Before starting this post I want to state this is not an ad or promotion or anything like that it is me who reached out the 0 Day for an interview as I am genuinely a fan of their clothes.
There tops have appeared in my favourite show (and probably your favourite too) Mr Robot.
Other than that being proper cool, their designs are so great and I wanted to spread awareness in case people were unaware as well chatting to the main man (or woman) their to find out more, check our some of these deigns before getting to the interview.
“Sniff packets, not drugs!” is a top I desperately need and is my next purchase.
The person behind 0-Day Clothing interests me, do you work in Cybersecurity still (did you ever) or is the clothing range now a full-time thing?
I’d rather not disclose my real identity, so you can call me Luther Blissett, a name that I love because it’s a pseudonym that has been used collectively by multiple people since the 90s. I’ve been in the tech industry for 20 years. While I’ve worked in the cyber security field on a few occasions, it’s more of an area that I’ve always been interested in, but not the one that has paid the bills for most of my career. Right now I have a full time job in one of the big tech companies, with a fairly large scope. The job is very demanding so I only work on 0-Day Clothing from time to time, when I have spare time.
How did you get into the hacking scene?
I got into hacking when I was an early teenager. I started with basic things like sending BO2k installers to people on IRC, exploiting well-known web vulnerabilities here and there, or making free phone calls from public telephone booths. Then, as I grew older, I moved more to the white hat space, working on enterprise security (AAA, firewalls, proxies, reverse proxies, IPSec, etc). I also became interested in cryptography, steganography, forensics, things like that, and I developed a few open source security tools.
How do you come up with the designs, do people submit or do you hire artists and come up with the ideas?
The hardest part is to come up with good ideas and a way to represent them. I focus mainly on security, networking, computer science and cryptography, but the concepts in those fields are often very abstract, and it’s not trivial to come up with a way to represent them visually. Think about things like an OS kernel, a routing loop or a mutex. It’s easy to write about them, but not straightforward to represent them as something graphic. So I spend most of the time “thinking”, and when I have a concept that I like, I either produce the design myself (if it’s easy) or work with graphical designers to create something fancier.
One of my favourite designs of yours is the “RETRO KERNEL” which I really must get round to getting long sleeved but what is the favourite of you that you have done? Also, what would you say are the best sellers?
Haha, I’m glad you liked that one. I really like working on “retro” concepts because to me, it feels the same way as when you hear a song that you used to listen to in your teenage, it brings back great memories. I’ve just added a similar one for FreeBSD 1.0, their first major production release, check it out.
It’s hard to choose a particular design, but perhaps my Top-5 are: Sniff Packets Not Drugs, BMP Killed the ASCII Art, Own the Phone, Kernel Space and Long Story Short, mainly because they are about concepts that I’ve always been passionate about, packet capture, ASCII art, phreaking, OS kernels and the TCP/IP protocol stack.
Regarding best-sellers, some of the favourites that I just mentioned are also best sellers, but there are others like “The Man in the Middle” or “Killing the 0-Day Industry“. Also, annoyingly, the “Keep Calm and Wipe the Logs” is very popular. And I say annoyingly because it’s the most basic thing I have ever produced, just took the “Keep Calm And” thing that you see everywhere and add three words to it. I always try to avoid or deprecate those type of simplistic designs that anybody can do, but in this case, it’s so popular that I can’t really remove it 🙂
How did the store come about, what was the thinking behind it?
Well, I’ve always been a total geek and I’ve always liked wearing geek stuff, but every time I’d try to find some apparel, I’d only find something really lame like “There are 10 types of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don’t“. No graphics, just text, and using really worn out jokes.
The only places you could find cool stuff were sec cons or CTF events, but you had to be there in the right place at the right time to be able to get some decent swag.
So at some point I decided I’d design my own stuff, and eventually made it into an online shop. And here we are today! It’s been 12+ years!
You have had your items appear on TV and film most notably my favourite show Mr Robot and the movie Bourne 5, how did this happen and come about and how surreal was it seeing your stuff in them?
Haha. Well, this wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds. The Bourne5 thing was really cool to participate in but quite a big fiasco in the end. Universal Studios reached out saying they were working on Bourne 5. They wanted to build the expo floor of a conference like BlackHat or Defconand they wanted 0-Day Clothing to have a booth in that fake conference (“ExoCon”). So of course I said yes, and worked with them to make it happen. This involved designing an entire booth, with custom banners, table skirts, and lots of small random things, shipping everything to a warehouse, flying to Las Vegas, setting up the booth at the filming location, the Aria Hotel, and then being there during the whole thing.
It was a really interesting experience to see how those big Hollywood movies are made first hand, but also a total fiasco for 0-Day Clothing, because the brand barely made it into the film. You can see like 25% of the top of the booth for like 0.2 seconds, lol. But hey, at least it’s a story to tell.
For Mr Robot, this was much more straightforward. Universal reached out again, asking for permission to use the t-shirts. I recommended which designs were more appropriate for the scene they were shooting, they purchased them directly, and they magically ended up there. Originally, Darlene (Elliot’s sister) was going to wear one, but then in the end it didn’t happen. Bummer.
Did you imagine it would grow this big?
Well, I wouldn’t really call it “this big”. 0-Day Clothing is still very modest. I don’t really have time to do marketing, so without constant posts on social media, email campaigns, new web look refreshes, etc, it’s hard to keep folks engaged and grow.
But I’m really happy with the feedback that 0-Day Clothing gets. The site used to have a small survey, and almost everyone rated it 5/5 and the most repeated comment was “more, please!”, which is a great indicator things are heading in the right direction.
What are you plans for 2023?
There are a couple more designs coming online this year, in time for the xmas season. For 2023, open to feedback from anybody (please reach out via email), but the plan is to create even more products, especially security-related, so those that have been loyal for years don’t get bored seeing the same things over and over. 0-Day Clothing is on a mission to let everyone write their own dress code, and people need to be able to upgrade their wardrobes in time for Defcon or the next local 2600 meeting.
Check them out at the following places.
- Website/Shop – https://www.zerodayclothing.com/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/zerodayclothing
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/zerodayclothing/
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/zerodayclothing
- LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/zerodayclothing/
Take it easy.