Convention season is over!

I just finally got settled back in after my recent trips to HOPE #6 in NYC as well as DEFCON in Las Vegas. I spent 9 days at each location and met lots of interesting and intelligent people (and a few a$$holes as well).

I was scheduled to present the first episode of season 4 of Binary Revolution Radio at HOPE in front of a live audience, which was something that I was looking very forward to. We also had a very special guest in attendance for that episode as well in the form of MC Frontalot who even performed live on stage for us (sans band). It was incredible for those in attendance, but thanks to the on-site film crew, I cannot share this memory with everyone since the recording stopped right in the middle of Frontalot performing! Not only that, but the end of the show had the entire crowd participating in our closing catch phrase (“Same Hack Time, Same Hack Channel”)in unison. It was a very special moment for me personally, and it is a memory that was not captured on film and lost forever. It really was a crushing feeling to find out that they had screwed up such an important event for me and I am not sure that I want to set myself up for that again by speaking at a place that simply didn’t seem to care about its speakers. But let’s not dwell on the negative, there were a lot of other great things that happened on my trip!

Speaking of filming, even though I had bad luck with the people who were recording mine, I did a little camera work myself over in track 1 which was surprisingly fun! Our good Friend Rax volunteers every year to do camera work, and after 2 long days of filming, I gave him a short break to grab some food and took the seat behind the camera for one of the presentations. I was a regular Scorsese behind that thing! OK, I exaggerate, but it was fun and I made it a point to really focus on the content of the speech and keep the camera trained on the speaker and the slides when appropriate so that hopefully it came out better than the recording of BRR that I mentioned earlier. If I go to HOPE again, maybe I will simply volunteer to run the cameras instead of speaking.

But the radio show wasn’t the only presentation that I gave. I always have presentations on my laptop, usually for my local BR407 meeting, that are ready to give at any time. When one of the speakers was unable to give their talk (airlines all backed up due to weather) I stepped in and presented “The Art of Electronic Deduction” which I had previously given at interz0ne in Atlanta. I originally thought this to only be a small presentation for a small group of people, specifically my local BR561 meeting at the time. Now here I was at a conference of 3000+ people giving this very same presentation and it went over surprisingly well! I had a lot of audience participation, which is what the presentation was designed to elicit, and people seemed to enjoy it! Several people came up after the talk saying that they were glad that they stumbled into the presentation, since they were not expecting this talk. I had run out quickly and placed some cardboard signs up at the last minute to try and let people know about the talk. The best thing was that the volunteer who was working in that area running that speaking room (track 2) came up to me and said some very kind things about it, which meant a lot. He had seen all of the speeches that whole weekend and for him to compliment me was very much appreciated. He was the only volunteer there who made me felt appreciated. Plus he had this 31337 Nigeria soccer jersey with the number 419 on the back and NO ONE SEEMED TO GET THE JOKE! I gotta get me one of those.

Shadowing MC Frontalot every step of his way was a film crew from Vaguely Qualified Productions that was filming a nerdcore documentary. I had to make some accommodations with the conference organizers to get them in, but it worked out well as they got some good footage and probably some really bad footage any time I ended up in the shot. The Frontingest one and I even sat down to do an interview for the documentary and discussed how and why nerdcore music was interesting to hackers and geeks. We also discussed some general tech topics, how and why I host his web site, and of course spent an unusually long amount of time on everyones favorite subject, pr0n. The crew there was not only VERY qualified, but they were extremely nice and fun as well. They were good people, and so was MC Frontalot guitarist/bassist (and friend) Brandon who was super nice and really seemed to be getting into the vibe of the conference itself.

After our radio show presentation ended at around 12:30, we got a group of people together to meet and hang out. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anywhere around the hotel that can accommodate a group of 30+ people and not be uber-expensive, so someone made the suggestion (I think it was Black Ratchet, but it wasn’t me believe it or not) that I could get sweet iced tea at White Castle (one of my favorite restaurants) so we proceeded to moblog the local white castle at 1 in the morning. We met some interesting people there, had the cops stop by for a visit and ask us to leave, but it was all worth it when I saw the look on the face of the clerk when he watched me lead a line of 30 people right up to the register!

At Defcon, I didn’t have the burden of having to speak this year so I was free to hang out and meet people and do the whole Vegas “thing” (I highly recommend anyone to go see La Reve at The Wynn hotel if you find yourself in the area). We organized a group meetup at defcon, just like we did at HOPE, which went wonderfully. Since not everyone was over 21, we avoided bars and since buffets in Vegas are not cheap (that is a myth) we did the traditional food court meeting at a local mall right there on the strip. Even though we got started kind of late, we had probably around 30-40 people or more and I enjoyed meeting everyone. I got to meet up not only with my long-time friends like dual_parallel and Elonka, but also some new friends like verbal, upside-down, and many many friends from our forums. There should be some pictures up in the BinRev Gallery.

