The Gate 15 Interview EP 23. Leigh Honeywell: Hacker, Community Organizer and CEO at Tall Poppy
Leigh is the founder and CEO of Tall Poppy, where she helps companies protect their employees from online harassment. She was previously a Technology Fellow at the ACLU’s Project on Speech, Privacy, and Technology, and also worked at Slack, Salesforce.com, Microsoft, and Symantec. She has co-founded two hackerspaces - HackLabTO in the Kensington Market area in Toronto, and a feminist space called the Seattle Attic Community Workshop in Pioneer Square, Seattle. She is now a member and Chief Security Officer of Double Union, a feminist hackerspace in San Francisco, and she advises several nonprofits and startups. Leigh has a degrees from the University of Toronto where she majored in Computer Science and Equity Studies. Leigh points out that the latter major is about equity as in equality, not as in finance.
To learn more about Tall Poppy, visit the Tall Poppy website and connect on Twitter and you can follow and learn more about Leigh on Twitter: @HYPATIADOTCA and LinkedIn.
“tall poppy syndrome is a cultural phenomenon in which people hold back, criticize, or sabotage those who have or are believed to have achieved notable success in one or more aspects of life, particularly intellectual or cultural wealth-‘cutting down the tall poppy.’ It describes a draw towards mediocrity and conformity. Commonly in Australia and New Zealand, ‘cutting down the tall poppy’ is used to describe those who deliberately put down another for their success and achievements.“-via Wikipedia
In the discussion we address:
Leigh’s background and the personal and professional progression that led her to found Tall Poppy
What Tall Poppy is doing to help protect individuals through personal digital safety
Hackerspaces, equity, diversity and women in cybersecurity
Emerging issues in information security
Leigh’s ever-colorful hair, CanRock, KiwiCon, and much more!
A few references mentioned in or relevant to our discussion include:
Tall Poppy website - https://www.tallpoppy.com
Leigh mentioned KYC for crypto. For more on that see What Is KYC and Why Does It Matter For Crypto? (25 Mar 22) - https://www.coindesk.com/learn/what-is-kyc-and-why-does-it-matter-for-crypto/
Leigh spoke about device security and the threat of SIM swapping. Read more from this FBI IC3 Public Service Announcement, Criminals Increasing SIM Swap Schemes to Steal Millions of Dollars from US Public (08 Feb 22) - https://www.ic3.gov/Media/Y2022/PSA220208
CISA: Walk This Way to Enable MFA (05 May 22) - https://www.cisa.gov/blog/2022/05/05/walk-way-enable-mfa
CISA Director Jen Easterly tweeting about #MFAMay and #MoreThanAPassword (05 May 22)
The Kelihos botnet campaign aimed at Apple iCloud accounts was mentioned. Here’s a 2014 blog post from Symantec and a summary from the BBC - https://community.broadcom.com/symantecenterprise/communities/community-home/librarydocuments/viewdocument?DocumentKey=7273883f-edd4-46c6-a723-ab83ea0b8264&CommunityKey=1ecf5f55-9545-44d6-b0f4-4e4a7f5f5e68&tab=librarydocuments
Andy mentioned another advocate for people and communities he’s a fan of. Learn more about Matt Mitchell in The Gate 15 Interview: Matt Mitchell, a Champion for Security and Privacy (26 Apr 21)
Andy took the opportunity to put in a plug for the upcoming InfraGardNCR Cyber Camp (scheduled for 18-22 July!)
And Leigh and Andy gave some unsolicited promotions for 1Password, and Leigh also offered BitWarden as great options for password managers. Leigh also suggested reviewing the Consumer Reports and New York Times’ Wirecutter for reliable reviews