Our first “getting to know our community” volunteer recently presented at one of our meetups: Rae “thewondersmith” Baker! Rae is an OSINT-ologist and was gracious enough to volunteer as our first victim. So without further ado, let’s get to know Rae..

  1. What is your name (can be handle, real, pseudonym, whatever)?
    Rae / @the_wondersmith_rae
  2. What should we call you?
    Wondersmith or Rae
  3. What is your current position/title (if applicable – omitted if not)?
    OSINT Analyst
  4. What is your origin story?
    I started out at a Graphic Design Manager and remained in that role for 15 years. In 2019, I decided to shift gears and go back to school for Security and Risk Analysis at Penn State part-time. At the same time, I was persuaded to revive a dormant college club with a few other people and quickly became the President of the Penn State World Campus Technology Club. The club allowed me to effectively network with leaders in the security field and grow my “personal brand”. A project with the club had me travel with a few other officers to the Layer 8 Convention in Rhode Island to take part in a Trace Labs Missing Person CTF. That CTF and conference supercharged my focus into OSINT and along with my blogging, helped me land my very first position in OSINT. Additionally, to hone my OSINT skills I started volunteering with Operation Safe Escape, a non-profit aimed at keeping abuse victims hidden from their abusers where I now act as Project Manager.
  5. What is your infosec/personal alignment (https://dnd5e.info/beyond-1st-level/alignment/) and why?
    LG? This seems like a trick question
  6. What is your professional/lifelong passion?
    Well, my lifelong passion since last year has been Open-Source Intelligence. I love it, I love finding threads to pull and new information to pivot on. I love writing articles about it and learning everything I can. I am waiting for the burnout to hit me but right now I am all in.
  7. What brought you to PA Hackers?
    I came to PA Hackers because there is very little security related socializing in the central PA area. What I didn’t expect was to find such a fantastic and supportive group of people. Without PA Hackers I would not have given my very first presentation at BSides Harrisburg which gave me the confidence to submit to places like ShmooCon (and get accepted!) and for that I will be forever grateful.
  8. If you could provide one piece of [leet-hacky] information to teenage you, what would it be and why?
    I have no leet suggestions for my younger self but I would tell me to stop being so scared of everything and stop pretending you are too cool to care. You don’t need to shoot low so you can avoid failure.
  9. What is one thing you want to learn in 2020?
    In 2020 I would love to learn python and get better at Linux because I am still relatively new to both.
  10. If you had to choose one movie to remake, keeping 1 member of the original cast and the rest replaced by muppets, which would you choose?
    True Romance