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My fist DEFCON, a post-mortem and hopefully a roadmap for future n00bs

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  • LSDj
    replied
    there is also the hackertracker app for defcon24 which i recommend getting as it has maps and schedules. though a lot of events and stuff are not showing up on the app. This will be my first defcon been wanting to go for the last 23 years but never had the option.

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  • sainate
    replied
    One other thing just hit me that I'm not sure that I've mentioned yet or not. There are TONS of links to floorplans for Bally's and Paris with details on what is where. Last year, I did a bad job of doing recon and ended up finding 'parts' of DEFCON as late as Saturday night. This time, I'll be doing some urban exploring first thing when we arrive to get familiar with what's there. I guess further proof of the importance of good recon :)

    http://defcon.outel.org/dc24-consolidated_page.html

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  • 0xtf
    replied
    Originally posted by sainate View Post
    Another good read if you're looking at making your first trip to Defcon that was posted to the DC404 group mailing list:
    https://systemoverlord.com/2016/02/1...ing-guide.html

    Thank you for the great read! Definetely very useful for someone going to DC for the first time.

    Another article that I found useful was the "DEFCON for n00bs": https://hackingand.coffee/index.php/defcon-for-n00bs/

    Leave a comment:


  • sainate
    replied
    Another good read if you're looking at making your first trip to Defcon that was posted to the DC404 group mailing list:
    https://systemoverlord.com/2016/02/1...ing-guide.html

    Leave a comment:


  • sainate
    replied
    Quick follow-up to some of my previous posts and to ride the coattails of Deviant Ollam and dc0de regarding the non-technical being a BS excuse. DC23 was my first defcon and I'll be the first to admit that I had no idea what to expect. My wife, prior to DC23, had no interest in going other than it gave us a chance to hang out. Since DC23, she went with me to Derbycon and is already looking forward to DC24 and Derbycon 6 and has bought her own lockpick set (two, actually) and is reading Chris Hadnagy's book Social Engineering. Short story, I have to agree with both Deviant Ollam and dc0de that the non-technical excuse was / is BS.

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  • dc0de
    replied
    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
    "i'm not technical" is a B.S. excuse...

    Nailed it.

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  • Deviant Ollam
    replied
    "i'm not technical" is a B.S. excuse... there's ALWAYS something for everyone at DEF CON. you have to WANT to have a bad time in order to have a bad time, really. case in point: i can teach a blind monkey to pick locks. no "techy" side of a personality is required.

    same goes for the Tamper village... James Bond that shit up and learn to open seals and envelopes, etc.

    scavenger hunt is fucking amazing and one barely needs any tech ability there, either.

    or, she hangs by the pool during the day and socializes at night with you.

    win/win/win/grin



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  • sainate
    replied
    14_the_road , I struggled with whether or not to bring my wife (she's never been interested in anything tech related) and ended up bringing her. We got her a pass so that she'd have the option to go to the con-related stuff. Suffice it to say, we're (both) already booked for next year and she's looking to adding to her (now one badge) collection of DEFCON badges. She actually met a few other (what they called) DEFCON wives and seems excited about possibly seeing them again next year at DEFCON to compare war stories :)

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  • 14_the_road
    replied
    This is a fantastic post, thanks for sharing your experience. I have never attended, but have wanted to the last couple of years and it just wasn't possible. After reading this it just seems like too much fun to pass up any longer. I'm already planning the trip for next year, I just need to convince the wife I won't spend all my time at the conference. :wink:

    Leave a comment:


  • Deviant Ollam
    replied
    thanks for these terrific write-ups from new members of the community. I love reading them and seeing how people approach DEF CON these days.

    my great suggestion if you're the type of person who doesn't have an easy time of meeting new folk, heh...

    come to the DEFCON Shoot on Wednesday afternoon and stay for the campout Wednesday night! Small group, easy chatter vibe, then everyone goes back to the con on Thursday feeling ready to shower and be invigorated hanging out with the friends they made out in the desert. :-D

