Hello! I'm Kevin Hicks; software, systems, and network engineer and independent security researcher.
Experience and Education
I grew up in Hurst, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth while attending L. D. Bell High School and participating in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Alongside IB, I played the trumpet in the Blue Raider Band, attending the Bands of America Grand National Championships each year, where we averaged 2nd place each year.
During the spring and summer of 2010, I was a ride operator at Six Flags Over Texas on the La Vibora bobsled ride. I was up for a promotion to team lead, but I instead had to return to school for marching band camp in August. I graduated from high school in May 2011 and worked as a food runner and projectionist at Movie Tavern at Central Park in Bedford, TX.
I started attending The University of Texas at Austin in the Fall 2011 semester studying Electrical Engineering. After two semesters, I switched to Computer Science. At the end of my sophomore year, I joined the ITS Networking team at UT as an intern, where I created monitoring and alerting tools (that actually still work, much to my surprise). Two years later in 2015, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. I was offered a full time position as a Network Engineer at UT, where I stayed for two more months before entering the private sector.
In August of 2015, I joined Epicom as a Software Engineer, where I also serve as the network administrator and lead of security efforts within the company.
Hobbies and Interests
In my free time, I enjoy working on my personal programming projects, the tools on this site being just a few. In early 2016, I made a PHP API wrapper for Reddit, which is actually in use by a few people, much to my surprise. I plan to continue development on it when I find the time and energy. I'm also actively working on a self-hosted password manager similar to LastPass, which will be made available as open source when it nears completion.
I'm also a light gamer, taking interest in Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda series, Rocket League, and any other appealing game I happen to come across.
My first major, lifelong achievement was attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in 2010 with Troop 757 of Bedford, Texas, doing so just days before the ultimate deadline of my 18th birthday.
In November 2015, I discovered the eDellRoot fraudulent root certification authority (CA) that came pre-installed in Dell consumer laptops. The CA created a huge security risk for affected Dell customers because Windows would trust any security certificate signed by eDellRoot and anyone could create such a certificate. The vulnerability was initially discovered by another researcher, but I independently discovered it a week later and briefly collaborated with him to confirm that this was indeed a security threat. News of this incident broke worldwide after my initial Reddit post, making its way into the financial industry, and ultimately to an article in Fortune 500 magazine.