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First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

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  • Nikita
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    Nerds and geeks have likely lead lives where their outward appearance, interests, or actions have caused others to judge and treat them differently because of it. Hackers often understand that things are not always as they seem to be, and considerations should be made before acting in haste on judgments based only on outward appearance.
    I am so guilty of being a person to act in haste and judge another, in the past. I was very judgmental at one point in time in my Life. There are many things, not just people or appearances, that I have changed my opinion on and learned to grow to be a better more open minded person, BECAUSE of DEF CON and the people who attend it.

    That's all, Just wanted to agree with your statement and add my thoughts.

    Leave a comment:


  • I.T. Warrior
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
    CotMan definitely has it right. I hope you didn't change to wearing black t-shirts at subsequent cons.

    In fact, not wearing T-shirts at all makes you extra uber cool.

    Granted, black can be slimming...
    Well, don't ge_t me wrong. I love black. When I lived in my country, which is cold, I wore it a lot. Besides, you find the coolest messages on black shirt

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
    CotMan definitely has it right. I hope you didn't change to wearing black t-shirts at subsequent cons.

    In fact, not wearing T-shirts at all makes you extra uber cool.

    Granted, black can be slimming...
    Don't be a loser. All the cools wear T-Shirts (Although I should note that I brought my spiffy ass DC101 shirt that you gave me on my trip this week to wear at work. Thanks again sir...next year I'll wear it when I'm supposed to )

    Leave a comment:


  • HighWiz
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    Nerds and geeks have likely lead lives where their outward appearance, interests, or actions have caused others to judge and treat them differently because of it. Hackers often understand that things are not always as they seem to be, and considerations should be made before acting in haste on judgments based only on outward appearance.
    CotMan definitely has it right. I hope you didn't change to wearing black t-shirts at subsequent cons.

    In fact, not wearing T-shirts at all makes you extra uber cool.

    Granted, black can be slimming...

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by Rikof View Post
    The only real "bad antisocial Defcon experience" I can think of was during my first time: I was making the line for the badges and was wearing all white, tshirt and short pants (I only like to wear black in really cloudy or cold places) and this idiot was passing by and slurred: "what... a hacker, wearing white!?" THAT'S JUST AN STEREOTYPE, I thought; to me "HACKER" is more about how you think, about your willingness to learn and not necessarily the color of your shirt. However, I wished he could stay so I could tell him some nice !@#$* words.
    There is an advantage to this; people that, "out," themselves as applying stereotypes in judgment of others, and then choose to dismiss people based on this, especially appearance without consideration of merit, announce themselves as people less likely to be, "nerds," or, "geeks," or, "hackers."

    Nerds and geeks have likely lead lives where their outward appearance, interests, or actions have caused others to judge and treat them differently because of it. Hackers often understand that things are not always as they seem to be, and considerations should be made before acting in haste on judgments based only on outward appearance.

    This would suggest that people NOT in these three classes might be the ones to jump to these conclusions with these kinds of statements out loud. A large percent of people at Defcon are clueless people attracted to a Hollywood idea of hacking, groupies, "scene whores," or people that are just curious about Defcon. Some people also seem to think they can elevate their status by tearing other people down. Expressed judgments provide you with a form of self-selection by people that, "out," themselves.

    Self-selection is a useful tool, but should not be taken to extremes, as there are some that will choose to use such phrases as a point of sarcasm, to make fun of the stereotype, and NOT the people. Additionally, there are some that will choose to try to out themselves as people they are not, so they will be perceived as something they are not for one reason or another.

    People leak information about themselves, even when providing derisive commentary.

    Leave a comment:


