Google's badass "Security Princess" profiled

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Isn’t the term “Security Princess” sexist?

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It could be. But I’m willing to be she owns it.

At first I thought so too, but in the opening of the article it says that she picked the moniker when she needed some business cards printed up, so, fair enough.


Does she have a tiara? I hope she has a tiara. That would be pretty badass.

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I find it curious to read her own words out of context with the story the writer is weaving around her, maybe I’m just crazy but I find it fascinating to compare:

“‘Information Security Engineer’ is just completely dry and boring and horrible,”
“A couple of people had ‘hired hacker,’” she says. “But I like to one-up people. I thought it was cute.”
“Some people in other parts of the industry, they introduce themselves as, like, ‘vice president,’ with all of these certifications,” she says, amused. “I couldn’t give a shit. You could be Code Monkey Number 507, but if you’re doing cool stuff, I’m much more interested in talking to you than to whoever’s senior vice president.”
“It’s slimming,”
“I wanted to be Jem. Do you know Jem and the Holograms?”
“I didn’t touch computers up until college,”
“When I couldn’t outmuscle them, I had to outthink them,”
“My website had gotten hacked, so I wanted to figure out why,” Tabriz says. “[The meetings were] nothing formal. Just, ‘Here’s something cool I did, here’s some idea I’m trying.’?”
“There was another girl for a while….”
“A Greek emperor would shave a slave’s head, tattoo a message on it, let his hair grow back, and then say, ‘Go over to that other emperor,’?”
“A lot of the people we hire just have this curiosity to try to understand something,” she says. “And maybe a bit of a mischievous slant, to try to do something unexpected.”
“Neighborhoods are safest when everybody knows each other,” she says. “And that doesn’t necessarily scale as well when you get larger.”
“There’s a lot of similarities with the know-thy-enemy part of war,”
“As soon as we fix a security bug, it’s automatically pushed to users, and hopefully you don’t even know that happened”
“Oh, wow, PayPal [had] this weakness in their software.”
“robbing a convenience store.”
“I think phones are designed for men, because they’re big and don’t fit into your pockets all the time. But I’m always wearing a bra. I usually have earrings”
“If you have ambitions to create technology for the whole world, you need to represent the whole world, and the whole world is not just white men.”
“may be a little more pushy than the [female] stereotype.
“you kind of have to demonstrate authority without explicitly having it.”
“Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you do do something,”

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So Google IS NO LONGER THE enemy, now?

I think Google has at least as much potential at that as the NSA.

But it’s what you do with that potential that counts!

Credit: Hark, A Vagrant


Surely that it’s “Elle” telling you this, must mean something.

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Tinfoil hat time: that talk of a long standing interest in steganography right when she talks about what she looks for in a hacker makes me curious if the ambiguously benevolent (think “don’t be evil”) organization allegedly recruiting hackers through cicada 3301 is google…

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