A great week passed in TROOPERS and it is time for my review. As you may already know, TROOPERS is an hacking and infosec conference, taking place in Heidelberg Germany, and this year was the 10th anniversary of the event, with many surprises. So, let’s begin.
The NGI Event
The “Next Generation Internet” event aims to provide discussion on how to secure these core technologies by bringing together practitioners from this space and some of the smartest researchers of the respective fields. Taking place on March 20-21, 2017, NGI will blend of breaking, building, hands-on IoT.
These was my first two days in the whole TROOPERS event, and i really enjoyed the talks and the feel of the event. The first day there where a shared dinner, in a medieval restaurant, where I managed to meet and talk with some great people. Generally, it was a small event, because of the trainings that was taking place at the same time, that helped us talk more with the speakers, and make some great discussions.
The Main Conference
The main event was HUGE. A big variety of talks, with many great speakers, many great people, and some great stuff that we will see later. What took our attention in the first couple of minutes, was the conference badge (alongside some cool presents 😉 ) that was an arduino based board, custom made in the shape of the TROOPERS logo, with a Nokia 3310 powering and connected to the whole thing. But more about it in the GSM challenges section. 😀
Generally, it was an outstanding event, that I cannot describe to you, because you really have to live it. Really crowded (400 people), in one of the most beautiful places that a conference can take place (Print Media Academy Heidelberg), with many side events, and hacking all over the place. The only thing that I can do is supply you with my TROOPERS movie, where I tried to capture the best aspects of the events, and you can find here:
So, the first day of the main conference we had the main shared dinner, where everyone from the conference gathered in a big brewery, where we ate and drank a LOT of beer. But after the food, 6 teams got their laptops in the table and started the PacketWars challenges. PacketWars is a kind of CTF, where every time a different set of challenges take place, and the teams try to hit the best score. I was in a great newbie team, we had a great time and we finished 4th. It was a great time, we had some great ideas but time got in our way, so I don’t really mind about the 4th place.
You can see more about PacketWars here!
As I told you earlier, the badge had a Nokia 3310 on it, which had a TROOPERS SIM card. Yes, troopers had its own GSM network, and we have to solve some pretty fun challenges with our badge. You can find more about the challenges on the TROOPERS website, but I have to tell you that there was a reason for these challenges.
With a number of successful solves, we acquired a ticket that was automatically printed and put into a box. In the closing keynote, there was a random choice of the tickets that won some presents, including an iPad Pro 😉
Really fun stuff, suddenly I didn’t managed to win a present but I managed to get in the 13th place.
What the TROOPERS is really into, is charity. Every year they have many events that they manage to gather money for charities, like an auction with things that the speakers generously donated.
I was proudly a part of the charity run, that we run 10 km in the city of Heidelberg and each of us donated 5 euros for each kilometer that he/she run. It was a great experience, with a marvelous landscape, and some great people! :D.
I don’t think that I have many things to add. I am clearly amazed and excited about it, and most of it comes from the comparison that I do with other conferences I attended, and the fact that many people, with more experience than me, told me it was the greatest event ever.
I wish to all of you that you will manage to attend the next TROOPERS, and I will see you there 😉