View Full Version : Def con


meringue
06-10-11, 11:22 AM
Has anybody gone? Is anybody planning to go this year? I went last year and I had a ton of fun! :)

If you went, let's swap fun DEF CON stories.

(P.S. for those who have no idea what DEF CON is, it's a big computer security/hacker conference in Las Vegas every year)

diced
06-13-11, 12:28 PM
I've thought about going once. I was still in high school and my friend and I were right up there with the top nerds :)
I believe he went to something similar in europe somewhere.

He told me stories about people in small tents next to their van, which was loaded with computers and screens. They actually took better care of their hardware, then of themselves :)
Big bundles of powercable accros the campsite and stuff like that.

Must be really cool to go to.

sighduck
06-13-11, 12:48 PM
a liiiitle bit far from here, but i would love to be able to go

Dory02
06-13-11, 06:00 PM
Count me in I'll bring my blackberry!

meringue
06-22-11, 02:30 PM
Oops, I forgot about this thread! :rolleyes:

Sucks that South Africa is so far from Las Vegas. Boston is kind of far, but not really *that* far... but DEF CON is still the most amount of money I spent all last year on one thing (and probably will be the same this year, too). If I had a million dollars I'd take everybody there with me! :D

Brob2
06-22-11, 02:54 PM
Has anybody gone? Is anybody planning to go this year? I went last year and I had a ton of fun! :)


(P.S. for those who have no idea what DEF CON is, it's a big computer security/hacker conference in Las Vegas every year)

Holy cow, you mean people actually want to go this thing? Is there like a free bong in the convention package or something?

sighduck
06-22-11, 02:56 PM
dunno, but there are lots of people with lots of cool things to play with (by play with i mean take apart, reconstruct and modify... and screw around with in general)

hacking is fun :)

though i would mostly constitute myself as a scene ***** :(

meringue
06-22-11, 02:59 PM
Holy cow, you mean people actually want to go this thing? Is there like a free bong in the convention package or something?

Why not? I get to go meet other computer nerds, learn new things, and party. How is that not fun? Just cause it's maybe not your cup of tea doesn't mean it's not other people's...

Brob2
06-22-11, 03:00 PM
dunno, but there are lots of people with lots of cool things to play with (by play with i mean take apart, reconstruct and modify... and screw around with in general)

hacking is fun :)

though i would mostly constitute myself as a scene ***** :(

I'm a bit of a hack at the golf course, a lot of one about a half hour after I've hit the 'refreshment' cart:p.

sighduck
06-22-11, 04:42 PM
ever seen the documentory hackers are people too ?
Its really quite good... it has a little piece on the def con in there, and shows all the different kinds of hackers (not only the programing variety)

meringue
06-22-11, 04:44 PM
ever seen the documentory hackers are people too ?

Yep, I even know the girl who made it :)

sighduck
06-22-11, 04:45 PM
lucky you :)

i just wish i had the money to afford all the toys those guys get to play with :(

meringue
06-22-11, 04:47 PM
Are there any hackerspaces around where you live? Sometimes they have membership fees but sometimes they're free (or the fees are negligible) and then you can go there, make friends with other hackers, and get to play with lots of cool toys :)

sighduck
06-22-11, 04:48 PM
i don't really think so, its not a very big thing over here :(

meringue
06-22-11, 04:58 PM
That sucks dude :(

What sorts of hacking are you interested in? A lot of toys are expensive (why does everything cost money?!) but sometimes you can get fun things for cheaper, like I think lock picks are cheap and are fun to play with (though of course not on real locks!). Electronics type hacking is more expensive I guess because you have to buy all the little components... -_-

sighduck
06-22-11, 05:02 PM
I've tried to get into programming... just never worked for me, but i've always wanted to play with electronics

and things that can go boom! ive always been a bit of a pyromaniac :/ used to make all kinds of exploding things when i was younger :)

but like i said, i'm currently more of a scene ***** than anything else

meringue
06-22-11, 05:10 PM
Oh man I remember i got to make rockets in elementary school once. That was so awesome. Ever done the exploding coke and mentos thing?

