Freedom Lives

August 07, 2005

Defcon 13 - First Night

Well before I go into the evening activities I will point out some other links, courtesy of Technorati which you should check all the time to find out what is going on.
First there is this one which might be scary since the blog seems to be written in what could be arabic. If anyone can translate it and let me know what it says just drop me an email.

Then there is this one which talks about ciscogate. Just google on Ciscogate if you want to find out what it is all about. To make it short Cisco sued Mike Lynn who gave a talk at Black Hat about certain problems that Cisco would rather not be talked about. I guess it is easier to sue than to fix the problem. They settled but of couse the powerpoint of the presentation is all over the internet by now. One of the speakers on Sunday had to cancel because his company was scared that something similar might happen.

This one talks about capture the flag but doesn't really get into the related issues.

There are other posts that deal with the new record that was set for unamplified Wifi ( something like 129 miles) but I have yet to find one that talks about the person who ate 35 (or was it 38) hamburgers on Saturday.

Speaking of hamburgers I was sitting by the pool on Friday eating my $6, hotel hamburger. When someone I didn't know came around and handed out invitations to a party Friday night in Suite 26xx (number withheld to protect the guilty). The Alexis Park is set up with no hotel rooms in the main building. The hotel rooms are in a series of 2 story buildings (26 of them) on each side of a cetral walkway. The space in the middle is quite large and every few building there is a pool and hot tub area as well as an ice machine. I was in building 20.

About 11pm after I got tired of Hacker Jeopardy I wandered over to the party in building 26. It was not hard to find since the pool outside it was filled with people and there was loud music coming out of four foot high speakers by the pool area. There was a large crowd outside the room where the party was so I wandered in and grabbed some punch. I have no idea what was in the punch but they were going through it very fast. I had another. Inside the room there were christmas tree lights hung from both walls and in the center on the ceiling people were putting a blue rope light up held to the ceiling with duct tape.
Now be honest when you started reading this about Defcon didn't you just know that somewhere there would be a reference to Duct Tape.
Also in the room was another set of four foot high speakers and the music was very loud. Next to the speakers was a table set up where one of the competitors in the beer cooling contest was showing off their device. I could say more about this but it would be another entire post.

After I had my third glass of punch I wandered back out to the pool to smoke a cigar and watch people play in the pool. By now it was around 1am. Someone was projecting movies on the wall of one of the building and there seems to be suds in the hot tub. Since I had not had a lot of sleep the night before I wandered back to my building. The pool in fron of my build was pretty quiet so I thought to go inside to lay down for a while.

I didn't really sleep, just lay on the bed for w hile until I became aware of a loud thumping noise and driving beat. It was now 2:30 so I got up to investigate.
The pool outside my building that had been so quiet an hour ago now had its own set of four foot high speakers and the music was loud and there was a crowd both in and out of the water. Curious I walked over to the 26 building to see if the party had just moved. The scene there was even more hectic with more people in and out of the water and the music seemed louder if anything. The party room was still open but was now packed solid. Somewhere a lot of inflatable balls has appeared and they were being joyfully batted around be those both in the water and out.

When I finally got back to my room around 4 I found that even though I tried to sleep I couldn't. I gave up around 5:30 and went back outside. There were still people around both pools but things were finally starting to peter out. The sessions would not begin until 10 and since I couldn't sleep I thought that this would be a could time to check out the casinos. I grabbed a cab in front of the hotel and went to the Bellagio. Nice place. I took some picture which I might show on a separate page in a week or so and gave them about $50 on my money. Then I inquired about the new Wynn Hotel and was informed that it was about a mile and a half down the strip. It was fully light by now so I set up down the strip taking pictures and stopping to cool off at McDonalds.

The outsides of all the hotels are amazing but the inside of a casino is pretty much the same which ever one you go into. Around 9am I grabbed a cab back to the Alexis Park ready to start day 2 of Defcon 13.

Posted by Starhawk at 06:18 PM | Defcon 13 | Comments (0)

August 04, 2005

Defcon Day 1

I had some great stuff I had written but the laptop is acting up probably because I logged onto one of the rogue wireless networks at Defcon. According to this article in the Washington Post there were 130 of them active. The Post reporter did a pretty good job but I thought his account rather lifeless though it did contain some interesting stuff. Other articles on Defcon can be found here and here.
In addition the Post has two other Posts here and here and here and even here. He was quite a busy boy but obviously a reporter.

My own experience was a bit different. Since I did not like the post reporter attend Black Hat I rolled in on Friday before noon only to find that my room was not ready yet. I went and registered for the conference which went very fast, bought a t-shirt and attempted to go to my first session which was closed already due to being packed. A little bothered by this I walked around for a while dragging my bags with me until I found my way to the bar where several cigars and three beers later I was feeling much better. The bar by the way had a large screen on one of the sessions and altogether watching it there was somewhat better thanbeing in the session itself.

This continued until about 4 when my room was finally ready and being as I was soaked (it was only 103 in the shade) I was ready to take a shower.
On getting to my room I found the door open and an armed female officer inside taking pictures. I thought to myself that this was indeed a record for me being as I had never had police in my room before I got there before. It turns out she was taking pictures of damage by the previous occupants and after some friendly chatter about this and that (that being her S&W 38) I finally got the door closed and the shower on. As I was drying off I put the TV on and I was delighted to find that all the sessions were on the closed circut live, so I sat there in the buff and didn't really miss a thing.

Being on the bed though was a problem and I drifted off for an hour or so. Eventually I got back in gear and caught a few sessions before hacker Jeopardy started ay 10pm. Yes I said 10pm, hackers keep late hours. not a problem when I was younger but a bit of a challenge now.

The evening activities I will detail in the next post.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:00 PM | Defcon 13 | Comments (0)

August 02, 2005

Defcon Prelude

I never did get my laptop to connect while I was in Vegas so I am going to a series of posts looking back.

Before that I will have to say that the best and worst time of the trip was both on American Airlines.

The best because I was able to finish the Happy Potter book on the flight to and from Dallas.

The worst because of the movie they played on the flight. Isn't there some rule that you have to play a different movie going eastbound than you do going westbound? Well they didn't, they had the same movie in each direction.
Not only was it the same movie but it was something called Fever Pitch (I think) which was about the Red Sox last season. There is nothing more revolting to any true Yankee fan, like myself, than to have to watch, even without headphones, last seasons Boston wins. Just disgusting

Posted by Starhawk at 10:48 PM | Defcon 13 | Comments (0)