is the government seeking authorization to do something it already claims authority to do? What game changer technologies might influence our cyber legislation in the future? —Autonomous vehicles, drones, Flying the real planes – FAA legislation (or lack thereof) —Netflix (already in the works) w/ FCC —Virtual Reality? How to get messages to prisoners? (radio) This article really hits home on a topic we talk about throughout the show – does subverting encryption techniques really benefit us in the long run? After reading how they sent the secret message to soldiers using a radio commercial, the phrase “if there’s a will there’s a way” seems very applicable to the debate. Cyber Education —Why is this really important? —What are we teaching technologists about these types of issues? —What is the difference between a cyber guy and a Computer Scientist? —How do we define what cyber really is? Is cyber just the cool word on the block – and if so how does it compare/contrast to the scholastic goals of forming scholars in computer science? ( rational thinkers who can solve problems) Are people being trained to enter the workforce in cybersecurity being productized? –Historically Black Colleges receiving $25 million in funding as per new Cybersecurity policies   Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Music courtesy of Ryan King. Check out the Die Hard Cafe band and other original works at: / 
Continue Reading »
Cyber Frontiers

Using Big Data and Graph Theory to Map the WWW – CF016

This week Ashton and Christian kick off the new year by discussing plans to launch the first major cybersecurity research project on the development sandbox: mapping the internet with traceroute, distributed Nmap, and Hadoop. We discuss strategies and design challenges that will be present early on in development and potential solutions that may be employed. Furthermore, we tie back the project to the latest developments in the North Korea cyber fiasco with Sony Corporation. Cyber Frontiers is all about Exploring Cyber security, Big Data, and the Technologies Shaping the Future Through an Academic Perspective!   Christian Johnson, a student at the University of Maryland will bring fresh and relevant topics to the show based on the current work he does. Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? We now have Video Large / Small and Video iTunes options at You can contact us via email at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Full show notes and video at Listen Mobile:     Ideas for use of hadoop cluster -Original idea: Set up complete ipv4 scanner to ingest and analyze data, for monday I could easily set up the distributed nmap and load it into hbase -Set up real time log management system, again using hbase to store multiple different log files.  We could then set up one more small VM as a honeypot and track different logs from it. -Using a publicly available DNS dataset as training data, we could inject a bunch of malicious server names from a blacklist and try to use machine learning with hadoop to identify malicious URLs just using the names.  I have read research papers where this is done with decent success rates. Any of the above could be accompanied by another article on cyberfrontierlabs with associated code etc. and could probably be completed in a few hours. General idea: (0) sample insertion to hbase so I understand format start distributed nmap scanning and storing information in xml format on multiple nodes Use some method to convert xml into json or csv Store results in hive (and thereby hadoop) — Nmap: Various scans which can be used to identify hosts, services, operating systems etc. Distributed nmap: Can be used in a cluster to speed up network scanning using nmap Zenmap: nmap GUI which gave us the idea for network graph   Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Music courtesy of Ryan King. Check out the Die Hard Cafe band and other original works at: / 
Continue Reading »
Cyber Frontiers

Sony Hackers, Cyber Attackers, Data Breaches of 2014 and Sentiment Analysis Code To Let Us Know How Everyone Else Feels About It All – CF015

This week on Cyber Frontiers Ashton, Christian, and Jim have the conversation everyone else has been – Sony! We talk about what the Sony breach means for the cybersecurity field, and how it compares and contrasts to breaches of the past. We have some great conversation around what constitutes “damage” in a cyber breach, how it impacts people short term and long term, and what technology and attitudes need to change to prevent the Sony incident from repeating itself elsewhere. Combined with Christian’s after-action poly-sci analysis, Ashton’s sentiment Analysis code, and Jim’s arsenal of questions for what this means for the average guy, we packed in a hour-filled holiday special that you won’t want to miss. Cyber Frontiers is all about Exploring Cyber security, Big Data, and the Technologies Shaping the Future Through an Academic Perspective!   Christian Johnson, a student at the University of Maryland will bring fresh and relevant topics to the show based on the current work he does. Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? We now have Video Large / Small and Video iTunes options at You can contact us via email at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Full show notes and video at Listen Mobile:     What makes a breach big? Comparison to other breaches in qualitative and statistical terms Quantitative: Articles written Views per article, total views Decrease in reputation (twitter sentiment over time?) Economic impact: Revenue, Expenses, Stock price over time Qualitative Motivation International, National, Local Method of entry Estimated “cost” Timeline for the Sony Breach: Costs associated with sony’s hacking scandal – Potential for $100 million in losses wouldn’t really affect sony’s $550 million profit margin: Ashton’s article on how he used sentiment analysis on Sony/Staples Breaches: Real Time Cyber Attack vectors   Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Music courtesy of Ryan King. Check out the Die Hard Cafe band and other original works at: / 
Continue Reading »
Home Gadget Geeks

