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Interdisciplinary Infosec: Equifax, Individuation, and the Modern State - Thomas Pieragastini BSides Cleveland 2018 (Hacking Illustrated Series InfoSec Tutorial Videos)

Interdisciplinary Infosec: Equifax, Individuation, and the Modern State
Thomas Pieragastini

Interdisciplinary methodologies center around the use of information and methods drawn from a variety of fields of study, regardless of the field itself, to form a narrative of events. In this approach the focus becomes varied with the goal of developing an analysis which is not confined to the arbitrary limitations of fields or disciplines and which can provide additional insights above and beyond those that can come from any one field of study. Within the information security community we find a wide diversity of people from different backgrounds, many of which are not technical. Yet, for as diverse as we are as a community analysis in the community tends to be confined to the purely technical, with the result being prescriptive technical solutions. When analysis does leave this space, and veers into political or social analysis, it tends to be confined to an immediate analysis of the effects of a specific technology or event. In limiting ourselves to this sort of technical analysis we are often missing the wider context, that which exists off of the screen, which could inform our understanding of events and approaches to remediation. In this talk we will discuss interdisciplinary approaches and how, in the case of the Equifax breach, this sort of approach can form the foundations of a different sort of analysis, one which resists purely technical explanations and solutions. Through this interdisciplinary analysis, we will discuss the ways in which the Equifax breach, along with OPM and other massive, PII-centric, breaches impact some of the foundational structures of everyday life.

Thomas Pieragastini is a member of the Digital Freedom Initiative, a Cleveland based digital rights group. Currently working as a pentester, his background is in academia, with a background in philosophy and political theory.

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