  • I.T. Warrior
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Well, troll, I believe We all wish Defcon could be a longer event, so much to see, so much to learn, so many parties to attend, so many people to share with. Seven days perhaps, would be glorious!! to me at least, since it coincides with my vacation time, it'd not be a problem, but, that won't be true for most people. A lot can't even attend the closing ceremonies because they need to take a flight, some might need to be present at work next day, who knows. There are even shorter cons like Thotcon that basically last 1 day and probably there are some very 1337 cons out there just not for everybody.
    It was cool to see you joining the forums right there at the spot at the Defcon Forums room, so decisive!
    About the jargon, well, the jargon, I think you get with practice. the talks can give you a good hint of ideas of what's going on and what can be possible, but, it is more your reading and your practicing that provide you most of your learning. "Masters practice always" is what I tell my students. Maybe "The Jargon File" may help you.
    And about antisocial people, well, I think that maybe it is because people like to gather with those they know already, then, it's easy to disregard those who aren't "in your click", or if you are not a talker, it's much easier not to talk than dealing with people, you know, it's about "staying inside your comfort zone". I guess the more you attend DC, the less you feel that attendees are that antisocial. Unfortunately this year Toxic Barbecue was cancelled, it's a good way of meeting people before the con. The only real "bad antisocial Defcon experience" I can think of was during my first time: I was making the line for the badges and was wearing all white, tshirt and short pants (I only like to wear black in really cloudy or cold places) and this idiot was passing by and slurred: "what... a hacker, wearing white!?" THAT'S JUST AN STEREOTYPE, I thought; to me "HACKER" is more about how you think, about your willingness to learn and not necessarily the color of your shirt. However, I wished he could stay so I could tell him some nice !@#$* words.

    Leave a comment:


  • zephyr
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    Because you have stated your intention to return with Project #2 this will get you an earlier start in getting the word out about your contest. We'll copy forward your present description and site-link URL. If you get a twitter feed, let me/us and then Pyr0 know (when has has a RFI for DC20) so that the feed can be referenced.
    Awesome. I figured it was mostly because we were a first-year contest. And honestly, we really hurt ourselves by running as a mysterious and poorly-explained ARG. We'll change that next year: we want people to come and learn something by playing Project 2.

    Contact Defcon Information Booth people, and maybe updates with your scoreboard can be integrated into their updates, or maybe they have support for scoreboard updates and would be willing to work something out on how that information could be populated. They also have their own twitter feed which was announced a little late, but has potential to be a point of announcement for contest updates, too.
    The integrated scoreboard definitely sounds information booth-y. We'll see what we can get going.

    I'm really big on reaching out to the newbs; I think the con has a lot to offer but it's intimidating/confusing to locate it your first (or second, or third...) year.

    Thanks for all the pointers, TheCotMan.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by zephyr View Post
    As a new contest we definitely felt like we could have had more attendance if people knew what the heck we were.
    Because you have stated your intention to return with Project #2 this will get you an earlier start in getting the word out about your contest. We'll copy forward your present description and site-link URL. If you get a twitter feed, let me/us and then Pyr0 know (when has has a RFI for DC20) so that the feed can be referenced.

    Keeping the forum for your contest active with a new thread containing useful information every 2 or 3 weeks is also a help, since Neil's work on the main website includes links to new threads for people to read more about. (Make your thread subjects meaningful and interesting enough for people to visit, but don't abuse this to spam.)

    I would have loved to go to DC101, I didn't know there was an open invitation. I don't have time to keep up with every thread in the forums, so I missed out on a lot of important information, apparently.
    if he offers it again next year, it will probably be on the forums again.

    What I did do, though, is talk with a couple other contest folks about how to get the word out about what our contests are and how they might be interesting to people with different skillsets. Part of this would be a pre-con web site with sample material from contests, part would be a new display showcasing all the contests in a "unified scoreboard", combined with a contest registration thing that'd sign you up for all participating contests. There are some other cool things I want to piggyback on to this, but I don't want to get people's hopes up and then not deliver, so you'll just have to wait and see.
    Contact Defcon Information Booth people, and maybe updates with your scoreboard can be integrated into their updates, or maybe they have support for scoreboard updates and would be willing to work something out on how that information could be populated. They also have their own twitter feed which was announced a little late, but has potential to be a point of announcement for contest updates, too.

    Leave a comment:


  • zephyr
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    We ran a new contest this year. We designed it to be something that people new to the con, hacking, or even computing in general, could sink their teeth into, while still providing something fun for folks who were seasoned experts. Basically what troll should have been playing :)

    As a new contest we definitely felt like we could have had more attendance if people knew what the heck we were. I would have loved to go to DC101, I didn't know there was an open invitation. I don't have time to keep up with every thread in the forums, so I missed out on a lot of important information, apparently.

    What I did do, though, is talk with a couple other contest folks about how to get the word out about what our contests are and how they might be interesting to people with different skillsets. Part of this would be a pre-con web site with sample material from contests, part would be a new display showcasing all the contests in a "unified scoreboard", combined with a contest registration thing that'd sign you up for all participating contests. There are some other cool things I want to piggyback on to this, but I don't want to get people's hopes up and then not deliver, so you'll just have to wait and see.

