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From Coding Prodigy to Cyber Security Pioneer: Angelina’s Remarkable Journey

Angelina, an 18-year-old cyber security prodigy whose journey from elementary school coding to cutting-edge AI development is nothing short of inspirational. Her story is a testament to the power of passion and perseverance in a field that demands both creativity and technical acumen.

Angelina's fascination with technology began at the tender age of seven, when she took her first coding class. By 14, she was already contracting for startups, and by 15, she secured her first official job in cyber security. Her relentless drive and curiosity led her to NASA at 17, where she conducted groundbreaking research on meteorites and later pivoted to space security, identifying vulnerabilities in NASA's legacy coding languages.

Her technical prowess extends to mastering 20 programming languages, ranging from low-level languages like C and Rust to high-level ones such as JavaScript and TypeScript. Angelina's versatility and depth of knowledge have allowed her to develop sophisticated tools that address critical security issues in both aviation and satellite communication.

One of Angelina’s standout contributions is Payload Wizard, an advanced AI assistant designed to generate and interpret cyber security payloads. Leveraging OpenAI's GPT models, Payload Wizard simplifies the process of creating sophisticated payloads, enabling even beginners to generate functional code with minimal effort. The tool’s ability to interpret complex scripts also makes it an invaluable resource for understanding and analyzing existing payloads.

Another notable creation is Fly Catcher, a Raspberry Pi-based device that uses a software-defined radio and a convolutional neural network to detect spoofed aircraft signals. This tool addresses the critical vulnerability in the ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) system, which is both unencrypted and unauthenticated, making it susceptible to malicious attacks. Fly Catcher’s ability to identify "ghost aircraft" ensures safer skies by alerting ground-based controllers to potential threats.

Angelina’s commitment to open source and education is evident through her projects like Sentinel, a command-line tool for tracking satellites, and Sky Track, a comprehensive flight information tool for plane spotters. Both tools consolidate data from various APIs, providing detailed and accessible information that would otherwise require extensive manual searching.

Her project Drone Extract exemplifies her dedication to digital forensics. This tool analyzes DJI drone data to detect illicit activities, such as contraband drops in prisons or unauthorized surveillance. By parsing flight logs and telemetry data, Drone Extract provides investigators with critical insights into the drone’s operations, including potential locations of the pilot.

Despite her young age, Angelina has already made significant strides in her career, combining technical excellence with a deep sense of purpose. She advocates for finding a balance between discipline and creativity, urging young cyber security enthusiasts to view their work as both a technical and artistic endeavor. Her journey underscores the importance of passion, resilience, and continuous learning in achieving success.

As Angelina embarks on a gap year to teach computer science globally and work on a cyber security startup, her story continues to inspire. Her message is clear: regardless of age, anyone with a passion for technology can make a profound impact. Her innovative tools not only enhance security but also pave the way for a new generation of cyber security professionals.


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