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  • sainate
    replied
    Originally posted by Matir View Post
    I've been going for 4 years and can't get myself to meeting new people unless one of my existing friends introduces us... I really need to get over that, I say I will every year, but as it is, con has so many people that I have to take breaks and go to my hotel room... :(

    Mad props for you meeting so many new people in your first year!
    I'm already booked at the Paris next year and I've set myself a reminder to Meet Matir at the con. If you find me first, I owe you a beer (or soda if matir < 21). If I find you first, you owe me a beer :)

    Leave a comment:


  • L0g1c
    replied
    More ideas...
    - ask to barrow someones schedule/booklet (don't be weird and holding yours while you ask, put yours away and simply say "I forgot my booklet can I glance at yours for a minute").
    - If you see someone doing cool/weird things in the hall/villages/hangout ask them a question. In over a decade I can't think of a single time anyone has ever replied with "awhwahah go away" or " none of your business snoopy". They are openly working on this stuff in public places I think it's safe to assume your not the only one asking.
    - If you subscribe to booze buy the person behind you a drink in the con or at a con party.
    - If you partake in any of the villages currently and are knowledgeable about any of the topics offer to help/share your knowledge with a noob
    - Go find a defcon group activity such as the scavenger hunt, box bomb, Lost/1057 room and ask if they have any partial teams that need another person.

    I've literally made friends doing all of these things and still keep in contact with them today. They run up at the con to say high, call, buy me a drink to return a favor years ago, invite me/friends to dinner/parties, email.

    Heck this year you could of bought a record player and hung out in the hall and made 100 friends at least :P

    Be creative and have fun!

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Originally posted by astcell View Post
    Maybe start with talking to staff or a goon. They are used to people approaching them all the time.
    If you (Matir or others) want to do this, and have a good chance of conversation, choose your goon wisely. If they are working the halls (directing traffic) on the way to an incident or to support something, or working a busy booth, they are probably going to be distracted with work, and unable to socialize much. However, there are other opportunities. Goons guarding the contests/events space, or other spaces are often just hanging out, at a place to make sure nobody attempts to exceed their access limits and enter a restricted space. They are more likely to have more time to hang out and talk, only occasionally having to interrupt conversation to tell someone an area is closed, and they should come back later when it is open.

    Another point? Though you can try to invest time in getting to know "rockstars" at DEF CON, you will be competing with other people for their attention as well. Having any kind of meaningful conversation with "RockStars" at DEF CON is difficult, unless they knew you before they were RockStars. A bit of advice? Find talented people that are not yet well known, but aspiring geniuses, likely to excel in their field of specialization, and hang out with them. You can learn a great deal more, and establish a relationship with them before they are well-known, and you may gain even more value spending time with them than a few seconds with one of "today's" rockstars. Additionally, if you have your own area of expertise, these talented people can gain from socializing with you, and allow both of you to establish a mutualistic symbiotic relationship.

    HTH,
    -Cot
    Last edited by TheCotMan; May 27th, 2016, 13:33.

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  • L0g1c
    replied
    Matir, other ideas attend the ToxicBBQ, Defcon Shoot, buy some beer/treats (doesn't have to be much) and go make some friend and one of the many line cons or take it to some goons (keep in mind they might be a bit leery of your intentions depending what it is/how it's packaged). Villages are another good place to just hang out, conversations usually start between other strangers and most of the time they are open discussions.

    Elevators are another great time to strike up a conversation. They might not lead to much conversation or friendship but it's a good short practice session right before the doors open on your floor and you can run away.

    Going somewhere, food outing, heading to fries for some tech, booze run? Announce to some con peoples in the elevator/village/hall and share a cab.

    ~L0g1c

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  • astcell
    replied
    Matir, we all feel your pain. You will soon find that ALL of us are more like you than you think. Th badge this year was big enough to write your resume on. Trust me, the first time you manage to sday hi to someone the floodgates will open.

    Maybe start with talking to staff or a goon. They are used to people approaching them all the time.

    Leave a comment:

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