This summer Beans had the honor of speaking at SummerC0n in NYC. At SummerCon 2011 we debut’d a talk on Hardware Reverse Engineering with the help of Rajendra Umadras of Intrepidus Group. (This talk was given later in the summer at Recon 2011). SummerC0n is one of the older (maybe one of the oldest) “grassroots” infosec conferences with a history of some very smart/infamous speakers. It’s known for being one of the conferences that didn’t “sell out” having some philosophical ties to antisec (it’s because of this that I guess it has “street cred” amongst the newer infosec folks). After deriding us for the usual “sellout”/”whitehat” reasons, some of our oldskool retired infosec friends were happy to hear that we were participating in SummerC0n but really surprised to see that the conference was now more formal, having corporate sponsorship and such. (Times they are a changin’ I guess…maybe because its a new world.) But of all the corporate sponsors that could come to SummerCon, Accuvant‘s Chris Valasek is a pretty great choice. The con remained small and really intimate (reminded me a bit of PumpCon, but with better talks). Held on a small “gig”-stage in Brooklyn’s Littlefields Bar, Valasek did a great job of not being overbearing with the sponsorship. He also did a great job of pulling together interesting talks and keeping with some of the con traditions. At the conference I met some really oldschool folks that were more Electrical Engineering and Computer Science than Infosec. (I tend to like meeting and working with those people more on “infosec” stuff.) Some had driven to NYC from as far as Tennessee and Florida to attend this conference….and I guess that says the most about Summercon’s reputation. In addition to being a great chance to hang out with cool people, Valasek also hooked speakers up with one of the blinginest speaker gifts we’ve ever gotten: A bottle of Don P!
SummerC0n was a great time. We hope to attend the next one…whenever or wherever it will be.
An annotated slideshow of our visit to Summercon 2011 is available here.