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 1

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a while since our last talk. You know, many things happening, a masters degree and a constant dream hunting. I think that the last time we talked, it was about my conclusion in the BlackHat Europe 2016 event, and my first vlog. Now, it is time for a new announcement, and my acquisition of a scholarship for the TROOPERS 17, which happens to be the 10 year anniversary of TROOPERS, which will be awesome, for sure!

For more, go here: https://www.troopers.de/troopers17/

As with BlackHat, TROOPERS gives some scholarships to students around the world, which are interested and involved into the security sector. The competition is big in such events, because you are attending for free, bypassing a big fee that others have to pay, to attend it. For TROOPERS the process is more simple than BlackHat, and you just have to sent a motivation letter. The instructions on the site are as follows:

STUDENTS@TROOPERS – MOTIVATION LETTER

Troopers is all about training, personal progression, and making the world a safer place. The limited budget of many students should not get in the way of this mission. Hence we offer students the opportunity to submit a short abstract to apply for their free Troopers attendance. As the available seats are limited and there are potentially a high number of students, we apologize if we cannot accept all student applications.

If you want to apply, please send us an abstract about why you in particular should be attending Troopers — keep in mind, you have to convince us! Including:

  • A short personal introduction
  • Current fields of work/degree programs
  • Experiences and activities in the area of IT security
  • Published work/research/white papers/write-ups
  • Expectations for the conference and expected personal progression
  • What you will contribute to TROOPERS

Send this letter to student@troopers.de.
The deadline for the submission of Student Motivation Letters is January 31st 2017.

I learned about it, in one of my work trips, that a friend of mine mentioned it, and I searched it immediately. I prepared my letter and sent it to the email stated above. My email was the following:

Dear TROOPERS,

My name is Thomas Sermpinis, and I am a Master’s student from Greece. I am 23 years old, with great passion for Cyber Security, from the age of 12 when I firstly started programming. I am currently studying for my master’s degree in “Informatics and Management” in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and I work in the security sector, preparing workshops for Hakin9 media, related to IT security topics. I have started working in this sector by the age of 18, where I worked in the biggest Greek Hacking Magazine, DeltaHacker. I am also, freelance in penetration testing, for an extra income, because of the difficult economic situation of Greece, but of course I really love what I do. Also, I have a personal YouTube channel, that I produce videos related to security, with a big fanbase.

As I wrote, my main field of work these last years, is presenting my knowledge to others, with workshop instructing, and article writing. By this, I have met many people, and acquired many experience in this field. I have also traveled to Germany this last year, for an opportunity in working with a Cyber Security firm, named Auxilium. Continuing, recently I acquired an academic scholarship for BlackHat Europe 2016, which I will attend in November and I hope that I will gain much from it.

Some of the topics that I have researched and presented in various ways are:

  • Penetration Testing with Android Devices (Hakin9, Google Developers Conference)
  • Android Malware Analysis (Hakin9)
  • Web Application Hacking: Data Store Attacks (Hakin9)
  • Penetration Testing with Kali 2.0 (Hakin9, DeltaHacker)

This is only a small part of my work in the security field, in which I want to work and offer my knowledge and experiences. This is also a reason why I want to attend TROOPERS. I want to meet new people, and acquire new knowledge, throughout the exceptional layout of this event. I thing that this is the way to my personal progression, and this is why I am continuously searching for new opportunities that will help me in this matter. Of course, my presence there will not go unnoticed. I want to be active and stand out of the crowd, by participating in competitions and discussions of TROOPERS. Finally, it will be a big and serious opportunity for me, that I will also be able to write about in my blog (cr0wsplace {dot} wordpress {dot} com) and let every reader know about TROOPERS conference and events, which will also be good advertising for you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,
Thomas Sermpinis

I am now selected as one of the scholarship holders, and I will attend the conference and the NGI event on March 20-24th of 2017. I will make a part 2 for the letter of acceptance and the registration process, so stay tuned. 😉

Cr0wTom