Tuesday, 13 September 2011

DEFCON 19

I have been meaning to write about my attendance at DEFCON 19 in Las Vegas last month and finally I am writing about this before I disappear off to Mexico for a week. Needless to say, the conference was well-worth the trip to Vegas and I am definitely attending again. The only negative thing I have to say in regards to it is the fact that it was 43 C every single fucking day.

One of the things that I found interesting about this trip to the United States was that this was the first-ever venture into that country where I was flying domestic. If you fly out of Vancouver to Las Vegas, you're looking at a 80% premium compared to flying out of Bellingham, Washington, which is only 45 minutes from where I reside.

Most of my photos from DEFCON were taken with my smartphone during the course of the weekend and consisted of friends of mine. What you see here are just an excerpt of what had occurred over the weekend.

 

Wall of Sheep is something I have heard of for years and it is quite legendary. What was sort of depressing was that I was seeing familiar hostnames appearing on the screen during the course of the weekend. People tend to wonder why I don't bother with a wireless network at home and this really the reason for my decision.


A coworker of mine was amongst the group that had decoded the mystery that was this year's DEFCON badge. I took a swing at it personally but got lost part-way through.


This charge station caught my attention as did many others because not only was it a charge station at DEFCON but it was a station with a screen. Upon inserting a cable into your mobile device, the screen changes and asks you why you've done that but graciously charges your phone without doing anything nefarious. When I first saw this, I immediately began to wonder who in attendance would be gutsy or naive enough to try this.


Hacker Jeopardy was definitely worth watching. One funny story about this event was that a friend of mine from IRC had went and posted QR codes all over the Rio during the course of the weekend. I cannot remember what they did besides display a message telling people not to be idiotic and scan them. He got the bright idea to get the girl on the stage during Jeopardy to wear one of the codes around her legs (she was effectively down her underwear at this point) and had a whole bunch of males run up and take photos. Hilarity.


IOActive had put on an impressive show during Saturday evening. I had an opportunity to attend their other event during Blackhat but I decided to not do anything with my pass and socialise instead.


A bit of a sideshow to DEFCON, but a bunch of us opted to go visit the Pinball Museum which was a bit east of the strip. I definitely had a great time and found myself mastering a German pinball machine modeled around Super Mario World.


 

It is unlikely that I will be in Vegas for next year but I will most likely be at HOPE in New York as I have been asked to help out. I also have plans to give a talk on a project that I will be discussing later this fall.