Marcus Carey - Childhood Builder/Breaker to Navy Cryptologist to Founder and Mentor

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Marcus Carey has been hacking since we was five. A true MacGuyver he had to make due with little resources available to him. He later enrolled for the Navy, worked for 3 letter agencies including the NSA, and now has his own security startup. Marcus shares a TON with us in this episode.


Marcus is renowned in the cybersecurity industry and has spent his more than 20-year career working in penetration testing, incident response, and digital forensics with federal agencies such as NSA, DC3, DIA, and DARPA. He started his career in cryptography in the U.S. Navy and holds a Master’s degree in Network Security from Capitol College. Marcus regularly speaks at security conferences across the country. He is passionate about giving back to the community through things like mentorship, hackathons, and speaking engagements, and is a voracious reader in his spare time.


• Marcus had an opportunity to play college basketball, but couldn't since it was only a partial scholarship

• After taking the ASVAB test had the choice of nuclear engineering or cryptography. He chose cryptography.

• Marcus made a olympic sized track pit, up to spec as a child.

• Marcus like many other security professionals, had a strong artistic side. Achieved first chair in just a few weeks in Jr. High.

• Marcus teaches us "How to Learn".

• Marcus achieved over 115 college credits, on his own, without attending college!

• Open source tools Marcus created ended up being used be used to save people's lives in other parts of the world.


• "[I] Told them all I wanted to do was work with computers."

• "I've always been a tinkerer. I built stuff, I was a science fair geek... the whole nine."

• "I was the poorest person growing up... so anything I did was a hack. I made my own hackey sack. I used to make my own toys."

• "You can't learn how Marcus learns, because everyone is different.... Nobody can tell you how to learn as good as yourself."

• "So now, I'm like a finely tuned weapon when it comes to learning... cause I know exactly how to learn."

• "Never be surprised how your work turns out to be used for good... it actually blew my mind that my stuff was being used to do that [saving people's lives]. "

• "Show externally that you've mastered those concepts in some way."

• "Sometimes your employees are going to go rouge, and hopefully you can detect when they do."

• "If you're focusing on a specific set of skills that are evergreen, and if you work that long enough, it doesn't matter your aptitude, you can become an expert at that."

• "There's people out here that are celebrities and they act like they know everything. Don't be one of those people."

• "Aptitude allows people to learn stuff faster. I think the military requires you to learn stuff fast."


• Marcus Carey Twitter (@marcusjcarey )

• Marcus's Company: Threatcare

• ASVAB Test

• MacGuyver

• Python The Hard Way

• Sub-Vocalization

• Book: "How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk "

• Clep Test


• Excelsior College Examinations

• Book: "Never split the difference on negotiating "

• Threat Agent and Honeydocs

• Intro Music: Cascadia by @Trash80

• Outro Music: Coupe by @yungkartz

Resources Mentioned:

The Paradox of Choice by Azeria Labs

Cyberseek Pathways