Introduction to Bitcoin and Blockchain Technologies (Greek)

Are you still here,

As I told you in an earlier post, I have many things that I currently work in! One of them is my recent engagement with Blockchain and Decentralized Ledger Technologies. I started around a year ago with my master degree thesis, with title “PKI Decentralization with Blockchain Technologies” and after that I started working as a Blockchain Engineer in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

This sector is really interesting, with many challenges at its current state, and that’s what I like about it. I also work with a great team of people, and this week I was lucky enough to talk in the Machine Learning and Blockchain join meetup in Thessaloniki about Bitcoin and Blockchain topics. Suddenly, the talk was in Greek and I upload a video capture of it on YouTube. In case I see interest in the video, I will try to add subtitles to it, but it needs some work, so we will see.

I want to thank the people that helped me reach this stage and make this talk, especially Dr. Karasavvas, and I will keep you updated for future talks and events. Also, thanks to everyone that joined me in this meetup, and if you have any questions please add it to the comments bellow or in the YouTube video.

Cr0wTom

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TROOPERS18 and a crazy journey!

Hello friend,

Thinks are happening to my territory, and no time slots for this lonely blog. I see that many of you keep visiting though and I am really happy about it. I have many things to tell you. Many things happen in my life, and I want to continue to share with you my experiences in the security and privacy sector.

The last big think that happened, was TROOPERS18. My second time in this conference was outstanding, and even better than the first one. I don’t want to talk about the technicals of this conf. The main conference had some great talks, the PacketWars was really fun, and the interactions I had with the community made this experience awesome. But digging into them is a waste of time. I strongly suggest you to go and live it. Meet people, join talks and overall enjoy your time there. That’s what I did this year and marked it as one of the great experiences of my security life.

And as you know, I like to express myself through my videos and photographs, that’s why I prepared a video for you. Enjoy it, and give me your honest feedback 😀

See you at TROOPERS19 😉

Cr0wTom

BlackHat Europe 2017 – The Wrap Up

“Hello, friend. Hello, friend? That’s lame. Maybe I should give you a name, but that’s a slippery slope. You’re only in my head. We have to remember that. Shit.”

Hope you are all well.

After a nice trip to London, and a great time at Blackhat Europe 2017, I feel the need to share my experience with you. Everything started with the place hosting the event. Last year’s BlackHat was hosted in the Business Design Center, which was a really big and open place, perfect for the business hall and the briefings. And I was sceptical about the change of the place to Excel, but when I arrived I understood the need for a change.

The conference was twice as big, with twice the attendees. The briefing rooms were bigger and ready to welcome more people. Room B, where the keynotes and locknote took place, was outstanding, with an aura from BlackHat USA. Green lights everywhere and loud music. People from the industry talking in every corner, and great briefings taking place one after the other.

Last year I was a bit dissapointed from the event. Everything was so quiet, so soft. But this year everything got fixed. I met some great people, both from companies and individuals. Business hall was huge with great companies, prizes everywhere, and some challenges which was really missing from last years event. But the best part was the quality of the briefings, which was something that everyone talked about in the event. All these years Blackhat europe seemed a bit left off, in comparison with its USA sibling, in the aspect of briefings quality. But this year many talks were really great, presented from some really great researchers, so I encourage you to go and watch them as soon as they will be published in the YouTube channel of the event.

Finally, I have to thank illumio for the great prize at the Passport to prizes lucky draw, Jeff Moss and UBM for the Student Scholarship and the opportunity for attending this event for one more year, and everyone that made this event special. See you in the next one, and keep up the good work.

Cr0wTom

p.s. As always I produced a video from the event to bring you my experience. Feel free to Like, Comment, Subscribe or even Dislike my video, and support me. 😀

BlackHat, TROOPERS and more!

Hello guys,

I know you hoped that Cr0w’s Place is dead but I came to deny you. The main reason of my absence is my masters thesis, for which I want to talk you about.

