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|12.8.2017||Posted by Zdziarski under Auto-moto|
It is a popular and unique concept born of a night spent on the museum lawns in Sydney’s Circular Quay where lin_s and her friends got together to hack in a capture the flag competition. Total cost was munchies and beer. It turns out lots of people were interested in this kind of thing – we couldn’t find anything similar already, so we built something ourselves.
Now in its fourth year, WAHCKon remains Perth’s first and only hacker con home to a repeat solid line-up of security talks ranging from the technical to the absurd. For the former, speakers this year detailed the security chops of Docker, the perils of SSL, and PHP malware debriding. The latter was catered by the opening talk given by WAHCKon organisers who took delegates on a journey into the skulking malware PC assistant known as Bonzi Buddy who was this year’s mascot.These (grassroots cons) are absolutely a thing now, and we’re continually hearing about new cons starting all over Australia, Kronicd says. When we began there really wasn’t anything of the sort.
The Perth confab was fired up to bridge the 4000 kilometre void between Perth and Australia’s big east coast cities. Western Australia is pretty isolated from the community, and we saw that it just wasn’t possible for a lot of less established hackers to attend existing hacker cons due to the prohibitive cost of travel and lack of corporate sponsorship, he says.
WAHCKon 3 this year. Image: Darren Pauli
He also misses the casual vibe of bygone Aussie hacker cons, and so sought with colleagues to build the conference they wanted to attend. The scene in Australia had become extremely corporate, and we wanted a return to the hacker cons we remembered – we wanted to bring together the WA hacker community and to ensure that everyone had a chance to attend. To this end, organisers are willing to hand out free tickets to those who can’t afford the $60 face price.Kronicd like his kin beg each year for their complicated conferences to come to an end, but persistent popularity serves as a defibrillator: Honestly, we’ve wanted this to stop for years. We’re tired. People keep showing up and incredible speakers keep submitting talks. It really isn’t up to us anymore.
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Who: Wade Alcorn, Scotty Brown, Robert Winkel, Glyn Geoghegan, Gary Gaskell, Ashley Deuble, Anne Luk.CrikeyCon is another community-led charitable not-for-profit con based in Australia’s Sunshine State that offers a diverse range of security talks and capture the flag and lock picking events over a day and a half. Co-founder Wade Alcorn says the concept was found at the bottom of a beer glass in a Brisbane pub.Crikey was born over a few beers between mates in Brisbane lamenting the lack of a local con, Alcorn says. We wanted to give something back to the security community that’s been great to all of us … and create a local event where people can share, learn and socialise with like-minded enthusiasts.The crew expected the first event to host numbers resembling a large night out, but instead 60 hackers turned up, with 150 attending cons soon after. This year pulled 250.Those punters are a mix of hackers and business infosec types both of whom Alcorn credits with sufficient olfactory sense to sniff out the good cons from the bad. True security nerds try to get to as many things as they can that they get value from – even if it is on their own time, he says.
Wellington is one of the windiest cities in the world. Pilots aborting landings at New Zealand’s capital have the Cook Strait – the chasm between mountain ranges running the length of the North and South Islands – to thank. Delegates to Wrong Island Con thank the Cook Strait for similar reasons.The conference in its third year in 2016 was born of a bad situation, and pretty well typifies the impromptu larrikinism of the antipodean hacker scene. Wrong Island Con was basically an in joke that got horribly out of hand, lone con organiser Richo says. He explains how hackers en route to Kiwicon 7 in the dying months of 2013 were diverted from Wellington to Auckland on account of severe weather.Three plane loads of Australian binary breakers ended up on the South island, cloistered in the body of the plane for hours while staff refused to let them disembark. Cabin fever rose among the trapped hackers as they pledged to honour the occasion next year by holding a hacker con on the wrong island.Enough people convinced me that it was a really good idea that we actually had a Wrong Island Con the next year before Kiwicon 8, Richo says, adding thats the low-key con emphasises less is more with talks clipped to 20 minutes. There are exceptions; hacker Snare took the liberty to give an hour-long thesis on uefi, Richo recounts.
The security guy at a US tech company agrees that community cons are proliferating quickly. I think the tipping point was the realisation that basically any idiot can run one – that’s definitely how Wrong Island Con came about.Everyone pays the US$50 to attend, even the speakers, but Richo like others only hopes to cover costs. The community tends to dig deep, and indeed Vulture South has spoken to security companies that save their sponsor cash for grassroots cons, without expectations of returns. Richo started the first Wrong Island Con in Christchurch with no sponsors, and had signed up three by day’s end. That was pretty humbling, he says. The former CEO of African regional internet registry Afrinic has apologized for claiming that there was a race-related conspiracy to take over the organization.Adiel Akplogan responded to his original email noting that he had intended it to be a private message. He then apologized to my many friends and colleagues globally who have supported and worked with me over the past 20+ years and who may have felt targeted by its content … I hope you will not see in this private message anything malicious.
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Akplogan stunned the internet community when he responded to concerns that if a certain board candidate was selected, it would mean there would be two members from the same company on the eight-person board.While some saw a corporate conspiracy, Akplogan claimed something else was afoot: It is in fact not about a particular company trying to take over, but a clear racial fight for the white to take over, he wrote.They have always claimed that we Black cannot run an organization like Afrinic.Akplogan clarified that the target of his race-related ire was not the prospective board candidate (who subsequently withdrew his bid), which suggests his outburst was aimed at existing (white) board member Andrew Alston. Alston has become unpopular with existing board members in part by pushing strongly for transparency reforms.While Akplogan apologized for his email being made public, he did not apologize for its contents. Even though I do not deny my frustration, I should have exercised a bit more control and not allowed it to burst publicly, he wrote. The Network Time Protocol (NTP) organisation pushed out a bunch of patches last Thursday, including one high-severity bug.