Just a short recap from my side regarding this year’s BSide in Las Vegas, NV. It was my first time there and I pretty much enjoyed it. After entering the venue on the first con day (Tuesday) I was a little bit shocked, as the staff sent me to the “end of the line just around the corner” – the end being many corners and many floors away 😉 Speaking to some guys while standing in line, time quickly passed by and before finally hitting the registration desk, there were already some people from the staff giving away the conference badges to the waiting folks. The waiting time was no comparison to last year’s DEF CON, where I (and obviously all the other “humans”, how attendees at DEF CON are called) had to wait nearly _four_ hours to get a badge to enter the con. DEF CON staff already calls this the annual “Line Con”. Enough bashing, back to topic 😉
The opening keynote was held by Lorrie Cranor, who spoke first and Michael Kaiser, who did the second part. I enjoyed Lorrie’s part which was about frequent password changes in environments like companies or universities. She talked about studies that revealed, many people who have to change passwords frequently use patterns by changing their passwords, like shifting letters or iterating numbers. This behavior mostly provides only a little security benefit or could otherwise also decrease security, she said.
Walking around a bit, you really felt that BSides is a community event, which was a good thing in my eyes. On the first day the booths of the conference sponsors were a bit crowded. The reason? Lots of free stuff to grab 😉
IIRC, they had no less than 9 tracks at the con. Crazy! Can’t say anything to the quality of the talks, as there were too much in parallel to consume 😉 The ppl from the staff were always very kind, if you had questions or went the wrong way out of the room.
On the second day, one of my favorite talks was “Hacking Megatouch Bartop Games” by Mark Baseggio. He did some nice research on the old games everybody knows from their hometown pub 😉 Unfortunately I found no slides, just a video on Youtube –> Click here.
I also went to the “I Am The Cavalry Track” and the Underground track, which wasn’t recorded. I only saw one talk there on the second day. In my opinion I didn’t understand what was sooo special about the talk I saw, that it had to be ran on this track. If you wanted to stay in the room, you had to turn off your phone(s) and laptops, store your bags under the seat and some other requirements, which a girl from the staff made clear by saying it a hundred times (maybe a thousand…). As said – in my opinion, there was nothing critical in this talk. I don’t know about the other talks, which took part there. In general, I like the idea of such a track, as it’s a good way to talk about critical topics or to talk about topics without knowledge of your employer or other entities.
All in all – great con, great people!