Sometimes the whole world fits in a nutshell because you get to see your work come together, serving a community that’s motivated to make a real positive impact on the world.
For 2 intense days we lived on planet #DefCamp, soaking up the knowledge, reconnecting with friends and making new ones, and giving it our best to make it a meaningful experience for you.
So much happened on our 10th anniversary that we felt the need to capture some of these experiences that have raised the bar for what we want to accomplish with and for the infosec community.
An experience worth sharing
Half of a conference like DefCamp is made of the passionate work we pour into:
- Setting up a schedule that feeds your curiosity and motivates you to get even better at what you do
- Coming up with challenges that give you a thrill and some great prizes
- Strengthening the community by bringing in partners that truly contribute their expertise and energy and all the other things that happen behind the scenes.
And then there are the people who…
…make it a habit of participating in conversations (online and offline),
…get a ticket with a view to keynotes and presentations from some of the best people in the biz,
…show up at the conference, ready to share what they know and soak up know-how,
…bring along their friends and spread the word about the event.
They’re the other half.
People like you.
Almost 2000 of you came to DefCamp from all over the world for the conference. Attendees flew in from the US, China, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Italy, and more, while others joined us in Bucharest from across Romania.
It was the biggest DefCamp yet and we relished in this diversity which we so keenly strive to strengthen as a principle in the community.
We were thrilled to see that more women attended DefCamp than ever before, which enhances our commitment to develop Ladies in Cybersecurity so more women can attend, learn, and advance their infosec careers. The second edition of this event dedicated to women will happen next year, so stick around for details!
Independent researchers, startups, infosec specialists from established companies, students, academia representatives, cybersecurity aficionados without a technical background – we all came together to explore key issues and develop better solutions together.
— Milan Gabor (@MilanGabor) November 8, 2019
Community leaders who shape the path
We believe a community’s leaders reflect its values and its focus. They speak of a community’s priorities and m.o.. That’s why we are so honored to have had some of the most generous, professional, and experienced people in cybersecurity today on the 3 DefCamp stages.
— flame_n (@flame_nn) November 9, 2019
Everyone who talked at DefCamp gave it their best, their passionate and candid talks proving that they walk the talk every single day.
Had such a great time @DefCampRO this year, going back to work today was a struggle! Thanks to all the staff who worked on the event, it was one of my first conf as a speaker, so I’ll forever remember this experience! 😃
— Luca (@lukeasec) November 11, 2019
From technical breakdowns to important reminders about mental health, from PoCs to making non-infosec people care about cybersecurity, we had the opportunity to accelerate our learning and explore different points of view.
— Sebastian is pondering AppSec priorities for 2020 (@sebastian_paul) November 20, 2019
This includes being all eyes and ears at Bia’s presentation on election security in the US. Her determination to build a safer system at just 12 years old gave us an even stronger incentive to keep spreading cybersecurity awareness well beyond our generation.
— Bia! (@BiaSciLab) November 8, 2019
(If you couldn’t be there, catch up a bit with our live blogging article.)
— Filip Cotan (@PhilipCotan) November 11, 2019
The 3 stages was not the only place where infosec leaders roamed about.
Everyone involved in setting up the challenges and activities in the DefCamp Hacking Village showed the same commitment to make every minute count. They gave attendees a reason to get try their hand at things like cat hacking, lock picking, OSINT, ATM hacking, safe cracking, and more!
— Andy Newman (@netdogca) November 8, 2019
Pretty much exhausted.
Went to way to many talks at @DefCampRO.
Would do it again next year again tho.
Lockpicking skills +50
OSINT skills +60
BlueTeam skills +10
— Chris P Bacon (@ChrisPSecc) November 8, 2019
What’s more, relentless hackers stayed up all night to tackle the D-CTF challenges one by one in a quest for self-improvement. Going through this experience together added another, more important, layer to the competition which is all about sharing insights for the benefit of the entire community.