    So far we've got interest from three contest organizers in this idea. I didn't have time to run it by everybody; I was hoping I could stir up further interest in the forums. If you run a contest, post here or PM me.

    Bbox, if you're up for it, we should combine forces. Coordination is going to be on the order of difficulty of herding cats, and the more socialization we can get, the better.

    Leave a comment:


  • HighWiz
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by hexjunkie View Post
    Perhaps an adopt a noob situation needs be created?
    Noobs registure during DC101, Veterans sign up.... matching algorithm of e-harmony/match.com proportions is run
    Announcements done as to who your adopted noob is...
    Originally posted by snideology View Post
    D00D! I LOVE it!
    And if no one gets around to doing such, even just a n00b thread or some such, where we can manually adopt a n00b.

    I don't know if it would work out at 101. But I totally think it's an awesome idea. Personally I've done it for years, finding a different n00b at con and "adopting" them. Like this year for example, even though I wasn't 100% into the same stuff that he was or wanted to get involved with, I was able to introduce him to people that were. And even help him start forming friendships with other locals (as well as giving him crash space). I'm sure some other people do the same, which it's really cool. It's a great opportunity to make friends with new and interesting people.

    I've heard some really interesting and good idea's about 101 and n00bs (both this idea and from BBox), but my prevailing concern (as always) is time. Maybe that's something else we need to look into, though.

    Lots of food for thought...

    Originally posted by Bbox View Post
    Just a thought....

    I am not sure how High Wiz would view this (maybe a distraction to DC101) but maybe either during the break (if he has one planned for DC20) or directly after, some of the contest organizers could have registration tables at the back of the room where the contests can be explained and newbies or anyone else could sign up for an event.
    101 at DC20 will definitely be different, but we're still in the early planning stages. So Bbox, if you have any idea's, you know how to get a hold of me. At this point (and really anytime before December), I'm totally open to new things we can do.

    There were a lot of new events / contests this year and many of them would like more participation. It would bring more value to both the DC101 attendee and the contest itself.
    Have they told you they would like to participate? Every year, I put a call out to Leaders/Organizers of contests and events at DefCon to be involved with 101 and the only ones who have ever stepped up to do so have been the ScavHunt and whatever contest(s) Lost is running at the time. I would love for more of them to be involved, and if any of them have said anything to you about it, please have them contact me.

    I realize time is at a premium at DC101 but maybe someone (a panel member) or a group of someone's (pyro's contest people (they were all gathered together directly before 101 this year at the mandatory meeting) can quickly run through all the contests and what they are about during their speaking time. I know everything is listed in the program and if people took the time to read the Forums they would know this stuff, but since Defcon can seem overwhelming at first, this "spoon feeding" may be worth the time and effort invested.
    The only issue I foresee there is "time". In the past Pyr0/Russr did run down the list of contests and what many of them were about, the problem we face now is with our time constraints and the number of contests/events at DefCon. There were/are more than 30 contests and events at con and I worry about how to "fit them all in" (no pun intended).
    Last edited by HighWiz; August 17, 2011, 18:21. Reason: Added content

    Leave a comment:


  • ninokahlan
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    This was my first con as well. I do have to confess, I was anti-social in the beginning, but as I was wondering around the con, the more I seemed to open up. I wish I was able to make it to the forum meet. It would have been awesome to meet all of you guys and gals.

    I do have to say that it was hard to plan, what to do during the Con, with all the talks, events, and contests that was so interesting to me.

    Over all I defiantly had a great time and am coming back for more excitement.

    I am right there with you guys, on learning more about the CTF competition. I have been playing with backtrack 4 and now 5 from the start of my bachelors degree in Information Security systems. I am wanting to know more about other security tools.
    Last edited by ninokahlan; August 18, 2011, 14:26.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by Bbox View Post
    [At DC101] ... maybe someone ... can quickly run through all the contests and what they are about during their speaking time.
    I think a list, without description might be okay, but the list is really long and getting longer, especially with events at locations like the various villages. Providing a URL to a complete list would also be,"better," as those with interest can read more if they are interested, but people not interested don't have to wait through announcements about the details of things they do not care about.

