July 16, 2014

DEF CON 22: Six Interesting Topics at This Year's Conference

In today's Whiteboard Wednesday, Nick Percoco, Vice President of Strategic Services at Rapid7 will discuss the 6 talks that he will most likely be attending at DEF CON 22 this year.

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Hi, I'm Nick Percoco. Welcome to this week's White Board Wednesday. This week, we are going to talk about DEF CON 22. It is coming up in a few weeks. I'm sure you have looked through the schedule already and trying to decide on which talks you should attend. I'm going to give you a little of my methodology of actually going through and deciding which talks I'm likely going to attend. I picked six here for you.

Basically, I went through the schedule and read through some of the talks, and decided which talks were most relevant to me. Going there for a number of years, a lot of the talks that are popular, the ones that get a lot of media splash could be the most crowded and most difficult to actually get in to and get a seat. And so, my methodology is really looking through those talks, identify the ones that really impact me and will help me out in my job in the next coming year.

So looking through those, I identified a handful of talks. The first one there is Friday at 11 a.m. in Track two, and is being presented by Alex and Kyle. This talk is entitled "Measuring the IQ of Your Threat Intelligence Feeds." To me, that's relevant. A lot of companies that I have been talking to have a lot of different threat intelligence feeds, some free, some for pay, and trying to understand whether those are provided in value, providing the most relevant data that they can use for their defense, is really important. So I'm really interested to see what Kyle and Alex have to say.

The next talk is Friday at 2 p.m. at Penn and Teller, and that talk is titled "Eavesdropping on Municipal Mesh Networks." I'm very interested in that because that is relevant as well. You know, privacy is a big concern, understanding what cities are actually doing to watch individuals. I live in Chicago and there are a few thousand municipal cameras all over the place, so I'm very interested in seeing what Dustin and Thomas have to say during that session.

On the next talk, really isn't on my top five list, it's actually my talk. I will be presenting with Josh Corman, Saturday at 10 a.m. in Penn and Teller, and that's "The Cavalry Year [0]." It's going to be a culmination of all the activities that have taken place over the last year since we launched the Cavalry movement, basically a year ago. And we will get some more updates and talk about some of the things we have coming up in the next year.

The next talk is something I think is very relevant as well. That is Saturday at 11 a.m. in Track One, and Mark and Zach are presenting information about where the internet things have gone wrong and what they're doing to actually fix that. They have started an organization called Build It Securely. I'm very interested to see the activities they have going on, and what is coming up in the next year for them.

Another talk I am interested in is actually going to be Saturday in DEF CON 101 Track, and that's being presented by Jim Denaro and Tod Beardsley. They are giving a talk on basically how to disclose an exploit without getting in trouble. So with the time of all the bug bounty programs that are out there, and with people deciding to take a look at various other websites and other vulnerabilities within even internet think technology, understanding sort of the grounds and the path you need to walk down so you don't have to be left behind, I think that's very relevant for today, so I'm very interested in seeing that talk.

The final talk on my list sort of goes along with the themes of everything else I have been looking at in the last year, specifically around the Cavalry movement, and trying to empower people and empower hackers to do positive things. This talk by Karen is actually called "Empowering Hackers to Create Positive Impact." So that’s a talk late on Sunday, which should be plenty of time for you to wake up in the morning, get on over to DEF CON to see her talk as well, so very interested to see what she has to say and what motivations she will be trying to drive the DEF CON community toward. So with that, I hope to see you at DEF CON in a couple of weeks, and I'm Nick Percoco for this week's Whiteboard Wednesday. Hope to see you next week.