Fighting cybercrime to make the digital world a safer place

Katie Scott works on a team in DarkLabs, an elite group of security researchers focused on innovative solutions to complex cyber threats. She currently concentrates on reverse engineering malware samples that provide backdoors into victim computers—then builds and assesses techniques to communicate with malware.

For Katie, it’s all about making an impact. Her work team consists of experts with diverse backgrounds from the government, military, and private industry. Beyond making the digital world a safer place, she hopes their work will inspire others to come at solutions differently and push the limits of the standard response to cyber threats.

Katie has deep expertise in fighting cybercrime. Previously she worked at HP and Intel, designing motherboards and doing post silicon chip testing. Then she moved to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where one of her first assignments was to investigate the computer systems used to perpetrate the Madoff fraud. From there, she joined the cyber branch in the New York field office where she worked on a wide variety of cyber investigations. Katie credits one of her colleagues at the FBI for her reverse engineering malware education.

For people interested in breaking into this field, Katie says, “Everyone starts from nothing. It’s about jumping in, doing the work, making mistakes, and learning from them.” She is persistent. “If something you’re building or researching isn’t working, there’s always another perspective you can take. It can be soul-crushing to be stuck on something for a long time, but equally rewarding when you finally figure it out.”

To see how Katie applies her technical expertise for DarkLabs, read her blog on IDA FLIRT Signatures for Linux Binaries.

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