I have read some fantastic posts about BSidesLondon and now that I have had time to recover and take it all in I figured it's time to write my two cents.
It was my first time visiting London and apart from my hatred of the tube, it was a fantastic experience. The security scene in the UK seems to be moving in the right direction when it comes to introducing fresh blood. I had the privilege of being the closing act for the first ever rookie track in the UK.
After a 4am start, getting a megabus from Leeds to London, I got to the Earls Court Expo around 10am excited to see what InfoSec has to offer. It was quite vendor specific but I did get to see a Pen Testing demo by Pen Test Partners and Cryptography demo by Sophos. The free swag was amazing, T-Shirts, Hacker Playing cards, Food, Alcohol, Penknives and other awesome stuff, came away with a lot more than I bargained for.
The main thing to take into account was the sort of hardware/software they are trying to supply to customers, in the future when I graduate I will come in contact with it all, and I will at least need some form of understanding or at least a general Idea about what's on offer.
So I got to 44Cafe a little late which was hosted upstairs at O'Neills, but I made it just in time for Steve Lord's talk which was based around a 48 hour hack on a motherboard's firmware, it involved drinking games, every time you cringed or saw a root access screen you had to take a drink, I saw someone passed out on a barstool towards the end of the night, and rightly so after he found more than 15+ vulnerabilities within a 48 hour timeslot.
After Steve's talk, it was starting to get a little fuzzy, but the second talk was pointing out the flaws of a company called Trusteer by the basis that because his vulnerability which still worked was two years old was old hat and it was irrelevant, however what was concluded by the entertaining talk, was very relevant.
After a fantastic night of networking and a lot of drinking, it was time to crash in my hotel room, for a 9am start at BsidesLondon.
BsidesLondon this year took place at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall, it was a very good venue with large conference halls, and smaller rooms for the rookie track, workshops, and the lock picking village.
I spent most of my day watching the other rookies apart from sneaking off for two hours for my first ever attempt at lock picking, I eventually made my way up to the 4 pin lock before giving it a rest. I watched Stephen Bonner give a talk called Make Cyber-Love, not Cyber-war which revealed the past, present and future of cyber-war, he charged down the stage equipped with a mask and was covered army face paint, and interacted with the crowd by asking them to shoot him with nerf guns when certain time frames passed. Eventually 17:15 came and it was my time to talk, It started out as a very nerve racking experience, but the 15 minutes flew by and before I knew it, I was done. It went surprisingly well, apart from a few hiccups here and there, it has given me that push to give more public talks, I will be giving the same talk in June at the Leeds OWASP chapter.
Every rookie who spoke at BsidesLondon should be proud, I had the opportunity to watch 90% of the talks during the day, and they were professional, easy to follow, and full of great information. A big congratulations to the best talk Diarmaid McManus, enjoy the DeepSec conference in Vienna. I would recommend anyone trying to get into public speaking within Information Security, you should apply for the rookie track next year.
After a great day turned a great night, MWR sponsored the afterparty. It was hosted downstairs at the Archangel night club which held 250 people. I made some great friends during the day and night.
A big thank you to my mentor Chris Sumner, who helped me every step of the way when creating my Presentation, he gave fantastic input helped me with the presentation of the slides, I couldn't have asked for such a better mentor. Robin Wood and Arron "finux" Finnon Thank you so much for running the rookie track, you guys are awesome. And of course, you rock BSidesLondon & Crew for hosting & coordinating such a great event, I won't forget it.
See you next year.