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DerbyCon 2.0 – The Reunion

I recently got back from Louisville, Kentucky where I attended Derbycon 2.0.

Background
Derbycon is an information security conference based in Louisville, Kentucky. Founded by Martin BosAdrian Crenshaw, and Dave Kennedy in 2011. The topics that are covered during the conference can include (but are not limited to): hacking/pentesting, cryptography, network defense, vulnerability research, and more.

Talks
What I really enjoyed this year was the willingness of everyone to share ideas and, in general, talk about their field of work. One talk that I took the absolute most from was Eric Smith’s talk – Penetration Testing from a Hot Tub time Machine. Their presentation covered “older” methods of pentesting that have seemingly been forgotten but still work. It mainly focused on using less automated tools and scanning – and relying more on a sense of curiosity and passive information gathering techniques for engagements such as internal/external and even physical and social engineering engagements, there are a lot of things pen testers can do before launching a vulnerability scan to help the test become much more successful.

Carlos Perez gave a talk that dove pretty deep into using DNS as a viable way to perform information gathering on a target network. He also developed a tool, DNSRecon, that helps this process along. DNSRecon is a tool written in python that can enumerate domains, bruteforce subdomains, check for zone transfers, cache snooping and many other things. A good overview and tutorial can be found here.

I wanted to explore as much of the conference as I could, but I found that I missed a good number of talks that I wanted to see due to the sheer number of talks going on at any given time. Along with the four “tracks”, new for this year were the “stable” talks. Stable talks were presentations that were shorter (about 30 minutes) in nature and held in smaller rooms. Fortunately for me, almost all of the presentations are recorded, so I can catch up on them here at irongeek.com.

Capture the Flag
A CTF (capture the flag) was also hosted at DerbyCon. A capture the flag contest is where contestants hack a number of hosts on a network and find “flags” which are submitted to a scoring server and obtain points (or take away points). The contest ran during the entire conference – the LAN room shut down at night while wireless access was granted to the contest network 24/7. I very briefly competed, finding a few flags. I liked the layout of the contest but I found something a bit odd – the coordinators of the contest would bring hosts up and down throughout the contest. Announcements were made via their Twitter account, @Derbyconctf.

Lockpick Village
The lockpick village was run by FOOLS (Fraternal Order Of Locksport). Many tables were set up with a large variety of locks for anyone to sit down and practice their lockpicking skill. For the newbies out there, they provided plenty of information and guidance to help learn the basics and get you started. Along with the previous, they also had lockpick sets for sale.

Vendors
The number of vendors literally doubled this year, ranging from managed services firms to booksellers. The one vendor I spent a bit of money at was Hak5. They had a booth set up with demos of their products (such as the Wifi Pineapple and USB Rubber Ducky). I ended up buying the Wifi Pineapple for myself to delve deeper into wireless pen testing. No Starch Press was another table I spent money at, picking up the book “Gray Hat Python” for further studies.

Birthday!
Derbycon organizers took it upon themselves to celebrate a birthday. Not a person’s birthday, but an exploit. MS-08-067 is a very well known exploit that affected a large number of Windows-based systems. When executed properly, it can fully compromise a computer.

Final Thoughts
Being the second year I attended, I was very impressed with how it had grown from last year (from 1100 to over 1600 attendees this year). The staff for the conference were polite, friendly, and helpful. The events ran smooth with little to no snags (at least visible to us attendees). In closing, I will say that it was very nice catching up with friends I had met last year, and making new ones this year.

The post DerbyCon 2.0 – The Reunion appeared first on Hurricane Labs.

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Christina O’Neill has been working in the information security field for 3 years. She is a board member for the Northern Ohio InfraGard Members Alliance and a committee member for the Information Security Summit, a conference held once a year for information security and physical security professionals.

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