College Tech and the Gadgets it Takes to Make it Thru the School Year – HGG195

Christian Johnson () and Ashton Webster join Jim () for show #195 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network, part of #160; We spend some time catch up with Christian and Ashton and discuss what is going on over at Cyber Frontier and #160; We also ask how are the new dorms outfitted?  What have you found really useful?  What was a bust?  What tech did you bring with you to school this year?  Different than last?  What do you wish you had that you don’t?  Have you seen any major changes in what the students use over the last year? What about fitness tech?   What are you learning thru Cyber Frontiers? Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: or if you are in Canada, WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Full show notes and video at Listen Mobile:     The Promise of the Internet is Real and Is for Everyone -  OnAir Box Kickstarter Project –   Catch all the subscription links at Facebook Group: Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
Continue Reading »
Cyber Frontiers

Part 2: Exploring Big Data Through the Twitterverse – CF014

This week Ashton and Christian continue their exploration of Big Data through tweets around the world using Twitter’s Streaming API. In particular, Christian walks through improvements to his starter kit, showing how to manipulate and filter tweets, as well as do the classic Word Count example using tweets and hashtags. Ashton walks us through how to use Storm to push streaming tweets directly to the data platform, allowing for large-scale analysis that can support millions of tweets in the dataset. Between the in-show code walkthroughs and our project starter kit out at – you should have everything you need to begin mastering data analytics concepts through the Twitterverse! Cyber Frontiers is all about Exploring Cyber security, Big Data, and the Technologies Shaping the Future Through an Academic Perspective!   Christian Johnson, a student at the University of Maryland will bring fresh and relevant topics to the show based on the current work he does. Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? We now have Video Large / Small and Video iTunes options at You can contact us via email at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Full show notes and video at Listen Mobile:     Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Music courtesy of Ryan King. Check out the Die Hard Cafe band and other original works at: / 
Continue Reading »
Cyber Frontiers

Exploring Big Data Through the Twitterverse – CF013

This week Ashton and Christian begin an exciting, multi-part series on how to leverage big data technologies to learn new skills in data analytics using one of the world’s cheapest and largest value data sources – tweets! We take a look at the Twitter Streaming API, techniques for collecting and storing these data sets, and basic visualization exercises in Java and HTML5. We also take a look at some automated Twitter interactions using Python scripting and basic rule sets. This is a great show to follow along with on our video feed if you typically are an audio-only listener. We’ll pick-up with how this project integrates with the data analytics sandbox we built and discussed in previous episodes. There is something for everyone in this conversation. Cyber Frontiers is all about Exploring Cyber security, Big Data, and the Technologies Shaping the Future Through an Academic Perspective!   Christian Johnson, a student at the University of Maryland will bring fresh and relevant topics to the show based on the current work he does. Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? We now have Video Large / Small and Video iTunes options at You can contact us via email at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Listen Mobile:   This week Christian, Ashton, and their host Jim take a look at some of the opportunities to process Tweets using real time #160; Demonstrations include a letter count for tweets as well as a geolocation application, illustrating a small example of how Tweets can be used to create interesting pictures of the world around us. Register an application here so that you can gain access to the API. The Java library to interface with the Twitter API. This article was particularly helpful in coming up with the storm topology.   Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Music courtesy of Ryan King. Check out the Die Hard Cafe band and other original works at: / 
Continue Reading »