Syntax - Arrested Teenager to Motorcycle Racer To Pentester


Manage episode 256001485 series 2459098
By Ayman Elsawah and Ayman Elsawah (@coffeewithayman). Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
  • Was arrested in High School for disclosing a vulnerability in the school IT system
  • Syntax is an internal pentester for a large organization
  • Went to college for Computer Science, but dropped out
  • Inspired by the Movie Hackers
  • First computer had a 1MB hard drive (Yes, not a typo!)
  • Still went to Defcon even when he was not in IT or working in security
  • Was a professional motorcycle racer
  • Kept all his rejection letters as a way of motivation to keep going
  • Had some business and entrepreneurial experience in the past, which helped him get back into the field
  • Got back into security through… IT!


  • "A lot of our time is spent arguing with the other departments and justifying our findings." [2:58]
  • "Is this cross-site scripting really a problem."
  • "I get stuck a lot… it's kind of the nature of the beast." [5:17]
  • "I'm not going to work in tech again." [12:21]
  • "You're a motorcycle mechanic… why should we hire you?"[19:07]
  • "It's my hacker family. These are my people. Everyone in security, they make sense to me, cause they're all kinda like me." [19:41]
  • "I kept getting this projects coming my way and I constantly said YES." [22:07]
  • "Have you done this before… no, but I'll learn!" [25:06]"
  • "No, this is website scraping… because I had that mindset… I was seeing it different than other analysts." [26:00]


Getting Into Infosec:

Breaking IN: A Practical Guide to Starting a Career in Information Security:

T-Shirts, Mugs, and more:

Sign up for sneak peaks, updates, and commentary:

54 episodes