About

Hi, I'm Mark Eliasen, self-taught web developer with a history in InfoSec and cyber security.

Hi, I'm Mark Eliasen, self-taught web developer with a history in InfoSec and cyber security. Today I try to focus on making things which are helpful in some way (or entertains me). I also enjoy helping others improve as developers both technically and personally.

During breaks or when I am not working I tend to make silly little apps, proofs of concepts, websites and other things. You can find a small selection of some of the things on my other website www.sirmre.com.

Me - 2019

The background

I started programming somewhere around the age of 13, working on custom versions of an open source MUD, among other things.

At around 14-15 years old, I got involved in cyber security, primarily in the form of hacktivism, going places I shouldn't go, leaking things I shouldn't leak, creating things I shouldn't create. After some years, I got out of that scene due to some very close calls.

Darknet Diaries is an excellent podcast I can recommend if you want to learn a bit more about events and people in security.

At 20, during my conscription in DEMA, I was re-introduced to PHP (5.3 at the time) by another recruit and it quickly became my gateway into web development and back into programming in general.

The languages

My first programming language was Visual Basic 6.0. Shortly after I got comfortable in VB, I dived into C++ since I was curious about how trojans, viruses and backdoors worked, so I dug through source codes and tried to modify them. I believe some of it was also in C#, but I don't remember it that well.
Later I did some basic HTML, CSS and JS, but I didn't stick with it as I found it ugly and tedious to do. I am not surprised given the state these where in back them.

Today I code mostly JavaScript (React, Vue, Node), Dart (Flutter) and PHP. I am really enjoying Flutter so far, and it has completely replaced ReactNative for me personally.

Languages I have been looking at which could be of interest, or I wish to get better at, are (in no particular order):

  • Python
  • Rust
  • Go
  • Scalar
  • Kotlin
  • C/C++
  • C#

Security

I kind of always thought I wanted to become an ethical hacker after my teens, but after rediscovering my love for creating things (programming) I mostly try to keep up to date with what is going in security.

In the end, as a black hat you only need to get it right once, while white hats have to "get it right" all of the time.

With all that said, I am not an angel, there may or may not be some grey in there..

The dev setup

Currently I run purely off of a MacBook Pro, out of convenience.

The tools

Since a development environment is very personal and in the end comes down to preference, please take this as inspiration only, what works for me might not work for you.

OS: MacOS (Monterey)
Browser: Brave (With uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger being being must-have extensions)
Preferred IDE/Editor: Sublime Text
Other apps: iTerm, Cinch, SizeUp, Stay, Transmit, AirMail, MongoDB Compass, GitKraken (referral link), 1Password, Dropbox (referral link)
Services: GitHub, DigitalOcean (affiliate link - get $100 in credit to spend over 60 days), AWS, and a VPN (I currently use PIA).

This is not an exhaustive list at all, but it does include most productivity apps and services I use on daily or near daily basis.