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Yadhu's Blog

A Timeline of Growth: Reflections on the Past, Present and Future

As I look back at my three and a half years at Amrita University and Team bi0s, I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia. Join me as I take a trip down memory lane, and reflect on the experiences, lessons, and achievements that have shaped me into the person I am today.

# 🚌 Journey so far..

As I reflect on the past few years, I am struck by the impact that time has had on me. I have grown and changed in ways I never could have imagined. My experiences at Amrita and Team bi0s have helped me to broaden my perspective and gain a deeper understanding of the world around me. I am proud of the progress I have made, both academically and personally, and acknowledge that there were times when I felt lost and uncertain. But it was during those moments that I learned the value of taking a step back, re-evaluating my goals and redirecting my efforts.

## 2019 - The Beginnings 👋

When I first joined Amrita University in 2019, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. My initial days were filled with meeting new people, making new friends, and discovering a sense of purpose and direction. As someone who has always been passionate about computer science, joining Team bi0s, a student-run computer security club, was a natural step for me. The club provided me with a community of like-minded individuals, and a platform to learn, grow and make a difference. I quickly realized that I had found my niche, and I was doing something that I truly enjoyed. Here’s a blog on how I joined bi0s.

Being a part of Team bi0s was an incredibly rewarding experience. Every day, I was presented with new challenges and opportunities to learn. I learned to work as a team. There were nights in which we gave up sleep and stayed up late to participate in CTF competitions. Also, there were times when I did not understand what my seniors were doing. I used to simply sit staring at their laptop screens watching them discuss and solve CTF challenges. Through their hard work and dedication, they not only pushed the team to achieve great things, but also inspired me to strive for excellence. My mentor Vipin Pavithran, always used to say - “what we enjoy today is not ours, but it was brought to us by the long gone”. bi0s followed a mentor-mentee approach, making it easier for the freshers to learn from their mentors. Their dedication motivated me to work regularly and encouraged me to do even better.

Here are some of the great websites that my mentors recommended for practice:

## 2020 - A year of Growth 💪

I see 2020 as a year of growth. By this time, I had already decided to focus on web security. I started by learning basic web attacks such as SQL Injection and Cross-Site Scripting. I also learned to develop simple web applications using PHP, HTML, and client-side JavaScript. Some of the amazing websites I used then:

Meanwhile, I also participated in CTF competitions along with my teammates. I also used to conduct learning sessions and discussions on various trending web security topics. These usually came up on CTFs. Here are a few of the presentations that I made:

By the end of 2020, I was able to submit a few bug reports on HackerOne, however each of them got duplicated. XD

## 2021 - A year of Achievements 🏆

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 had a significant impact on my life and studies, but it was in 2021 that I felt its effects the most. The shift to online classes and the isolation brought on by the pandemic made it difficult to stay motivated and focused. I found myself falling into patterns of procrastination and self-doubt. But as the year progressed, I learned to adapt and find new ways to stay motivated.

Despite the challenges, 2021 proved to be a year of great achievements for me. I found myself advancing in my specialization field - web security. I grasped advanced techniques and was able to follow up on recent research and discoveries. I found my first bug bounty Read about it here, my first couple of CVEs, and got my name listed on few Hall-of-Fames. These accomplishments not only boosted my confidence, but also serve as a reminder of the progress I have made. The year 2021, despite the difficulties, has been a turning point in my life and career.

Here’s a list of CVEs and Hall-of-Fames I got in the year.

### Hall-of-Fames

### CVEs

As a part of my coursework at Amrita, I also got an opportunity to discover various other fields of computer science of which I found Machine Learning and Data Science fascinating. I did a couple of projects in Machine Learning and published an article. Towards the end of the year, I even got a chance to speak at one of India’s flagship cyber security contest and conference - InCTF.

Here are some of the resources I used in my infosec journey:

# 2022 - The present

2022 marked the return to in-person classes after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the landscape of college life may have shifted, my passion for computer science and my involvement with Team bi0s remained unchanged. As my seniors graduated, I was honored to be selected as one of the leaders of the club, and I looked forward to continuing to contribute to its growth and success. This opportunity allowed me to take on new responsibilities and develop my leadership skills, while also continuing to learn and grow alongside my peers.

Here are some of the achievements I made this year:

## CVEs & RDPs

In September, I was honored to receive an award from one of the most respected and accomplished actors in the Malayalam film industry, Mammooty. It was a truly humbling experience to be recognized by such a prominent figure.

## CTFs

  • Winner of Adversary Wars CTF, hosted by Adversary Village.
  • Top 5 in DomeCTF, hosted by Kerala Police Cybedome and Beagle Security.

As I fast forward to October, I am excited to announce that I have successfully cleared the interview at CRED for a Product Security Intern role. I am eager to take on the new challenges and responsibilities that come with this role and I am confident that this internship will provide me with the skills and insights needed to excel in my field. Tomorrow marks my first day and I am looking forward to starting this new chapter in my professional journey.

Years of hard work and determination have finally paid off. As I look back to my first post on this blog, I am reminded of the journey I have taken and the progress I have made. In life there are certain one-time opportunities that one must surely go for. The struggles and challenges that I have faced along the way have only made me stronger and more determined to succeed.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, my time at Amrita University and Team bi0s have been an unforgettable journey full of growth, progress and achievements, and one that I will always hold dear to my heart. I consider my time at Amrita and Team bi0s as a turning point in my life, where I discovered my passion, made lifelong friends and learned invaluable lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

I will always be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team. The love, support and guidance of my mentors have helped me reach new heights and achieve things I never thought possible. My time at Amrita and Team bi0s have been the most formative years of my life and I will always treasure them.

I take this moment to thank my mentors, my teachers, my family, friends and most importantly Team bi0s and Amrita for what I have become with the past few years.

Looking forward to the new beginnings. 💗


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” - Nelson Mandela