Interview with a Webroot Threat Researcher - Dan Para

  • 25 June 2014
  • 7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +56
  • Retired Webrooter
  • 6752 replies
A couple months ago we interviewed Roy Tobin from our Threat Research team in Ireland.  Today we're going to talk to @ , who works here in the Broomfield office.  

How'd you get involved in threat research?
I had been working an IT helpdesk when I heard about a job opening at this little company called Webroot to write detections for the Spy Sweeper AntiSpyware program. I had already been manually removing adware and spyware as part of my helpdesk job since the AV companies were ignoring adware and spyware at the time, and being a "spyware hunter" sounded like a pretty cool job.
What's the most challenging piece of malware that you've run into?
Cryptolocker has been an eye opener for the entire industry. Malware in general had moved away from doing damage and into monetization. Along comes Cryptolocker which does damage, then asks for money to repair the damage done. 
Your bio says you have a basement studio where you record music - what instruments do you play and what sort of music do you record?
I play guitar and bass, as well as programming drums and synths along with engineering and production. Basically I do all of the music and recording aspects, working with a friend who is a lyricist and vocalist. We've made a point not to stick to any particular style or genre, so our music ranges from spoken word to electronic to rock, pop, goth, and industrial.

Dan's basement recording studio
Is there a place where we can listen to some of your songs online?
Here's links to a few songs:
What's your favorite electronic gadget right now?
The Fractal Audio Axe-FX II. It's a digital guitar amp modeler and effects unit. The technology keeps evolving and it's to the point where you can't distinguish between the digital model and the real thing, and it just keeps getting more real.
Favorite place to vacation?
Thanks for reminding me, I need a vacation, and I'm open to suggestions.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Dan!
If you have any questions you'd like to ask Dan, or you have suggestions for where he should vacation, feel free to post them here in the comments. 

7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +62
Hello @ Thank you for the interesting interview! I didn't know you had such a cool recording studio! Sounds like a lot of fun.
You are a valuable asset to the Webroot team and I really appreciate it when you pop into the Forum with your confirmations!
For a vacation it depends how far you what to go...I personally love the mountains in the Adironacks...hiking...It's beautiful ,quiet solitude there. But it's in New York!

Again it was great to know more about you! 🙂 Thanks Again for all the work you do for Webroot!!
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
Nice to meet you @  and thanks for doing the interview with Nic!
Daniel 😉
Userlevel 7
Hi Dan, glad to get some info on another of 'The Professionals' at Webroot.  I am always amazed by what different walks of life a group of people doing a similar job come from...and what interesting people they are.  Just goes to show.
Hope that you manage to find somewhere decent to go on the sounds of the job you very much deserve it.
Thanks for publishing the interview, Nic
Userlevel 6
Great interview! Happy to meet you DanP and hope to see you around in the community! Thank you for being part of the WSA threat research team. Its people like you that keep us protected!
Userlevel 7
Awesome!  I am really enjoying these, and it is really fascinating to learn more about the people we interact with here on the Community!
Thanks Dan!
Userlevel 7
Great interview. Very interesting. 🙂
Userlevel 7
Badge +54
Sorry I am late [user=3840][/user], I was a little bit busy when you did this interview and I have just found it. A great interview and what fantastic music, I love it and you have a very impressive set-up there. It is great to see the person behind the names, on so many sites all we have is a name and nothing to link them to reality.