I was one of the lucky few to bypass the crowd inflicted DOS attack and get a barcode to Shmoocon. It was a nerve-wracking experience where all I, and my coworkers did, was press F5 as fast as we could, but it paid off and we were able to attend.
Being my first Shmoocon, I didn’t know what to expect. Registration looked like it was going to be a nightmare, but it was an extremely fast process seeing that all they needed to do was scan our barcode. The talks that were presented were great. In my opinion among the most interesting was a talk on NFC by Kristin Paget and the different talks by the EFF. Kristin Paget showed that with a quick read of a credit card via NFC, anyone can easily reprogram a mag stripe with the information read from the NFC transaction and charge the credit card like normal. Marcia Hoffman gave a great presentation on the disclosure of passwords, and when the government can force you to disclose your password. Hanni Fakhoury also gave a presentation essentially on anticipatory obstruction of justice when it comes to deleting/destroying evidence. These were probably among my favorite talks.
Also, I participated in Hack Fortress during Shmoocon. I played with Pwn State on their hacking team. It was a really interesting blend of Team Fortress 2 and Capture the Flag. As players on the hacking team solved challenges, the opposing Team Fortress 2 team would be penalized, possibly by being set on fire for 30 seconds. As the Team Fortress team had flag captures, the hacking team would be given hints. After three rounds, our team won the competition.
Overall, it was a great conference. I was able to meet some extremely intelligent people, attend some great talks, and play in a pretty fun game. It’s definitely a con I’m going to try to attend again next year.