At this year’s PICNIC conference [Neil Mendoza] and [Edwin Dertien] built a giant Etch-a-Sketch to help bring attendees together. The drawing area is a rear-projection screen, rather than a physical powder based setup, and is surrounded by the familiar red frame with vertical and horizontal control knob. Because the two knobs are too far apart for one person to use at the same time, two people must work together to move the stylus.
To help break the ice the device was designed to incorporate social networking. Each knob requires that an RFID (embedded in the conference badges) be scanned by the person controlling it. Both users are then connected as friends through a social network and when they’re done “making art”, the beauty of their creation is delivered to them via email.
We don’t know about you, but our etch-a-sketch attempts have always been crappy. There are some folks who can turn out a masterpiece on the thing, but this is really just meant to grab your interest for a minute or two and help you meet some people. One feature that should be noted, this giant device requires shaking to erase the image.
The 2009 edition of the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas has just begun. The first interesting talk we saw was [Andrea Barisani] and [Daniele Bianco]’s Sniff Keystrokes With Lasers/Voltmeters. They presented two methods for Tempest style eavesdropping of keyboards.
Continue reading “Black Hat 2009: Powerline and optical keysniffing”
Annual hacker conference LayerOne will be held May 23-24th in Anaheim, CA. They’ve completed the speaker lineup and have quite a few interesting talks. [David Bryan] Will be focusing on practical hacking with the GNU Radio. It’s a software defined radio that we’ve covered in the past for GSM cracking. [Datagram] will present lockpicking forensics. While lockingpicking isn’t as obvious as brute force entry, it still leaves behind evidence. He’s launched lockpickingforensics.com as a companion to this talk. LayerOne is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the Los Angeles area.
The massive hacker camp Hacking at Random 2009 has extended their early bird ticket sales until April 14th. At EUR150, they’ve already managed to sell 1000 tickets. Every two years the european hacker community gathers together to hold a multiday camp that covers topics from hacking to art and politics. 2007’s CCCamp was largely the inspiration for this year’s ToorCamp. HAR2009 is looking for people to submit presentations, workshops, and lectures as well. They’re looking for entries that are very technology focused. The call for papers deadline is May 1st. The team is hosting a field day April 18th to tour the grounds with the various hacker villages that will be setting up. The main even is August 13-16 near Vierhouten, Netherlands.
We’ve been watching and waiting intently as ToorCamp comes together. It’s a four day hacker conference that will be held in a Washington state missile silo July 2nd-5th. While we’re excited about this debut event, its success depends entirely on those presenting. The call for papers is currently open and they’ve got a number of formats available: 20 and 50 minute talks and 1 and 2 day workshops. They’re also looking for people to organize campsites and are offering discounts for groups. We’re encouraging you to submit your talk since we’d love to see more hardware talks. You can follow @ToorCamp announcements on Twitter.
Kenshoto, organizer of the official Defcon Capture the Flag contest for the last four years, has stepped down from the position, and thus Defcon is looking for a new organizer for the event. If you’re highly competent, and maybe a little crazy, this might be your chance to step in and run one of the most well-known and prestigious hacking contests in the world. Please understand that the staff is looking for someone who wants to take ownership of the contest and make something new, unique, and challenging, and that Kenshoto has left extremely huge shoes to fill. Merely offering to replicate the existing contest and keep things mostly unchanged isn’t going to cut it.
If you’re up to the challenge, check out Dark Tangent’s post on the Defcon forums (which, for some odd reason, sounds strikingly like his 2005 post calling for a CTF organizer), where he comprehensively lays out what the staff is looking for in a new event organizer. If it jives well with you, get in touch with the Defcon staff, and maybe we’ll be covering your contest later this year.
The 25C3 team has a post highlighting some of the hardware workshops that will be happening at Chaos Communication Congress this year. Our own [Jimmie Rodgers] will be in the microcontroller workshop area building kits with many others. The folks from mignon will be bringing several of their game kits for another workshop. We saw quite a few quadcopters at CCCamp and the team from Mikrokopter will be back to help you construct your own drone. They say it only takes five hours for the full build, but space is limited.