What I learned at DefCon 27

DefCon 27

This is a list of random things that I learned while I attended DefCon 27 last week August 8-11, 2019. This list could help new attendees next year. This was my first year attending and I didn’t really know what I was going to experience.

  1. With over 30,000 attendees being patient was a must have skill.
    • Many popular speakers had long wait lines.
    • If there was a speaker I really wanted to see, I attended the talk the hour before so that I had a seat.
    • For topics and speakers that I could not participate in, I was told that most major speakers were recorded so I can view later.
  2. The hands-on labs were the best for one on one learning.
  3. I learned that my red team skills are more developed than my blue team skills.
  4. I also obtained additional red team skills while visiting the red team village. Shout out to Omar Santos for open source lab materials and tools available at h4cker.org
  5. DefCon is run by a group of hacker volunteers. One of the things I noticed is that things didn’t always start on time which made it harder to schedule my day.
  6. The HackerTracker app for IOS and Andriod was the best source of knowing the what and where events were happening.
  7. Picking locks and bypassing locks were very fun labs to participate in.
  8. I walked 25k steps per day which is 2-3 times my normal walking. Vegas is big!
    • DefCon27 Spanned 4 resorts.
    • Due to how much traffic the Vegas strip has, it was faster to walk than to take an Uber or Taxi.