Defcon 17: Badge details released

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Defcon is upon us once again, and that can only mean one thing: new badge designs. Our friends over at Wired posted the picture above along with a description of this year’s new badge. Since our last post, there has been little new information released regarding the components used for the new badge. However, we now know that it utilizes a microphone and a full color LED along with the Freescale mc56f8006, an advanced digital signal processing microcontroller. [Grand], the badge designer, told Wired that while this year’s design is a bit simplified compared to last year’s design, it is not nearly as easy to hack. Just like last year, the functionality of the badge hasn’t been announced yet. We’re hoping for some kind of communicator. Be sure to check out Wired’s article if you want to see the high res pictures.

Hack a Day shirts at Defcon

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We’ve printed [John Keppel]‘s winning t-shirt design. They’ll be available for purchase in the vendor area at Defcon. If you’re at the con, pick one up because we don’t have any plans yet to distribute them online. We will have a small number of women’s tank tops as well. See you there!

DENCON

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Defcon, the world’s largest hacker convention, is this coming weekend in Las Vegas. While the convention generally focuses on breaking new technology, digital archivist [Jason Scott] has an interesting surprise for attendees this year. With some help from VintageTech, he’ll be assembling a massive den of retro computing machinery. They’ll have fully functional systems like the PDP-11/70 for people to play with. It sure to be one of the more unique things to see at the con.

Defcon 17: early badge details

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Every year, the Defcon badge takes a technological step forward. The details are starting to emerge for this years hardware lineup. Last years badge, pictured above, had LED status indicators and an IR transceiver. There’s no telling what this years badge will do, but we do know it has a new processor. They have chosen the Freescale MC56F8006 to build everything around this year. We think it would be cool to see some RFID, maybe a heat map of the traffic in the facility. Maybe some distributed computing would be cool. What could we do with an embedded camera? We eagerly await more details.

Binary reversing comic

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Last month, in preparation for Defcon 17, the qualifiers were held for capture the flag, one of Defcon’s most well known events. One participant, [mongii], did a writeup on how to solve problem B300. The challenge was to find the decryption key used by a program that had several twists that hindered debugging. After grappling with self-modifying code and junk instructions, the team was finally able to find the answer. This win helped Sapheads place in the top 10.  Over at xchng.info, they are collecting solutions to the other problems. Sadly, they’re not all in comic form.

Defcon 17 Call for Papers

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Notorious hacker conference Defcon has just published their Call for Papers. The 17th annual event will happen July 30th through August 2nd. Most of the announcement is the same boilerplate they’ve included for the past two years. Like last year, they’re not defining the specific speaking track themes and will come up with them based on submissions. New for this year is a half-day of workshops on the Thursday before Defcon for anyone that’s showing up early. This pre-con event is targeted at newbies. It certainly sounds like an interesting way to ease into Defcon instead of the usual delays and fire marshals. We’ve been attending every year since 2005 and love seeing new things. You should definitely consider presenting this year (we want to see more hardware!).

Defcon calls for new CTF organizer

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.

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