So, basically my thesis is based on blockchain technologies and I am trying to develop an application (and find a way, generally) with which I will be able to bypass the Certificate Authorities of the SSL/TLS protocol. You will be able to read more details about it in my final paper, which will be published around March, but for the time being, you can head to my GitHub profile and give me some love.

In other news, I want to let you know that for one more year I will attend BlackHat Europe and TROOPERS. Just today I got informed from Niki (the nice lady that is responsible for TROOPERS) that I will attend the event with a scholarship for one more year. I am really happy about it and of course you will have coverage of the event from my YouTube channel and my short movies.

TROOPERS 18 takes place in Heidelberd, Germany in the 12th – 16th of March 2018, and BlackHat Europe in the 4,5 December 2017 which I will attend too. I will be happy to meet every one of you there. Until then, stay strong.

Cr0wTom

TROOPERS 17 – The Wrap Up

Greeting everyone,

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:

 

 

PacketWars

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!

 

GSM Challenges

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.

 

Charity Run

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.

 

Wrap-Up

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 😉

Cr0wTom

My road to BlackHat Asia 2017 and some updates!

Hello Everyone,

I know that it is getting a bit frustrating, but in this section I really need to update my blog about my academic work in the cyber security sector. The next couple of days I will write about my progress in my Ms program, but this post is all about another conference scholarship.

Just like BlackHat Europe, I recently got awarded with a student scholarship for BlackHat Asia 2017 in Singapore, 28-31 March 2017. It is a great honor to be selected for this event, but unfortunately I will not be able to attend it. The reason? Really expensive transport and accommodation, for a conference that will be more or less the same with BlackHat Europe that I attended earlier this year.

It was a great opportunity to visit Asia and meet people from this side of the world, but I think that in this time of my life I need to invest on other things and not in a similar conference.

The process is pretty similar with the one I presented you in the BlackHat Europe scholarship, and the support stays really great. They helped me a lot with the registration process, and in my questions about helping me cover transport and accommodation. Unfortunately, they couldn’t cover me these expenses so I will not attend the event.

To continue, this Sunday I will fly to Heidelberg for the TROOPERS conference, and I will keep you updated with posts and vlogs. Today, I received the following message with the last info about the event:

Dear TROOPERS,

We are now less than one week away from TROOPERS17! Just wanted to brief everyone on a few things to get your week of to a great start!

1. The trainings and Next Generation Internet (NGI) start on Monday, March 20 at 9:00am at the Print Media Academy

a. PMA Address: Kurfürsten-Anlage 60 69115 Heidelberg Germany

b. Registration will start at 8:00AM and light breakfast and coffee will be available.

c. There will be signs on site to guide you to the appropriate training rooms.

d. Please use this link to see where you can park at the Print Media Academy for those who are driving: http://parken.heidelberg.de/static/asset/parking/pdf/p18_bg-rci.pdf

e. The complete Training agenda is located at https://www.troopers.de/troopers17/trainings/

2. The trainings start on Tuesday 9:00am

a. Registration will be open at 8:00AM

b. Exception: TelcoSec Day will begin at 8:30AM on Tuesday.
https://www.troopers.de/troopers17/telcosec-day/

3. The Conference starts on Wednesday, March 22nd at 9:00 at the Print Media Academy, and will end at 1900 each day (there is an additional hour of talks each day to celebrate the 10th edition of TROOPERS).

a. Registration begins at 7:45AM. PLEASE come earlier rather than late.

b. You do not need a physical ticket. Just your name. Again please check-in at the Registration Desk to get all your TROOPERS goodies and agenda.

c. Don’t be late! Given the huge amount of the highest quality content and some special surprises for you, the doors of the keynote auditorium will close right at 9:00. We need to ask all late arrivals to watch the keynote through the streaming on the first floor.

d. The complete Conference Agenda is located at
https://www.troopers.de/troopers17/agenda/

e. There is a Shared Dinner Wednesday evening at Kulturbrauerei: Leyergasse 6, 69117 Heidelberg. We will arrange for buses to pick people up from the Print Media Academy starting at 6:30pm until 7:00pm. Please meet in the lobby of the PMA to catch your bus.
Dinner will start at 8:00pm.

