Getting Started Stories: Amanda Rousseau, Malware Researcher

In our Getting Started series, the LA Times has published the backstory of well-known malware researcher Amanda Rousseau.

Rousseau started as a tinkerer and artist and was going to go into web design, until she took a computer science class with her brother.

“I found it so much more interesting than what I was doing because it was more concrete,” Rousseau said. “In computer science you can create something that’s interesting, you know how it will turn out in the end, and if you know how it works you can also take it apart.”

She then got into forensics, root-causing breaches, and eventually moved into malware research.

No two paths into infosec are alike!

Rousseau’s advice for anyone who wants to follow her path is to cast aside ego and focus on self-improvement. Even today, Rousseau keeps a regimented schedule giving herself time in evenings and on weekends to brush up on her skills and read what her peers around the world are working on.

“People have this ego where they think they know everything about their field and everyone else is wrong — that’s a bad way of approaching things,” Rousseau said. “You do have to have confidence in what you know, but also be willing to learn from other people.”

Follow her on twitter @malwareunicorn.

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