DerbyCon the beginning…

I have to say without a doubt that the first day at DerbyCon was tremendous!  Everything seemed very well run from the beginning and organized.  The Hyatt Regency has very nice conference facilities that are easy to access; literally just through the main entrance.  It’s also nice having the track rooms and other activities (Lock Picking village, Hardware Hacking, Vendors) on the same floor and accessible within an extremely short walk.  Some of the sponsors of the event such as Accuvant, fishnet security, Rapid7, No Starch Press, and Syngress were onsite.  Enjoy the venue for now, I suspect as it continues to grow in popularity a much bigger space will need to be found.

Even though Black Hat and DefCon were just last month the presenters had fresh and new material that had not been seen (at least that I can recall).  It was also nice only having the one track to choose from to ease one into the cornucopia of security goodness that will occur over the next few days.  A few notable moments and observations:

  • Those attending the con seem to be much more of the Black Hat crowd, the 30-something security professionals (there were a few mohawks out there but not many).
  • Dave Kennedy, Adrian Crenshaw, Martin Bos have pulled together the “who’s who” in information security for this event.  There’s not a talk on schedule that doesn’t pique my interest!
  • The venue is excellent for the inaugural event.  The audio/visual was excellent and there were no technical mishaps or outages during the technical presentations.
  • Seeing the Adaptive Penetration Testing session with Dave Kennedy and Kevin Mitnick may have been the icing on any Fanboy’s proverbial cake.  To see both present and then Dave reveal the new changes in the SET by performing a demo was awesome and I know made many anxious for the updated release this weekend.

There was one talk that really stood out and that was Johnny Long’s Hackers for Charity update.  It’s interesting and refreshing to see the community aspect of the Con.  With so much individual projects and presentations, to actually see what the Security and H4x0r community can accomplish for a great cause is very inspiring.  This is not the only Con to have this type of presentation for a need in the community but again, to hear of the scale and difference that people are trying to make with their skills, time, and resources is truly astounding!  I’m also impressed that regardless of the religious beliefs of Johnny that individuals can see that what he’s doing is much more than a calling for him.  Providing the Ugandans with food and a valuable skill, they are not only giving them a lively hood, they are giving them hope for a better life which they are realizing with Johnny’s non-proft and others that are linked with his group.  Another extension of what he’s doing can be found at InfoSec Without Borders.  This is an initiative to help charities and non-profits with their information security needs.  I hadn’t given it much thought in the past or even realized that non-profits don’t have the staff or ability to help secure their assets and data.  This struck me just as hard as what Johnny’s non-profit is doing in Uganda.  Both of these really have me wanting to give back both in time and money and I will definitely be reaching out to see what I can do to help.  I hope that others step-up and consider volunteering or donating to these worthy causes.

Great first day!  Heading off to the Accuvant party at the Maker’s Mark Lounge on 4th Street for some frosty adult beverages and a chill night.

Get ready for the ride, the next two days are gonna be off the hook!

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