April in Chicagoland is not really what you would call “spring”. It’s more of “less winter”. Regardless of the temperatures, there was enough excitement with thotcon and BSides Chicago this past weekend that it didn’t make a difference.

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thotcon 0x5 delivered a great con this year. I didn’t submit a talk to thotcon this year because I had submitted to BSides Chicago. So I was able to just attend and relax. This is by far my favorite year at thotcon. The venue was great this year. Even though it was the same as last year, they did a fantastic job of making sure that the hallway con didn’t bleed into the speakers. One of my favorite talks was the CISCO ASA talk by Jonathan Claudius (@claudijd) and Laura Guay (@L_ORA). They don’t record these talks, so you won’t be able to go back and watch it if you didn’t see it. I hope they submit to other cons that record. They did fantastic research. Needless to say, update your ASA/ASDM to the latest versions. Watch your logs for %ASA-3-113021 and %ASA-7-111009.

thotbadgeThe food at thotcon is always yummly. I can haz cheeseburger and it was awesome. I heard only good things from other people about the food as well. The thotcon team delivered huge as well with the Workshop 88 badges this year. It’s a freakin’ controller. Of course, the only thing that everyone was hoping for was the Konami Code which wasn’t preprogrammed. I guess it takes more memory than the chip had for keeping track of button sequences. Oh well. It still had a THOTCON breakout game as well as the entire event schedule! This is brilliant. Loved this feature. Great job thotcon. I enjoyed myself greatly!

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BSides Chicago

BSides Chicago was once again a great day of fun, even though it was a lot of work. I loved the bottle opener badge this year as well. So much re-usability! I had the privilege of speaking this year at BSides Chicago as well as managing the CTF, and mentoring a New & Local speaker Gregory Thomas (@minossec). While I had blast, I was exhausted at the end of the day. However, it was all worth it. I enjoyed speaking with Matt Johnson (@mwjcomputing) as we presented The Call of Community: Modern Warfare. I had more fun geeking out with gaming references than anything else. Not to mention superimposing Matt’s face on Chun-Li. What? You didn’t see this? Here, let me show you! (Sorry Matt!)

matt_chunliI love the environment that BSides Chicago creates. It allows people to come together and learn from each other. The speakers were fantastic this year. While I was spending most of my time in the CTF NOC, I was able to listen to the speakers and I realize how crazy intelligent these people are. I really appreciate their knowledge and their ability to share that with us.

ctfThis is the second year that I have managed the CTF for BSides Chicago. It’s the BSides Joint Task Force (@bsjtf). This is ran with the help of Derek Thomas (@dth0m), Essobi (@essobi), and DrBearSec (@drbearsec). Last year we did it between two events of BSides Chicago and BSides Detroit. This year, we are running it with CircleCityCon as well. That’s right, 3 events this year! While Chicago’s leg is complete, there are still two more legs for this event. We only had one instance where the venue’s ISP blocked us because of the traffic load. We cleared that up and we were good to go after that. I only heard good feedback about the CTF this year. If you have any areas for growth or improvement please let us know! You can play along by visiting https://bsjtf.com. Congratulations to the teams that won at Chicago!

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Thank you to all of the coordinators, volunteers, and people who work tirelessly to make thotcon and BSides Chicago possible. Thank you to all of the people that came up and said ‘hi’ to me as well as the kind words about enjoying the CTF.

How bout them ssl bleeds right?

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