Wednesday 29 September 2010

Brucon 2010 - my thoughts

This was the second year of BruCON, and my first time and my first time at any security/hacker conference at all, so as you can imagine, it was a little disconcerting.
To start off with it was a bit scary, going there on my own (I was supposed to be going with friend who couldn’t make it), country I'd never been to, and using language I didn't know, and since I’m just a student at university, spending a lot of my free time studying security and trying to keep up with everything I already felt a bit of an outsider to the whole community there. I didn’t really know anybody there (by that I mean I’ve spoken to a few of the people on Twitter, but it isn’t the same). And there’s also the fact I don’t actually work in security, I don’t work in the same environment day in day out, so there will obviously be a lot of stuff that is way over my head, as I am still just learning a lot of the stuff.

Due to the fact that I didn’t know many people, I still spent as little time as possible socialising (not sure whether it was the best tactic or not), but this meant that I spent all the time in presentations and workshops.
And if I was forced to describe the whole thing in one word, it would be awesome!

Obviously, there were some presentations/workshops better than others, but this is just a human reaction to compare things. But the best presentations and workshops were the ones that got me really thinking about that specific part of security, like Didier Steven’s workshop on malicious PDF analysis, or Craig Balding’s presentation on cloud computing and Chris Nickerson’s presentation, “Top 5 ways to steal a company” which ended being edited slightly.

I wish I had tried more to socialise though, as once I had got into it (mostly on the second day), it was really interesting to talk to people about things I did and didn’t know about and meet a few of the people I regularly read blog posts from or follow and talk to on twitter.

I wish I could’ve made it to a couple of the other workshops, like the DVWA and lockpicking workshops, and Samy Kamkar’s talk “How I met your girlfriend” which I was only unable to attend due to the small size of the room.

I fully intend to be booking my ticket for next year as soon as they are released (and book a hotel in a better location next time), signing up for the hex factor, and perhaps even putting my name down for a lightning talk.
Basically, I thought BruCON was great, and as long as I can make it, I will be going next year, and hopefully go for the training on the days before.

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