When you think of a family reunion, you typically break out in some sort of untreatable rash and immediately search online for anything that can make you so ill that you would have to cancel. Painful flashbacks of previous family ‘gatherings’ cause things to start dying inside of you, and you begin the grieving process for your happiness. However, that is NOT what “DerbyCon 2.0 – The Reunion” was like. This was what every family reunion should be like. It even comes with the lack of bladder control. (more on that below.)

Thursday

I did not sign up for any of the training events so I did not need to be there early on Thursday. The #DerbyConBus, which consisted of @securitymoey,@AthiestHacker, and myself arrived at The Hyatt at 4:30pm. By this time things were already in full swing with the training and people hanging around the Lobby and the newly remodeled Swag restaurant and bar. #LobbyCon was in full swing. #Hugs were given everywhere and people were ecstatic to see all of their old friends and to meet new ones.

Registration for DerbyCon took me a whole 60 seconds! I know… to have to wait that long is brutal. Seriously, the new QR registration system that Dave Kennedy wrote was simply awesome. My only suggestion is to somehow have a unique QR code that quickly identifies speakers versus regular attendees. But after the ID check*, TSA style pat down*, and urine sample* I was registered and ready to go.

Noms and drinks were had, people were great company, and people were in good moods as DerbyCon was kicking off the next day.

* This didn’t happen.

Friday

Even though @stevewerby was going to run with me, he was otherwise indisposed. I have to say, the Louisville River Walk trail is a very nice place to go for a morning run. After noms with @tottenkoph @gdbasset and @securitymoey, I relaxed and watched how everyone was just enjoying being back at DerbyCon. The opening ceremony was not until 1pm so we had plenty of time to catch up, check out the vendor areas, and relax.

There were between 1,500 and 1,700 people crammed into the main room for the opening ceremony. I will tell you that I was excited and ready for all of the awesome this con was going to bring. I’m not going to tell you too much about it because @irongeek_adc has already posted the video!

This was followed by the keynotes from @hdm, @dakami, and mudge. HD rocked the house with his new utility that scans the entire internet for $7.00. Be sure to check out that video below as it completely blew my mind. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being amazed at how intelligent HD is. I will say, you may have to watch a few parts a couple of times because I think HD had a red bull before he presented. Just sayin’. :)

I went to a few other talks but missed some other ones that I really want to watch like @wh1t3rabbit – House of Cards, @humanhacker – Nonverbal Human Hacking, and @egyp7 – Privilege Escalation with Metasploit Framework. There were many other great talks Friday night, but as with most things I spent the majority of the time meeting new people and enjoying the hallway con discussions.

Thanks to @wh1t3rabbit for the nice gathering of #BizSec people for dinner.

Saturday

@stevewerby and I went for a nice run to start our day. If you haven’t met Steve before, you really need to sit down with this guy. Great conversation and a great guy. Thanks Steve for the Run! (note: A bit of GPS fail in downtown Louisville.) After our morning run, some morning noms and great conversation, I went in to @dualcoremusic’s talk about Anti-Forensics. Let me tell you, this talk was amazing. I loved the way that int0x80 used techniques to mess with TrueCrypt and KeePass header files to prevent anyone from recovering the file or partition. This is a talk that I highly recommend that you watch…right now!

At this point, I wanted to prepare for my upcoming talk. I am not the type of guy that ‘wings’ it. So I spent the rest of the morning refining the slide deck and running through my talk.

Went to lunch and then went to the speaker room to test out the presentation; even though until 2:00pm on Saturday, I didn’t know that there was a speaker room. I already mentioned this to Jim who was speaker wrangling. Jim was amazing! He definitely made sure that I had everything that I needed and was amazingly nice. Great job speaker wranglers!

It was now coming up to my talk and I’ll post a separate article on that once my video is posted. Needless to say, I received a lot of compliments on the talk. I was humbled and grateful for all of the nice things that were said. To those of you who attended my talk, thank you for being so awesome. As a bit of a preview, you can see @_Lopi_ and I doing Gangnam style. If you are confused, that’s okay. It’ll make sense once my video is posted.

