Is this possible, or do I need to put in some time in an entry-level position first?
My justification for wanting to do this is that I think my technical skills are much more in line with an intermediate-level position.
I have 6 years of full-time experience in networking, programming, and IT management. My responsibilities have included managing an IDS and performing product security testing.
I'm Security+ certified and plan to pickup the C|EH soon. I've taken Foundstone's Ultimate Hacking: Expert course.
I've published several articles (in print) on buffer overflows and other security topics and have also contributed to several Wikipedia articles. I can write exploits and shellcode and can use advanced techniques to bypass StackGuard, PointGuard, no-exec, ProPolice, etc. I can also find and exploit other vulnerabilities such as as SQL injection and XSS. About eight years ago, I reported several vulnerabilities on Bugtraq. I spoke at Defcon around the same time.
I know TCP/IP really well and have spent hundreds of hours analzying traffic with tcpdump, Ethereal, Wireshark, and Snort. I've created a lot of custom traffic (for product security testing) using Hping2, Packit, Nmap, fragroute, and my own protocol fuzzers . One of my work projects required me to analyze and qualify signatures for Snort and the Cisco IDS. I documented dozens of the signatures in the Snort project.
I've been using Unix for 14 years and can comfortably manage BSD, Linux, and HP-UX. I have some Windows server experience (and a lot of desktop), but no Active Directory. I have experience with Cisco routers and switches, HP switches, and Foundry layer-4 devices. I'm comfortable with Unix firewalls but have no hands-on experience with commercial firewalls.
My knowledge comes mostly from personal projects and reading--I've read more than a thousand articles and conference/journal papers on security (and hacking) over the last ten years.
So, what should I aim for?
If you think I'm getting ahead of myself, say so. If I should go for an intermediate-level job, how do I get past HR?