    I do not like rewarding failure, so I am reluctant to offer this, but it might be good to mention any contests, events, parties or social gatherings that were added after the program information was printed. I do not like this, because it rewards failure to plan, and organize, but it is also a good idea, because even with good planning, some events change or have misinformation due to miscommunication, or reference to obsolete documentation:
    * BlooKode blood drive listed as Friday and Saturday, but was only Friday, and hours were different. Error was found before Defcon, but after info went to print.
    * Hacker Jeopardy information was unknown before program went to print, but found out later.
    * Contests at the Hardware Hacking Village were known after the information went to program.
    * A change to the SkyTalks was made after information for the program went to print.
    * Speaker relocation from one track to another, and/or one time to another.
    * New speakers/presentation added since program info was submitted for printing.
    * There were a few more changes/differences. The above list is meant to show that omissions and mistakes can happen with good planning, and last-minute or late planning.

    A summary of changes would be good for people new to Defcon. This same summary of changes would also be useful if announced before the first talk in every track.

    It would also be good to have a static URL with just text and no extra formatting that contains an addendum to the program. If it is a web-accessible text/plain file, then even ghetto early-1990's styled cell phones with G1 text-only web browsing could get a list of changes while at Defcon. This same document could be updated with more updates as they are known. (Twitter is less reliable for this, as changes are not retained long enough, or they are distributed across too many accounts, or they are a shrinking signal compared to the noise of unrelated Defcon changes/updates.) The sucky part of this idea is that someone would have compile these changes and keep this text file up-to-date. If Information Desk had access to such a text file on a server, then they would be the ideal location to collect and distribute such information. Since changes always happen after the program is printed, the URL could be included in the program.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bbox
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by snideology View Post
    This year (so bloody similar to last year, *SIGH*) when I went to pick up my box for the TE contest, I was once again alone, with no word from a single teammate, leaving me once again stuck trying to put together a team from scratch.
    Just a thought....

    I am not sure how High Wiz would view this (maybe a distraction to DC101) but maybe either during the break (if he has one planned for DC20) or directly after, some of the contest organizers could have registration tables at the back of the room where the contests can be explained and newbies or anyone else could sign up for an event.

    There were a lot of new events / contests this year and many of them would like more participation. It would bring more value to both the DC101 attendee and the contest itself.

    I realize time is at a premium at DC101 but maybe someone (a panel member) or a group of someone's (pyro's contest people (they were all gathered together directly before 101 this year at the mandatory meeting) can quickly run through all the contests and what they are about during their speaking time. I know everything is listed in the program and if people took the time to read the Forums they would know this stuff, but since Defcon can seem overwhelming at first, this "spoon feeding" may be worth the time and effort invested.

    PS. If needed to make it easier for Pyro I would volunteer to contact all the contest organizers and find out what events would like to get the word out they are looking for participants and then summarize them to 1 list with a short description of the event.

    Leave a comment:


  • snideology
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    But then, in Defcon tradition, some, "ringer," will show up and say, "Hi! I am a newbie, and I want to join the MFP!" Get enough ringers, and then some could sabotage other teams.
    Thanks Cot: the one chance we had of scuttling the MF Pros with one newbie teammate, and you blow my cover. Yeah, like they would have gone for it anyway...

    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    Then again, maybe nobody at defcon would think of exploiting the rules of a game to their advantage. :-D
    Most certainly not I (said as we swiped two rolls of tamper evident tape from the judges, which REALLY helped our point score)

    I wonder if in a truly nefarious way that is my favorite aspect of partaking in hacker contests: since we are doing it to find ways the cheaters & criminals use to circumvent InfoSec, therefore there basically is no way to cheat illegally, if it works. Being rewarded for cheating; it's like college all over again. Well, that, and the binge drinking ;)

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: First Defcon: The Observer's Perspective

    Originally posted by snideology View Post
    ... That is why I really wish there was a way to make all TE teams take a n00b every year, but with it becoming so competitive, that may not be possible
    But then, in Defcon tradition, some, "ringer," will show up and say, "Hi! I am a newbie, and I want to join the MFP!" Get enough ringers, and then some could sabotage other teams. This defeats random selection of Newbies to teams, too.

    It is probably not a good idea to force people at Defcon to do anything they don't want to do. The same could be said for score modification based on how many, "newbies," joined a team.

    Then again, maybe nobody at defcon would think of exploiting the rules of a game to their advantage. :-D

    (By the way, this kind of thing happened a year or two ago at DC101, when Lost offered a big advantage to figuring out the mystery contest to any newbie that won a newbie contest at DC101, which was supposed to be for newbies. Not everyone that played that game was a newbie.)
    Last edited by TheCotMan; August 16, 2011, 14:55.

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