I started this blog in April 2020 after a brief and irregular stint as a writer on Medium, because while I like putting my thoughts on a screen, I really disliked how Medium’s website constantly nags you to monetize your content. (I really dislike paywalls and I’m not arrogant enough to expect anyone to fork over their hard-earned money to read my writing.)
It hasn’t quite been a year since the inaugural post on Dhole Moments, but since 2020 is almost over, I thought it would be a good time to recap some of the stuff I’ve managed to publish thus far.
Some Quick Stats for 2020
- Total number of blog posts: 56 (including this one)
- Blog comments (not counting hate or pingbacks): 43
- Ad revenue: $0 (and this will stay that way, dammit!)
- Bugs found in WordPress.com just by using it: 1
- Zero-days published: 3
- Open source projects spawned from blog posts: 2
- Hate emails/tweets/DMs/comments/etc. received: At least 100
- People who became cool with furries after interacting with me on social media (after other users failed to troll me) and subsequently admitted this to me privately: 4
- Furries I’ve inspired to make a dhole fursona (that I’m aware of): 0
- Fursuits commissioned: 1
- Fursuits acquired: 0 (hopefully in 2021)
- Amount spent on art commissions specifically for blog posts/series: $1500
- Bad puns and wordplay-based jokes:
I might make an effort to post a congruent, updated stats summary at the end of 2021.
Notable Happenings in 2020
In May, I discovered some fraudulent “COVID-19 contact tracing” apps on the Google Play store which all appear to have since been taken down, then proceeded to teach the furry fandom how to deanonymize scam/knock-off sites on CloudFlare (and the scam/knock-off site in question went down within 24 hours).
In June, I published Furward Momentum, a guide to acquiring a technology career for as close to $0 as humanly possible with no prior experience, to help mitigate the economic pain of the pandemic for furries and furry-adjacent, LGBTQ-accepting folks. The introduction to the series is a blog post, but the other 9 pages of content are not.
In July, I published a post about trivial collisions in the new hash function in the IOTA hash function (Kerl), which led to a lot of angry IOTA fanboys flaming me with… arguments about the previously broken hash function in IOTA (Curl-P).
In August, I wrote a somewhat in-depth guide to side-channel attacks and how to mitigate them, which caused Reddit moderators to come to terms with a lot of their communities’ internalized ableism and homophobia as expressed through hatred of furries and–just kidding, it got flamed to oblivion on technical forums without a single technical disagreement and a lot of the moderators shrugged and did nothing.
In September, I decided to reverse engineer Proctorio, a browser extension used by schools to proctor tests which acts basically like spyware and compare its cryptography implementations to its marketing copy. Obviously, I found that Proctorio was deceptive to its customers as it is abusive to students, and its cryptography was pathetic. This got a shout-out from the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Twitter.
In October, I wrote too much for anything to really stand out, but if you’re interested in the design and security of Zoom’s end-to-end encryption, I found it to be somewhat bizarre but not dangerous. Also, I got tired of reiterating the same statements about furry art commission prices on Twitter, so I turned that into a blog post too.
And in December… I mostly rested.
Soatok’s Goals for 2021
- Continue the Dead Ends in Cryptanalysis series.
- Commission more furry art for my blog.
- Write about more cool stuff!
- Acquire Soatok fursuit from DrakonicKnight, post pics. (Already paid in full, just have to be patient.)
- Eventually write something so useful and high-quality on here that popular infosec Twitter/HN/Reddit/etc. users can’t help but talk about it. (Looking at you, @tqbf!)
- Help at least one furry get their first high-paying job in technology with a team they enjoy (if I haven’t already).