After my talk, and after I was done talking to so many nice people, a group of us headed out for some noms and drinks. Thanks to The Pub for hosting us after Bluegrass Brewing Company couldn’t. (If you want to know the story, you can message me…)

Now for the ultimate afterparty hosted by Endgame Systems and Rapid7. Let me tell you, there was no disappointment here. The party was fantastic! @zfasel got us all techno’d up. The free beer was flowing and people were having a great time. This was followed by the infamous @dualcoremusic as he rocked the house with songs from his new album All The Things. If you haven’t purchased this yet, go clicky clicky now! After that, DjCyFy came in and played her music for the party. I will say that I left just before that so I can’t really say much about it.

After hanging out again in LobbyCon and really enjoying the conversations, I went to bed around 1am so I could have at least some energy for the last day.

Sunday

No run today. I wanted to make @integgroll’s talk at 9, so it was noms at the restaurant and then off to throw chickens at Andy. After this I did the dreadful packing of the room and loaded it in the car so we could check out. We went to lunch and then made it back in time to catch a couple more talks. I will admit, I was done with trying to go to more talks at this point as I wanted to meet as many new people as I could.

Then we sat in for the closing ceremony. Some interesting things were brought up.

  • We out drank the people who came to the Hyatt on “Derby” day for the Kentucky Derby.
  • The hotel security couldn’t believe that after we drank that much that some people would sit down to play chess.
  • The security also couldn’t believe how polite, nice, and respectful we were after consuming that much alcohol.
  • Someone urinated in an elevator. Accidentally I believe…
  • We raised $30,001.00 for Hackers for Charity.
  • The hotel staff love our group.

It was at the end of this that Dave Kennedy called me up on stage. I really wasn’t sure what was going on. Apparently someone had done a silent auction for a white Derby hat that was signed by both Dave Kennedy and Johnny Long. After they won, they said to give it to someone who Dave thought had deserved it within our community. Dave gave me the hat and some of the biggest hugs ever.

I am simply honored that I was thought of in this way. I am still very new to this community and I am humbled to be recognized as someone who is making an impact in the community in any way. Thank you so much for thinking of me like this. I am really honored.

It was then time for home or so we thought. Apparently my battery had died while it sat in the Hyatt parking garage. We were kind of stuck until we were rescued by @jmstitt who gave us a jump. @mr_minion was also there helping us out! We didn’t turn the car off until we got back home. Thank you John and Robert! You are both heroes!

Things I Won’t Forget

Awesome DerbyCon Team

Dave, Erin, Adrian, Martin, and Nick did a FANTASTIC job of getting DerbyCon 2.0 up and running. I am so thankful for that team of people who invest all of their time, effort, and skills to bring a community of hackers together and have it be an amazing family experience. I AM a DerbyCon fanboi and so can you! I can’t thank this team enough for all that they do for us. If you have missed the last two DerbyCons, you MUST attend next year. You won’t want to leave.

Lock Pick Village

The Lock Pick village was back and it was bigger than ever. I purchased a new set of picks that came with a bump key and hammer. These guys are so awesome, especially @jmstitt, for putting this together and sitting down and teaching everyone about the love of locksport. Thanks guys!

LVL1 Hackerspace

I fell in love with LVL1 last year when I went to their after party. If you haven’t seen their space, get there! They have some great people there doing some mind blowing stuff. For a special follow, be sure to watch @blenster. He’s a great guy and has a cool Android beanie cap.

Reboot

I was so stoked to see this film. I will admit, I wanted to see more than what was shown, but I have to see the rest of this film now. If you are not following this movie, you are missing out.

The CTF

I did not participate in the CTF this year. But I saw everyone diving into it this year. Everyone was having a blast and the CTF team did a great job of putting this together.

Wireless Village

I was really bummed that I didn’t get to this place even once. I will have to wait for someone to put something up about it.

Stable Talks

Man, they had some great 30 minute talks this year. Please bring these back! I really enjoyed the quick burst talks for some variety.

People I Met

I am not going to be able to mention all of the wonderful people I met this year. Being only 1 year old in the community, I have met more amazing people this year than my 11 years previous in this industry. All of you are amazing and I am honored to be your friend.

Conclusion

While I missed a large portion of talks, the fact that there was so much to do alongside them was amazing. My biggest complaint is that there was so much awesome that I had to choose between two awesome things that were happening at the same time. The DerbyCon team captured what is typically missing from this community; family. There are no rockstars, elite groups, exclusivity, or people who are so full of themselves that they won’t talk to you. They have created an environment where it doesn’t matter if you are new, seasoned, old, young, newbie, or expert; you are welcomed and loved.

This is the community I belong to. We are hackers. We are DerbyCon.

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