Posts Tagged ‘conference’

BSides Delaware 2013

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

The annual BSides Delaware conference took place this past weekend, November 8th and 9th. BSides Delaware is a free community driven security event that takes place at the Wilmington University New Castle campus. The community is quite open, welcoming seasoned professionals, newcomers, curious individuals, and even children. There were a number of families who attended, bringing their children with them to learn and have fun.

I was fortunate enough to be able to speak at last years BSides and was part of the staff for this years event. There were two tracks for talks, many of which were recorded and are already online thanks to Adrian Crenshaw, the IronGeek. Adrian has honed his video skills and was able to have every recording online by the closing ceremonies on Saturday evening.

In all there were more than 25 talks over the course of two days covering a wide variety of topics, logging, Bitcoins, forensics, and more. While most speakers were established security professionals, there were a few new speakers striving to make a name for themselves.

This year also included a FREE wireless essentials training class. The class was taught by a team of world-class instructors including Mike Kershaw (drag0rn), author of the immensely popular Kismet wireless tool, Russell Handorf from the FBI Cyber Squad, and Rick Farina, lead developer for Pentoo. The class covered everything from wireless basics to software-defined radio hacking. An absolutely amazing class.

In addition to the talks, BSides also features not one, but two lockpick villages. Both Digital Trust as well as Toool were present. The lockpick villages were a big hit with seasoned professionals as well as the very young. It’s amazing to see how adept a young child can be with a lockpick.

Hackers for Charity was present as well with a table of goodies for sale. They also held a silent (and not so silent) auction where all proceeds went to the charity. Hackers for Charity raises money to help with a variety of projects they engage in across the world. From their website :

We employ volunteer hackers and technologists through our Volunteer Network and engage their skills in short projects designed to help charities that can not afford traditional technical resources.

We’ve personally witnessed how one person can have a profound impact on the world. By giving of their skills, time and talent our volunteers are profoundly impacting the world, one “hacker” at a time.

BSides 2013 was an amazing experience. This was my second year at the conference and it’s amazing how it has grown. The dates for BSidesDE 2014 have already been announced, November 14th and 15th. Mark your calendars and make an effort to come join in the fun. It’s worth it.

Derbycon 2012

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

I spent this past weekend in Louisville, KY attending a relatively new security conference called Derbycon. This year was the second year they held the conference and the first year I spoke there. It was amazing, to say the least.

I haven’t been to many conventions, and this is the only security-oriented convention I’ve attended. When I first attended last year, it was with come trepidation. I knew that some of the attendees I’d be seeing were truly rockstars in the security world. And, unfortunately, one of the people who was supposed to come with us was unable to attend. Of course, that person was the one person in our group who was connected within the security world and we were depending on them to introduce us to everyone.

It went well, nonetheless, and we were able to meet a lot of amazing people while we were there. Going back this year, we were able to rekindle friendships that started last year, and even make a few new ones. Derbycon has an absolutely amazing sense of family. Even the true rockstars of the con are down to earth enough to hang out with the newcomers.

And this year, I had the opportunity to speak. I submitted my CFP earlier in the year, not really expecting it to be chosen. Much to my surprise, though, it was. And so I spent some time putting together my talk and prepared to stand in front of the very people I looked up to. It was nerve-wracking to say the least. You can watch the video over on the Irongeek site, and you can find the slides in my presentation archive.

But I powered through it. I delivered my talk and while it may not have been the most amazing talk, it was an accomplishment. I think it’s given me a bit more confidence in my own abilities and I’m looking forward to giving another. In fact, I’ve since submitted a talk to BSides Deleware at the behest of the organizers. I haven’t heard back yet, but here’s hoping.

I’m already making plans to attend Derbycon 2013 and I hope to be a permanent fixture there for many years to come. Derbycon is an amazing place to go and something truly magnificent to experience. I may not be in the security industry, but they made me feel truly welcome despite my often dumb questions and inane comments. Rel1k, IronGeek, and Purehate have put together something special and I was proud to be a part of it again.

So you want to talk at a conference

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Last year at this time I was attending an absolutely amazing conference known as DerbyCon. It was an amazing time where I met some absolutely amazing people and learned amazing things. Believe me, there was a lot of amazing.

I attended one talk that really got me thinking about blue-team security. That is, defensive security, basically what I’m all about these days. And I decided that I wanted to help the cause .. So, I started putting together the pieces in my head and decided I wanted to do a talk at the following DerbyCon ..

And so, when the CFP was placed, I submitted my thoughts and ideas. Honestly, while I hoped it would be accepted, I didn’t think I had a chance in hell given the talent that talked the previous year.. Boy was I wrong.. Talk accepted. And so I started putting things together, working on the talk itself, pushing forward the design I wanted for this new tool. I aimed high and came up a little short..

As luck would have it, this past summer was a beast. Just no time to work on anything in-depth .. And time went by. And before I knew it, DerbyCon was here.. I did a dry-run of my talk to get some feedback and suggestions. Total talk time? 15 minutes. Uhh.. That might be an issue.. 50 minute talk window and all..

So, back to the drawing board. Fortunately, I received some awesome feedback and expanded my talk a bit. The revised edition should be a bit longer, I would hope.. I’ll find out tomorrow. I’m talking at 2pm.

I’m terrified.

But I’m surrounded by some of the most awesome people I have ever met. I’ll be fine.. I hope..

Reflections on DerbyCon

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

On September 30th, 2011, over 1000 people from a variety of backgrounds descended on Louisville, Kentucky to attend the first DerbyCon. DerbyCon is a security conference put together by three security professionals, Dave Kennedy, Martin Bos, and Adrian Crenshaw. Along with a sizable crew of security and administrative staff, they hosted an absolutely amazing conference.

During the three day conference, DerbyCon sported amazing speakers such as Kevin Mitnick, HD Moore, Chris Nickerson, and others. Talks covered topics such as physical penetration testing, lock picking, and network defense techniques. There were training sessions covering Physical Penetration, Metasploit, Social Engineering, and more. A lock pick village was available to both learn and show off your skills, as well as a hardware village where you could learn how to solder among other things. And, of course, there were late-night parties.

For me, this was my first official security conference. By all accounts, I couldn’t have chosen a better conference. All around me I heard unanimous praise for the conference, how it was planned, and how it was run. There were a few snafus here and there, but really nothing worth griping about.

The presentations I was able to attend were incredible and I came home with a ton of knowledge and new ideas. During the closing of the conference, Dave mentioned some ideas for next years conference such as a newbie track. This has inspired me to think about possibly presenting at next years conference. I have an idea already, something I’ve started working on. If all goes well, I’ll have something to present.

DerbyCon was definitely one of the highlights of my year. I’m already eager to return next year.