Eh, scene ***** or hacker, whatever. If you're interested that's what counts, in my opinion :)

sighduck
06-22-11, 05:20 PM
i did do the one with bicarb and vinegar... which sparked of my explosive interest (excuse the pun)

i did run a few capacitors with 220v which makes for quite an interesting explosion, i did want to try it with the one massive cap that my dad had, was about 20 cm tall and had a diameter of about 5cm (that wouldve made quite a boom) but when i eventually got around to it, i couldnt find it anywhere :(

i also used to make little match end bombs, where you take a whole bunch of match ends, put them in a ball of paper with the lighting strips from the boxes on the sides (safety matches only sometimes work for this) and tape it down heavily with stickytape, then throw it hard at a wall.... makes for quite a fireball


another one i used to enjoy was also with match heads, stick some of the match powder in a nut wich is halfway protruding of a bolt, then srew a bolt on the other side, and drop a brick on it... the bolt disappears...

i would have loved to have played with some homemade gunpowder, but could never get my hands on potassium nitrate

meringue
06-22-11, 05:34 PM
That sounds awesome. You're much more of a chemist than I am!

I don't think I've ever seen a capacitor as big as 20cm x 5cm. Though I guess I did see some pretty giant but ancient capacitors in high school physics... but they didn't work any longer. Or maybe they were batteries... my memory is nonexistent :rolleyes:

I have a friend who gets to blow things up for a living (what's his title... combustion engineer maybe?). Must be an awesome job :D

sighduck
06-22-11, 05:37 PM
defenitely... i did want to be a pyrotechnical expert when i was younger... but when i grew up i realized there just wasnt enough opportunities available for that :(

sighduck
06-22-11, 05:38 PM
so what kind of hacking interests you?

meringue
06-22-11, 05:43 PM
I mostly do computer hacking, though not the breaking-into-computers-sort-of-hacking, more of the defending-computers-sort-of-hacking or just working on fun coding projects. I did a CTF competition earlier this year which was a lot of fun, although my team did pretty horribly :)

sighduck
06-22-11, 05:44 PM
I did a CTF competition earlier this year which was a lot of fun, although my team did pretty horribly :)
gonna be a real noob here and ask what you mean by that?

meringue
06-22-11, 05:49 PM
Oh, sorry, I should have clarified :)

CTF == Capture The Flag, where everybody has a computer/VM and you have to simultaneously break into other people's computers and capture their "flags", which are text files that have random text in them and you submit the text to prove that you had access to the file, while also defending your computer against other people hacking into it.

It's a lot of fun but I really still have a lot to learn!

sighduck
06-22-11, 05:52 PM
that really does sound awesome, if i can just get into the whole coding thing i would love to try it

meringue
06-23-11, 06:18 PM
Depending on which part you focus on coding is more or less of an issue. Defense is more about scripting things (e.g. with bash or python or something, which requires basic programming knowledge but you don't have to be a wizard) and server administration and knowing which tools to use. Offense you definitely need to be good at both reading and finding flaws in code and being able to write code to exploit those flaws.

sighduck
06-24-11, 03:32 AM
ye, i once tried to learn java, i just couldnt get into it... maybe ill make that one of my holiday projects :)

meringue
06-26-11, 04:52 PM
I honestly would recommend something more like Python -- I hate Java -- but that's personal preference :) I find Java to be bloated and verbose and too constrained. Python, on the other hand, is wonnnddderrrfulll! The downside is that code execution is much slower compared to compiled languages like Java. But if you're not doing something that requires speed then it doesn't really matter.

diced
06-26-11, 07:50 PM
Last few times when I tried to do some programming (other than for study purposes), I always got stuck at not having a clear idea on what I actually wanted the stuff to do.

So I end up writing a lot of stuff that's supposed to do all kinds of cool stuff, but doesn't even do the simplest of things...

sighduck
07-09-11, 04:28 AM
thing is, my brother has a nice big book on java for me to learn from