Federal IT security from the ground up

Allen Harper, VP & chief hacker, Tangible Security

wfedstaff | April 17, 2015 7:54 pm

September 23, 2014 — In the studio today is author and well-known security expert Allen Harper.

Fifteen years ago he was one of the co-authors of Grey Hat Hacking, The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook. It is currently in its third edition and Harper is working on the fourth edition. This is one of the few cybersecurity books that has any kind of shelf life at all.

Harper is currently the vice president and chief hacker for Tangible Security.

What is interesting about Harper is that he spent twenty years in the United States Marine Corps and has experience in combat. He has taken this skill set and applied it to the world of cybersecurity.


Today’s discussion rambles down many nooks and crannies of federal cybersecurity. We start off with penetration testing, move on to Zero Day Threats and Advanced Persistent Threats.

Harper has an understanding of computer security in four generations.

He goes into detail about the weakness of signature based defense compared to behavior based defense. He also gives a philosophical review of black hat, grey hat, white hat, and script kiddies.