A Week Gone By

It’s been a week now since my last post, and I feel like I’ve learned an exponential amount. I haven’t done as much housework as I swore I would while staying home away from COVID-19, and I haven’t worked on my cars like I said I would, either. My garage isn’t perfectly organized like I thought it would be, but man, I’ve learned a ton.

I feel like a week ago I didn’t know anything about penetration testing, at least compared to what I know now. A couple of weeks ago, thanks to the non-profit VeteranSec (, I was offered the opportunity to blog for them about my transition from the Navy over the next few years to the Cyber Security field. Then, about a week ago, VeteranSec partnered with eLearnSecurity to give 10 VeteranSec members the Penetration Testing Student (PTS) course and voucher for the eJPT (Junior Penetration Tester) certification. VeteranSec gave me one for being involved in the organization, with the promise of a review of the course for both groups.

So, I started that course. While working on my Masters Program. In addition, to supplement the knowledge that is coming with the PTS, I subscribed to TryHackMe and started working through their rooms. After attending a few conferences with other CyberSecurity personnel on the ‘net, diversifying income streams seemed to be a common thread, along with giving back to the community through teaching, blogging, etc. All of this, I was assured, would help me stand out. So I started this blog, and a nightly stream on Twitch.

For the past week and a half, I’ve sat down at my computer each night, chatted with people, and worked on some TryHackMe rooms, learning some CyberSecurity and teaching what I know to anyone that tunes into my stream. It’s honestly been a wild ride. I am still firmly in the beginner camp, of course, so I didn’t really think I’d have anything to offer many people. Turns out I was a little off in my assumption.

On Twitch, followers are people who sign up to receive notifications that your channel is now streaming. Since I made my account, and played around with streaming at all, it’s been 15 days. In those 15 days, I’ve gained 77 followers. Twitch also has a subscribe option. This gives people the benefit of throwing the streamer they like a few bucks each month to show their appreciation for the content, and in doing so, the streamer can offer benefits such as the ability to show old videos, change the quality of the videos to support a weaker internet connection, etc.

After 15 days, I now have 10 subscribers. One person is enjoying the learning so much, they’ve promised to giveaway one subscription each week in the channel to help me attract viewers. I am honestly, completely blown away. It’s awesome. And the thing is, the money isn’t something I care about one bit. Playing around on places like TryHackMe is something I’d do anyways. Talking to others about Cybersecurity is also something I would do anyways. But to see the level of community development, and to feel like I’m truly helping people – that’s where the reward here is.

And it’s awesome. The community is great, especially online in this venue among infosec people, and it’s awesome to see the support.

The Twitch pane for the last 30 days.

I’ll keep writing, too. I started my 3rd class in my Masters program today. I started the 3rd module in my PTS Course, as well. And I’m continuing through TryHackMe. Stay tuned. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Learning CyberSecurity – Twitch, Thoughts and Resources

In my discussions at places like VetSecCon Jr 2020 (put on by the guys at, one of the things that has been consistently discussed is how to set yourself apart when you go look at jobs. Numerous ways were discussed, including discussing your home lab, blogs, publications, volunteer work in the Cyber Security community, etc. There are a few people who also include working on pentesting challenges, capture the flags, etc., and even fewer that try teaching those back to the community.

Today I wanted to share some of the links that have gotten me on my way, as well as make a plug for my next project, and hope you all tune in for a bit as well. So, first off, I will be streaming nightly on Twitch. This will include HackTheBox and TryHackMe to begin with. Additionally, I will be discussing general cybersecurity topics and basically anything else the audience wants to see. This will be focused at beginners, and I’ll be learning right along with you guys. My stream will eventually be hosted right here on my website, which is going to be strictly more Cyber Security. All works in progress!

Anyways, here are some things I want to share with you guys, link-wise. These are all resources I have used or have been told great things about.

Twitch Streams:
Actual_Tom – My stream, weekdays at 5pm PST. Hope to see some of you there!
TheMayor11 – Joe, from CyberSecPadawan. Great stuff, and he’s always helpful!
TheCyberMentor – Heath Adams’ stream, weekdays at 9am PST.


VeteranSec – This is a Cyber Security community for military veterans!
The Cyber Mentor – Heath Adams’ site, creator of two great Udemy Courses.


ActualTom.Com – This Blog. Thanks for Dropping In!
CyberSecPadawan – Joe’s Journey Into CyberSecurity – Writeups and More

Hacking Practice:

TryHackMe – Great site for beginners into CyberSecurity. I have a paid subscription, excellent place to learn. A lot of my streams come from here.
CanHackMe – A few interesting challenges.
HackTheBox – Spin up a VM and have at it! Less guided than TryHackMe.
CyberSecLabs – I see a lot of people working on these now, haven’t done it myself, but they look pretty good!


Udemy – A lot of the courses can be hit or miss. Both by Heath Adams are fantastic.
OverTheWire – Gamified Learning of Linux. Great tool.
UnderTheWire – Like OverTheWire, but with PowerShell.
RegExOne – Learn Regular Expressions. Important!
PluralSight – Video based learning. WGU offers alumni free access.

I’m sure there’s more that I’m missing, and I will endeavor to keep this up to date as we go. I’m looking at adding a link list to the side of my page, maybe that’s a good spot for it. Anyways, please tune in to my Twitch Stream, for now, daily at 10pm PST.

Hope to see you there!