The other thing that I planned on doing, and was able to do very successfully, was to meet up with some people to discuss some specific projects that I had in mind. I made some contacts and began the process of collaborative projects with some good people. Some who were already friends, and some who were not. I was doing some similar, or related research on a couple of topics that they were also interested in, so I think we may work together on some things in the future. I will not get into details now, since it would be pointless, but look for announcements here, or on the DDP blawg, when they become a reality.

So it was a great vacation that included sightseeing to the hoover dam in Vegas, the WTC site in NYC, and lots of places in between. It was filled with wonderful people, and I hope to keep in touch with everyone and hopefully get back into some projects again. In fact, it has already begun. No matter how hard people try to stop it…The Revolution Will continue to be Digitized!

The Art of electronic Deduction

My presentation from interz0ne 5 is now available for download. The Powerpoint file is included below with this post and the article is finally up over on docdroppers.org right here.

The presentation covers a lot more than the article does, but the articles goes into more depth and does a better job of explaining some of the examples used. Feel free to use and/or redistribute these files as explained in our standard creative commons license.

The Art of Electronic Deduction <== .PPT

Presenting at Interz0ne 5

The schedule for interz0ne 5 has just been released and my presentation (based on my blacklisted411 article) has been accepted. I will be presenting at 4 PM on the main speaking track.

If you are going to be at interz0ne, please be sure to stop by my presentation and our table in the lobby to say hello and hang out!

There are quite a few additions to the presentation itself as compared to the article…

The original article dealt with the amount of information that could be surmised from simply looking at screen shots or shoulder-surfing a person. A simple glance at a persons screen could generate a wealth of information. The first half of this presentation will give several examples of this. This presentation will be HIGHLY INTERACTIVE!! There will be several examples of questions for the audience. Anyone can play along and you may be surprised at how much information that you can put together as we go along.

The second half of the presentation will branch off of the visible analysis and move onto concepts of metadata. This is a natural transition depending on your visual clues that can continue your detective work with or without physical access to the machine. I think that we all know that with physical access, we can eventually find anything and everything that we want. But physical access is not always necessary to arrive at a conclusion. I hope to demonstrate that through this presentation.

NOTE: Here is a secret about the presentation for anyone who read this post… There will be a special question for the audience at the end of this presentation, so make sure you pay attention from start to finish so that you are prepared for it.

Article published – Spring 2005 2600

2600 - Spring 2005

I arrived home from my local 2600 meeting last night to find the Spring 2005 issue of 2600 waiting for me in my mailbox. This confirmed the phone call that I got from Natas earlier in the evening telling me that my article on “disposable email vulnerabilities” was in this issue.

This is the same topic that I presented at the recent Interzone conference and is discussed earlier in this blog.

*** 08/07/2005 UPDATE! *** This file is now up on Docdroppers.org with my other articles! I have also added the presentation itself to this post.

<insert presentation here>

WH4F – Disposable Email Site

I recently presented at the interz0ne 4 conference in Atlanta on a topic entitled “Disposable Email Vulnerabilities”. During this presentation, I announced the latest DDP project to go live.

The name of the site is “Will Hack For Food” (or WH4F for short) and it is a new Disposable Email Service that is much safer to use than any of the others.

You can download the actual presentation here which explains it better, but the short version is that this system cannot be backdoored as easily as the others. You can feel safe using this to avoid SPAM and protect your privacy and you don’t have to go through the hassle of creating another hotmail or gmail account and filling out all of that personal information.

As for the unusual URL, it was actually a site that we registered as a joke a while back. We thought it a funny name and we registered it as a “.biz” simply because .biz domains were only 4.95 per year at that time. We were using this site simply as a sandbox to test things and decided it would be good to use for this project.

Thanks to Nick84 for all of his patience and work on this project and be sure to check out his site at rootsecure.net. Also thanks go to my friends over at memestreams who helped beta test.

Interz0ne 4

I just confirmed that I will be presenting at the Interz0ne 4 conference in Atlanta the weekend of March 11-13. The topic will be “Disposable Email vulnerabilities” and we will officially announce a new DDP project related to that topic.

I will also be doing a lot of other things while I am there. My tentative schedule is as follows:

I will not arrive at the conference until Late Friday night at around 9-10 PM. I have no specific plans Friday night other than checking in and getting some food somewhere!

Saturday, I volunteered and will be working at the registration desk for most of the morning. I will then probably break for lunch and come back and set up in the vendor area with copies of Binary Revolution Magazine 1-3 (sorry, 4 is still not done yet). I will take in as many other presentations as I can on Saturday as well.

Saturday night, I am tentatively scheduled to go on after the keynote speaker. Watch the official Interz0ne schedule for the final speaker schedule. After that, I will watch as many of the presentations as I can and then I will probably be hanging around and maybe filming some HackTV segments if anyone comes up with any ideas.

I will be recovering Sunday, but I still plan to take in some presentations and set up in the vendor area with the magazines again if I can. I will have to leave the con early Sunday evening to catch a flight Sunday night.

If anyone wants to say hello, just look for me at those areas in those times. I will be glad to sign copies of the magazine or anything like that. I am pretty approachable, so don’t be afraid to say “Hi”. I hope to meet a bunch of you there!