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  • the Secure Ninjas

    Here's a topic that could blossom into something of a unique discussion. And it has the interesting virtue of tying in with a theme that has surfaced in many new ways at DEFCON... what role sex and sexual themes play in the community.

    How many people interacted this year with the "Secure Ninjas" around the con space? Unbeknownst to me, they apparently did a short interview in the Lockpick Village with one of my staff...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um3l47yyCEQ

    ... i like to think i'm open-minded and accepting of all people, but honestly had i been present and seen them coming, i honestly may have just said "yeah, we really don't have room for you in here right now trying to shoot a piece. please leave."

    You can have your yellow card / red card debates and you can argue about whether DEFCON should allow penises on speaker slides or how much public groping is too much and what exactly is consensual or harassment... but frankly, i find a group of people like this to be far more offensive to my tastes than any of the other piddly crap that goes on.

    If you check the Secure Ninja site you'll see that they're not just media whores (which could be understood if not tolerated very well) but that they actually try to operate as some sort of training and consulting venture. (Of course, their "trainings" are affiliated with the CEH program and so forth.)

    I cannot believe that no one has told them how counter-productive this is. I will actively dissuade friends from any work with them because of this. I will retweet other comments giggling at them because of this. I just don't get it.

    And the real kicker is, they probably will just attribute it to "awe, those geek guys are jealous that they can't get hot girls like ours" or something. We get LOADS of hotties (girls and guys) all over us all the time. What pisses us off (or at least pisses me off) to no end is the fact that they seem to have gone out of their way to hire vapid and clueless hotties.

    Compare this with the gamer world. True, there are plenty of awful booth babe type shenanigans at E3. But you also have clans like the Frag Dolls. UbiSoft, from what i understand, only hires girls in those roles if they know what they're talking about and can play and compete with others at their level

    Did anyone actually detect true enthusiasm in the Secure Ninja girls as they trotted around DEFCON? Did you have a conversation with any of them and get the sense that they work in this field? That they know details of any real aspect of hacker culture? I haven't spoken to anyone who did.

    Again, i personally didn't meet them... so i can't speak authoritatively on this subject. Maybe i'm making something overblown here.

    I just know that when i see a video like this i'm far more upset at that sort of horseshit at DEFCON than i am about someone streaking naked through a talk or slapping a passed-out drunk in the face with some cock. Sexualizing people for their bodies and not their minds and hiring vapid, uninteresting folk who take up the time and energy of legit people at DEFCON... that'd get a red card from me when nothing else i encounter ever does.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: the Secure Ninjas

    I saw them at BH, and they were the worst for giving out swag. They wanted to watch you login to FB and like them so you could get a shirt, so no shirt for me, but they were kind enough to send 5x the spam as anyone else.

    And yes, hair dye was the only thing going on upstairs.

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    • #3
      Re: the Secure Ninjas

      I saw them at BH, got a shirt after refusing a login. I took their picture and gave them a card so they can get their image from online. They were oblivious as to how to get an image offline from a web page even after I gave them the web address. Her reply? "I'm just here for looks. I don't know anything about any of this stuff really." I wanted to make a comment about port probing but knew the double entendre would go right over her head leaving nothing but a resounding echo. I hope the selection of these individuals for swag dispensation was done at the last minute. I'd be astounded if they were specifically selected.

      As for the red card / yellow card / one fish / two fish mess, maybe I'm just old school. I thought the offended party would leave, ask the offender to leave, call him a pervert, slap him, or mace the offender. Cards are new to me. I never got one. I guess my DC20 swag collection is not complete. I better look for one on Ebay.

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      • #4
        Re: the Secure Ninjas

        I heard that there was a con nowadays (possibly more than one?) who has the new policy that expo booth flunkies have to know what they're talking about. Anyone know what even that might be?

        The way i have heard it told, is that staff approach a booth and ask serious questions of the people standing there (often they are booth babes, nothing more)... if these representatives of the sponsor/exhibitor cannot properly answer questions about the product, that sphere of the market, etc... then they are asked to leave.

        Is this just imaginary? Or is this something actually being done? I think it's a decent idea. (And good exhibitors should welcome it because it will clear out the insane mess of nonsense that plagues most expo floors and it would actually allow products to compete on merit)
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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        • #5
          Re: the Secure Ninjas

          Where there's a buck to be made, there are "brand ambassadors".

          Vapid and clueless. Ever been in the paddock at a professional sports car race? Yeah, the Porsche guys have the same nonsense signing posters in their pits. Think those "brand ambassadors" know the difference between understeer and oversteer?

          On the other hand, there are those trade environments where the booth babes are knowledgeable. All the "squeeze our triggers" girls at the CZ-USA booth at SHOT knew their stuff.

          To me this is the unfortunate "logical" evolution of the whole cert nonsense. G-d I'm glad I'm a EE and don't have to play that game. The cert/training business is bound to attract some slimy used car donbot who thinks he can come up with a silly name, flashy presence, and shovel in the cash. Yeah, I know these guys claim to be uber experienced pros, but that sure is what it feels like. Nothing like flash and cash to kill a good scene buzz.

          As far as people like this being at Defcon? For me it's a what-ever kind of thing. What-ever if they show up, and what-ever if they get called out for what they are. It sucks to have to do a preemptive strike in your village, but if you do, you do. I also like to think that members of this community will see right through this. Sure we (for the most part it seems) like our world somewhat sexualized, but then we tend to think smart is sexy.

          I didn't have any interaction with those girls, but have dealt with plenty of people trying to shill in the halls. I try to do my best Johnny Depp/Willy Wonka impersonation and tell them "you're really weird" and walk off. Don't feed the trolls. But, if you do, feed them something that will give them major gas and make them look like what they are, full of hot air.
          TSA luvs my Uzi.

          "We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time." -T.S. Eliot

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