Michael Rash, Security Researcher


Both Ron Gula and Raffael Marty have tagged my blog, so this post is my enthusiastic participation in this activity. Five things about me that relatively few people know:

1. In 1997, I enrolled in the Ph.D. program in pure mathematics at the University of Maryland after finishing my undergraduate degree also in mathematics at the same university. At the same time, I was working at Digex, Inc., and discovered that I was extremely interested in computer security. The consequence was that I changed my degree path to a Master's in applied mathematics with a concentration in computer security. (Oh, and this degree was a lot easier to achieve and more practical at the same time.)
2. Every summer, I try to make it to the Blackhat Briefings and Defcon, which are held in Las Vegas. This is convenient because it means I can usually go see Zion National Park, which is the best thing about Vegas. The park is under a three hour drive from the city, and features some of the tallest sandstone cliffs in the world along with a world famous hike called The Narrows.
3. Valgrind is an invaluable tool for anyone who develops C applications. I'm using it to help verify proper operation of an IDS product that runs on Linux.
4. I collect rocks and minerals, and have a keen interest in geology. It has always fascinated me how geologists look at solid land features (such as mountain ranges) almost as a fluid because of the time scales they are accustomed to thinking in.
5. Whenever I visit a major city, I try to see as many museums as possible. I'm partial to natural history museums, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. is certainly one of the best.

I'm tagging the following people: