In this episode of the Hacker Valley Studio podcast, hosts Ron and Chris welcome Valentina Palacín for the third episode in the Hacker Valley Blue series. Valentina is a threat hunter who used to work as a translator, and she is currently a senior cyber threat intelligence analyst. She joins Ron and Chris to talk about her background in languages, poetry and the impact of words, and much more.
As the conversation gets underway, Valentina explains her background to listeners. She studied translation before starting her career in that field, but transitioned to information technology about two years ago. In her free time, she researches threat hunting in her home country of Argentina. It was challenging for Valentina to change her career path, since she had no background in computer science, but she took multiple steps - working in web development, learning to do programming, taking courses, and more - ultimately becoming a threat intel analyst and speaker. Though the journey was difficult, Valentina feels she was born to work in her current field, and has found her past experience, including knowledge of over 7 languages, to be helpful in her work.
The episode also features Valentina’s insights into threat intelligence. She and her hosts discuss how knowledge of programming can aid a threat intel analyst, Valentina’s philosophy of MITRE, the relationship between intelligence and threat hunting, and how to keep up with changes in the field. They arrive at the conclusion that, while it is helpful to stay up to date on political and cyber news, analysts must realize that they cannot know everything, and people in general must realize that threat intelligence is not a catch-all. The group bridges the gap between personal and professional aspects of life by talking about the importance of hobbies outside of work; most notably, the group addresses poetry and its usefulness for threat intelligence. Finally, the conversation turns to Valentina’s work with BlueSpace Security.
1:38 - Listeners are introduced to Valentina, her background, and her challenging process to enter into the large intel community in Argentina .
5:24 - Did knowledge of language impact Valentina’s threat intelligence work?
7:55 - Valentina shares about her programming experience and details her journey into threat intel.
14:23 - What are Valentina’s thoughts about MITRE and the relation between intelligence and threat hunting?
18:06 - The group considers how to keep up with changes in the field, and acknowledges that threat intelligence will not catch everything.
22:48 - One thing that Valentina is passionate about pursuing is hobbies outside of work.
27:56 - Does poetry help with threat intelligence work?
32:53 - The conversation turns to Valentina’s community, focusing on BlueSpace Security.