My name is Shawn Duong, and I’m a hacker – not the kind that is really a “cybercriminal,” but the kind that is passionately curious, loves to create, and loves to explore.

As far as hackers go, I’m not particularly extraordinary. I’m some guy from Southern California who fled the rat race in favor of a peaceful, quiet life in the Central Valley. I could make something up about how I believe in a world that’s empowered by technology for social good, but the honest reality is less exciting; I just love making and breaking stuff.

I love playing with microcontrollers and designing electronics, finding vulnerabilities and developing exploits for systems, and learning new and exciting things. I also love contributing to the community; taking on mentees and nurturing their growth; and planning, organizing, and building events where I can instill in others the passion for making and breaking that I have in myself.

I primarily specialize in forensics, radio frequency, and computer networks, though I have varying degrees of experience with reverse engineering, binary exploitation, and web application security. I’m also really interested in hardware and embedded systems security, though I’m not very good at it yet.

I’m currently working as a security analyst for my alma mater, the University of California, Merced. After hours, I’m usually working on some side projects; they’re not serious or anything, just for fun. I had a brief stint in academia and although I enjoyed doing research, I ultimately decided it wasn’t for me, so I instead do some independent research for fun.

I’m the founder of IrisSec, a group of nerds who love breaking computers and making stuff, for which I also serve as one of the administrative board members. We’re probably most known for CTFs, but we’re really just a tightly-knit safe space for nerds to be nerds; “Iris” is just the label we put on our friend group. We also host IrisCTF annually, for which I author the forensics, radio frequency, and networking categories, as well as working with my team to handle event logistics and infrastructure.

Obviously, I’m not a one-dimensional character. I enjoy longboarding, bicycling, journaling, photography, n-scale model railroading, and so much more; technology just happened to be the most well-known facet of my identity.

Well, that scratches the surface of who I am! If you’d like to get in contact then feel welcome to send an email to the inbox found in the “Contact” section. Even if it’s just to drop in and say hello, I do read and respond to every email.

Until then, happy hacking!