Had an awesome time with my team @HackingForSoju at @defcampro ctf. the venue was much nicer, thanks again for the pizza during the ctf! loved that we had a dj (@shark0der) who played submitted songs; really felt connected, part of a crazy/smart/awesome community 👍😂
— Simon Bräuer (@redshark1802) November 10, 2019
WreckTheLine, from Romania, came in 3rd, the team from Poland came in 2nd, and KirikouCrew from France snatched the 1st prize but we hope everyone feels they got something valuable as a result of being a part of this year’s D-CTF!
— Milan Gabor (@MilanGabor) November 8, 2019
Thank you for showing up, for signing up for the D-CTF, for asking thoughtful questions after each talk, for making international attendees feel they were among friends! Your every gesture counts.
It takes a village
Putting together DefCamp each year takes a village! Especially now that it’s gotten bigger than we ever imagined when we started, a decade ago.
It’s not just the core team and collaborators that work behind the scenes. Our partners are involved hands-on in many ways:
- They help create the competitions in the Hacking Village and reward contestants with awesome prizes and valuable lessons learned
- They share their hard-earned lessons in tell-it-like-it-is interviews
- They provide opportunities for cybersecurity jobs and internships, and a lot more.
“Teamwork is one of the most powerful enablers for both blue and red teaming white hats. That’s one of the reasons IXIA has supported DefCamp in becoming one of THE most thrilling events in the InfoSec space today.
DefCamp brings together InfoSec practitioners of different backgrounds and skills, allowing them to learn from and support one another. This is how we can build a safer cyberspace.”
Adrian Hada, Principal Security Researcher at IXIA, A Keysight Business
What we admire about our partners is that they talk about real issues and just as realistic solutions which makes for truly useful guiding posts for real-world practice.
“The cyber security community here in Romania tends to fragment easily and DefCamp has always had this key role in bringing this community together. DefCamp is the ‘go to’ cyber security event of the year.”
Ioan Constantin, Cybersecurity Expert at Orange Romania
Hackers like us do things like this
DefCamp 10 was an opportunity for everyone who wanted to understand where the infosec industry is heading and what its priorities are. It was a chance to see the gaps we need to fill, both in terms of know-how and specialists we need to train and hire.
Jayson E. Street emphasized the importance of making employees part of the security process in his unique, captivating manner. His examples and stories from infosec engagements make for unforgettable lessons worth passing on!
Christina Kubecka gave a breathtaking talk about one of the projects she worked on, revealing how cybersecurity plays a crucial role in international diplomacy. The intricacies and complexity of what she described impressed us beyond words. Our respect for Chris is neverending!
Alex Matrosov depicted in detail the challenges of firmware security and the impact of a firmware vulnerability in the ecosystem. He also exemplified how the evolution in defensive software is connected to the evolution of the modern threat landscape and which tools we have now to address emerging threats.
Jeff Man captivated the audience with his real-life story of setting up the first Red Team in the NSA and what infosec looked like when it was just starting. To know where we’re going as an industry we need to know where we came from and Jeff helped us better understand our roots.
Eva Galperin gave DefCamp attendees a new mission: to contribute to eradicating #spouseware and #stalkerware, applications designed or used by abusive partners to control, harras, and hurt their victims.
Wish we could share all of the talks right now but you won’t have to wait long, since we’re going to post recording of them on our Youtube channel soon!
Once again, THANK YOU for being part of DefCamp 10!
The bar is raised for next year but we’ve already started working on it and you can count on us to be there for you with an unforgettable experience!
This year, we took DefCamp to the next level with the help of our main, long-time partner, Orange. With support from IXIA – a Keysight Business, Secureworks, UiPath, Bit Sentinel, Thales, and other selected tech companies that value the power of community, we’re building valuable, hands-on learning experiences for 2000 attendees from all over the world!
Thank you for joining us to educate, secure, and change the world!