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DEFCON X: Highlights

This past weekend I was at Defcon X, a hacker conference in Las Vegas. A few highlights come to mind:

  • Phenoelit.de gave a very humorous presentation on exploiting embedded systems. We were told that when taking over a HP laser printer, its fun to change the status panel to inform users that they need to "INSERT COIN."
  • The "wall of shame" which featured the username and password of anyone foolish enough to check their email without following the proper security precautions. Along those same lines, check out this eBay auction while it’s still online.
  • Lucky Green: Talked about Trusted Computing Platform Alliance in detail: it’s the scariest thing on the horizon for fair use, making even extreme conspiracy theories seem tame in comparison (more about this later).
  • For sheer hilarity, nothing beat the fake MGM press-releases lying around, announcing casting for extras for Wargames II: Falken’s Maze, scenes to be filmed at Defcon 11. Anyone know who was responsible for this one?
  • The general amusement that comes from working on your laptop in a room with a thousand other people working on their laptops. Actually, probably only about 10-20 of them were working, while the other 980 were all trying to sniff my email passwords.

I also met quite a few interesting people while at the conference. Unfortunately, the disposable camera I used to document some fun stuff at the conference returned to me as an entire roll of blank film. D’oh!