Monday, August 07, 2006

infosec? it's more glamorous than a hotel heiress...

this post is for all of you who wondered what a real security conference looks like (all 2 of you out there). think it would be cool to hang with a group of "hackers"? look no further as i provide a brief look at the dorkstravaganza that is one of the industry's longest running infosec conferences: defcon.

this is a glance at the crowd in the riviera hotel in las vegas where defcon is hosted. for those of you who have not been to the riviera, it is located on the 7th layer of hell, which is oddly right next to circus circus. suckarama. it's cheap even by the standards of lima, ohio. while nearly every hotel worth its salt in vegas is adding marquis chef restaurants, the riviera just added a new "subway" sandwich joint and knocked another 50 cents off of footlong chili dogs.

this my friends is a robot contest. a fight to the digital death for a series of mechnical 'bots created by hacker types for a nail-biting duel at defcon. grab your cheetos and strap yerself in amigo, it's a bout to the finish that would make C3PO blush....

this is the message board and agenda displayed at defcon. it was about 15 feet tall, go big or go home. if you could read the text on the right-hand side (snapped this with my treo like the rest, the camera sucks), you'd chuckle in delight at adolescent humor such as the following winner i read on the big board:

What's the difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern fairy tale?
A Northern fairy tale begins, "Once upon a time..."
A Southern fairytale begins, "Y'all ain't gonna believe this shit..."

i've saved the best for last. this is the wonderful wall of sheep, which displays those naive enough to connect to the defcon network without using some form of encryption to protect their communications. this is sort of like taking your chances with a hooker in botswana. bad idea. most of what ends up on the screen is people's passwords for email, ftp and other popular internet activities.

you might be able to see the image of young fella on the left-hand, bottom corner of the screen. the title of this photo is "MySpace Lover!"-- this poor sucker was caught connecting to his myspace account while at defcon. this was greeted with howls of laughter and widespread derision. to think that anyone would use the internet to connect socially!!! absurd.

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