Whether you go to hone your black hat hacker skills, white hat hacker skills, or just to get on the good side of some of the world’s most powerful system security experts, hacker events are where it’s hat… errr at. Hacker events provide hackers a chance to gather, learn, and compete with each other. Events often include lectures from world renowned hackers, break off groups, and hacker games such as Capture the Flag where teams hack and defend systems or Hackathons– 24 hours of collecting hacked systems. Word to the wise, undercover FBI agents attend hacker events by the drove, trying to recognize creative code and learn new faces in the hacker world. Even with the Fed presence, hacker events are notorious for extracurricular hacker pranks outside of the scheduled rubric. A quick synopsis of such pranks include hijacked hotel wifi, gaining access to hotel billing systems, and even an instance of hacking an ATM in the hotel lobby. Here’s a list of hacker events to look forward to in 2012.
Jan/27-29/2012 Shmoo Con
Mar/14-16/2012 Black Hat Europe
Jul/21-26/2012 Black Hat USA
Jul/26-29/2012 DEF CON
Oct/25-31/2012 Hacker Halted
Dec/10-21/2012 WordToor: End of the World
coming soon! HacKid
Shmoo Con 2012 – January 27-29
Location: Washington Hilton Hotel Washington, DC
An annual east coast hacker convention hell-bent on offering three days of demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical infosec issues. The first day is a single track of speed talks called One Track Mind. The next two days bring three tracks: Build It, Break It and Bring It On.
nullcon 2012 – February 15-18
Location: Bogmallo Beach Resort, Goa, India
A four day vendor neutral event that brings together business decision makers and security professionals from a national and international arena to address the important security issues and innovative mitigation solutions. Training courses include: Xtreme Web Hacking, Advanced WiFi Security, and Xtreme Xploitation.
Hack in the Box: Global IT Security Conference (HITBGSEC) 2012 – February 20-23
Location: JW Marriot Mumbai, India
The largest network security conference in the Asia Pacific and Middle East region, HITB’s main aim is to enable the dissemination, discussion and sharing of deep knowledge about network security information including groundbreaking attack and defense methods. A four day event with two days of intensive hands on training sessions followed by a two-day conference with either three or four concurrent tracks inclusive of a hands on lab session (HITB Labs) and 15 minute lightning talks (HITB SIGINT.)
Black Hat Europe 2012 – March 14-16
Location: NH Grand Krasnapolsky Hotel Amsterdam, Netherlands
Core values: serving the information security community by delivering timely, actionable security information in a friendly, vendor-neutral environment. Events include: Adam Meyers’ Cyber Network Defense Bootcamp, Moxie Marlinspike’s Designing Secure Protocols, and HotWAN: Mobile Hacking II.
NOTACON 2012 – April 12-15
Location: Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland, Ohio
NOTACON is an annual event that focuses on people who like to build, make, break and hack stuff. For many, it is a different kind of conference experience, while maintaining some familiar aspects of other hacker conferences. Showcasing: technologies, philosophy and creativity often overlooked at other events.
THOTCON 2012 – April 27
Location: Unknown Chicago, IL
This is a non-profit, non-commercial event looking to provide the best conference possible on a very limited budget. The event will be limited to 10 main talks, 10 turbo talks and 500 attendees. It will be held at a location only to be disclosed to attendees and speakers during the week before the event.
Hack in the Box Amsterdam (HITBSecConf) 2012 – May 21-25
Location: Okura Hotel Amsterdam, Netherlands
Three days hands on training sessions including: Hunting Web Attackers, Advanced Linux Exploitations methods, Advanced application hacking, and The Exploit Laboratory: Advance Edition. Also featuring keynote speakers Bruce Schneier and Andy Ellis.
Black Hat USA 2012 – July 21-26
Location: Caesars Palace Las Vegas, NV
Started by the same founder as DEF CON, Black Hat is the week before DEF CON in Las Vegas– making July in Sin City a hacker haven. Black Hat USA is a look into what concerns the security research community today and in the future. This year’s Las Vegas event will host over 50 training courses from top experts in the field, including briefings tracks of the latest security research and two workshop tracks dedicated to practical application and demonstration of tools, techniques and open source applications to aid in securing your infrastructure.
DEF CON 2012 – July 26-29
Location: Rio Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, NV
Back to back with the Black Hat USA convention in Las Vegas, DEF CON is one of the oldest continuous running hacker conventions around, and also one of the largest. It is a unique experience for each con-goer. Some people play capture the flag 24×7, while many people never touch a computer at DEF CON. Some people see every speech they can, while others miss all speeches. Other activities include contests, movie marathons, scavenger hunts, sleep deprivation, lock picking, warez trading, drunken parties, spot the fed contest, the official music events. Half the fun is learning what happened at DEF CON after the fact!
Hacker Halted 2012 – October 25-31
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, Miami, FL
A complete and comprehensive conference workshop that educates and equips its participants with the in-depth knowledge of understanding vulnerabilities and countermeasures to overcome the security infringements present today.
PhreakNIC 2012- November 2-5 (Pending 2012 NFL schedule)
Location: Days Inn Stadium, Nashville, TN
Nashville’s annual hacker con. This non-profit’s primary focus is on computers and computer security, but PhreakNIC also covers other topics, such as radio (ham, pirate & low-power/community), SETI work, robotics, high-power rocketry, satellites, phones and phreaking, cryptography, etc.
WorldToor: End of the World 2012 – December 10-21
A 13-day cruise filled with computer security talks and hacking sessions during the 2012 Mayan Apocolypse (End of the World) in Antarctica (End of the World). Thus, WorldToor will be the first hacker conference on a cruise (that we know of) and in Antarctica (as far as we can tell) and quite possibly the last hacker conference (if the Mayans were right.) WorldToor is organized by ToorCon, Inc. who also runs ToorCon San Diego, ToorCon Seattle, and ToorCamp. The ToorCon crew is dedicated to throwing some of the most unique and extreme hacker / computer security conferences in the world.
HacKid Conference – Coming soon!
Location: Atlanta, GA and San Jose, CA
We had to include this one: a Hacker conference, for Kids! They say the best way to inspire people is to teach them while they’re young. HacKid is a new kind of conference focused on providing an interactive, hands-on experience for the entire family . Kids aged 5-17 and their parents attend this event in order to raise awareness, excitement and understanding of technology, gaming, mathematics, safety, privacy, networking, security and engineering and their impact on society and culture.
Did we skip your favorite event? Add a comment with the hacker event you are most looking forward to in 2012. For a complete calendar of upcoming Hacker and Security events coming up, SECore.info is a great all inclusive resource.
And now for some Hacker Event videos from 2011!