Saturday, December 23, 2023

A Christmas Post: Beer and Bounties

Christmas came early this year in Potrero Hill and it was sad news for craft beer drinkers.  Anchor Brewing released their 47th (and likely final) Christmas Ale in July, with a California-only distribution, as a result of their brewery shutdown announced in the same month.  Anchor's beers have been a perennial favorite of mine -- especially Liberty Ale and the ever-changing Our Very Special Ale to kick off the Christmas season each year.   Some years were hits, some were misses, but I always looked forward to trying each year's release.  It's sad to see the end of Anchor Brewing and I'm happy to have a dwindling few bottles stored in my garage.  

But I am not just figuratively crying in my beer here -- I am meandering toward something related to information security.  Several years ago I was in San Francisco for the final round of interviews at a  software company founded by some guy named Marc who used to write 8-bit Atari computer games.  I got to interview with some of the smartest security folks whose researched I've admired, but ultimately didn't make the cut.  A question about an algorithm for a chessboard-painting robot left me stymied.  So it goes.  During that trip, however, I found time to finally visit the Anchor Brewery for the first time.  I got to try the fantastic Flying Cloud Stout and a Dry-Hopped Steam Beer, among others.  I also managed to bring home a magnum of a Brandy-Barrel Aged Stout.  [ed; Just wow.  It was worth the hassle of getting the bottle home intact, and paired well with barbecued meat.]

When I booked my tickets for the brewery tour, I found a simple IDOR vulnerability in the tour registration service that disclosed some user order information.  I reported the vulnerability, they responded it immediately, and gave me a small amount of credit as a thank-you.  The coupon code?


A nice touch. :) 

Cheers!  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and thank you for reading.  Onward to 2024.

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