4. Important Additional Information

a. 10k TROOPERS Run: Don’t forget your running shoes! We will meet at the Crowne Plaza Heidelberg hotel on Thursday March 23rd at 7:00AM.

b. PacketWars: BYOD! The Battle Briefing will be available on Monday March 20th here: https://www.troopers.de/troopers17/special-events/

c. TROOPERS GSM Network: As in the last years, we will have our own Troopers GSM network. Because there will be some challenges, it might come in handy to have a second cell phone with you. SIM cards can be picked up at the Reception Desk. This time you are also able to host your own SMS service. More information about this is published on our blog:https://insinuator.net/2017/03/troopers17-gsm-network-how-about-your-own-smpp-service/

d. Food: Monday – Thursday, starting at 8:30am, a light breakfast will be available, there will be 2 coffee breaks per day with nice snacks, and lunch will be provided onsite at the Print Media Academy.

e. Roundtables are on Friday from 9:30-13:00. The list of topics can be found here: https://www.troopers.de/troopers17/roundtables/

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please email us at info@troopers.de

Safe travels and see You soon!
Your Troopers Crew

So stay tuned! 😉

I want to close with the announcement of my new website, cr0wsplace.com, which is an attempt to start in the business security sector. So wish me luck and give me your feedback . 😀

Cr0wTom

My Road to TROOPERS Scholarship – Part 2

Hello Everyone,

Last week I talked to you about my scholarship adventures for TROOPERS conference and how I applied to it. So now it is time to see what the response was from the TROOPERS side, to us, the students that successfully acquired a scholarship for the event.

Immediatelly after my “motivation letter” email, I got a reply, that said:

Hi Thomas,

Thank you for writing us and for your interest in TROOPERS! We will be in touch later this year.

Best,
{name of representative goes here}

With this, I understood that until the end of 2016, I must have a response with the results of my application, but that was not the case. The whole December and January passed without any email from them, and no response to my emails, asking for an update on the results. Luckily, in the 8th of February, and once I had the scholarship idea let go, I received an email from them with the following message:

Dear all,

thank you very much for your interest in TROOPERS and your motivational
letters. We are stoked to let you know that your letter convinced us and
you are hereby INVITED to the amazing experience of participating in the
TROOPERS main conference and the NGI [1] event. The invitation means
that you can register yourself for participation without any fees for
those two events using the Booking Code

{booking code goes here}

Please use the regular registration form. Besides the participation in
the conference, the NGI event, and the shared dinner Wednesday night,
everything else is on you (in particular your travel organization [2]).

We’re looking forward to you being at TROOPERS! I’d also love to use the
opportunity and get to know you in person. If you are also interested in
that, I will hang out at the Student Information Desk on Thursday, 13:00
over lunch.

Have a great time & stay tuned,
{name of representative goes here}

[1] https://www.troopers.de/troopers17/next-generation-internet-ngi/
[2] https://www.troopers.de/troopers17/travel/

At first, when I saw the summary of the email on my Android device, I was sure that it was an automated response which rejected me from the selection. But I was wrong and as you can see the email concerned the opposite. Of course, I was a bit let down because of the automated email (in BlackHat Europe it was a personalized one, with personalized support fot each student) but this is just a minor thing, in the whole case.

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I am now in the phase that I have my tickets and accommodation booked, and I will attend the Next Generation Internet event, the Conference and the Roundtables, in 20-24th of March in Heidelberg, Germany. I will be really happy to meet any of you, that will also attend the event, talk and hangout in the breaks, or after the scheduled hours. Feel free to contact me! I will be happy to meet you all!

Cr0wTom

P.S. I want to attend the PacketWars event(22nd March @ TROOPERS), but I don’t have a team. If you have a team and you are interested in including me, please contact me. 🙂

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