Script kiddy. Tool hacker. Tool maker.
In the various infosecurity circles, it is not uncommon to see various people and organizations contributing to community: be it in the form of knowledge/HOWTOs, or discussions, or tools written and released.
While commercial offerings (courses, products, solutions) have their place. It is pretty much the case everywhere to see that most people get started off, and maintain, their training and equipping in the “open source”/free realm.
As a sysadmin turned webappsec ethical hacker turned DFIR geek, the situation is very much the same too. Much of what I know came thanks to those who shared selflessly with the community.
I’m very much a tools kind of person, which is also why I see the scale as from one who only uses (i.e. leeches ) to the ones who know enough to modify/add on to existing tools, to the ones who get their hands dirty, implementing the tools that they envisioned themselves. This is also one of the scales along which I would want to progress professionally: from one who feeds/leeches off the feeders, to eventually feeding the community.
At what stage am I at now? Probably the “tool hacker” kind of stage, although I’ve been leeching too much of late! Time will tell if I move (up or down this scale), or if priorities change altogether. But whichever the case, it should always hold true that we need to give back to community with our work. And what better way than to start off by giving back the same way we learnt the ropes ourselves?