For all the talk about it being an echo chamber and the like, I’ve met a ton of people in security whom I otherwise wouldn’t have. As I was pondering over this over breakfast one morning, I came to the conclusion that I end up grouping my infosec friends into different categories. They probably look a bit like this:
Level 0 – These are your closest security friends. They are the guys who you look out for and they look out for you. If you see a bug in their code, you’ll sort it out for them. When they call you up at 3am because they need help with a security strategy presentation, you’ll stay up with them all night working on it. Whenever you are stuck for something, you’ll turn to them for help. They’re your best teacher and most annoying student rolled into one. You know how many kids each other have, their ages and names. You can never get rid of them and they can’t get rid of you. The amazing thing is that you may never have met some of these people in real life.
Level 1 – These are best friends. You hang out with them, connect with them on every social media channel. Bond with them on a personal level and hear out their problems. When you need a LinkedIn reference or someone to endorse your CISSP you’ll go to them. If there’s a job going in their team, they’ll do what they can to get you on their team. They are there for you when you are stuck pen testing a website, but won’t do much beyond getting pizza and running Nmap.
Level 2 – These are more friends of friends. You’ll meet them at conferences and local chapter meet-ups. Sometimes they may move up the ranks and get promoted to a level 1 friend or maybe not. They’ll retweet something witty you say and will like your blog posts. They’ll meet you for lunch but never offer to go any more than halves with you on the bill.
Level 3 – These are those security people you have to be friends with. Normally these are work colleagues. You learn nothing from them and often put up with their moaning and spreading of office gossip. Every morning whilst going into work you pray they will be sick and you don’t have to see them.
Level 4 – Anyone who follows you on social media like twitter or facebook that doesn’t fall into any of the other catergories. They are the trolls who follow you and make smartass comments whenever they can. They contribute nothing positive to security, yet linger around like a bad smell. Secretly everyone hopes they fall down an open elevator shaft onto some bullets.