Jun 03 2014
One of the advantages of having moved to the UK from California last year is that I often get the chance to attend conferences I never would have dreamed of attending otherwise. Thanks to this, last week I was able to attend one of the events I’d never hoped to be able to see otherwise, Hack in the Box Amsterdam. And I’m very glad I did, as are my children, aka the Spawn.
One of the unique things about this year’s HITB was their choice of keynote speakers, which were all women. None of them were asked to speak about “women in infosec”, nor were they discouraged from the topic. But they were all women who are recognized as having accomplished great things in the security field. Katie Moussouris opened up the conference talking about how the security community is finally at a point where we actually have the influence we’d always wanted, now we have to do something with it. That and announcing her new role as the Chief Policy Officer for Hacker One, a bug bounty company. The second day was opened by Jennifer Steffens, CEO of IOActive who called bullshit on the security community for being such a bunch of emo posers and pointed out what a wonderful time it is to be in security as well as illustrating some of the exemplars in our field. Both of these security professionals gave keynotes worthy of nearly any conference in the world.
The Haxpo, or vendor area as we generally call it, alongside the conference was also well worth the visit. TOOOL was in evidence, as were a number of the local hacker spaces, but my favorite part of the show floor. I picked up a HITB badge, Spawn0 got a TV-B-Gone and we both went to town with soldering irons. Spawn0 was more successful than I was, as his TV-B-Gone worked while my badge didn’t, most likely due to lack of soldering skills on my part. He’s just waiting for football (aka soccer) season to get into full swing to test it’s full capabilities.
Will I attend HITB again? It depends; I’d just come off of two weeks of intensive travel and probably could have used downtime as much as I wanted to see this event. But I’m very glad I went and got to meet additional members of the European security community. Maybe next year I’ll try to avoid having so much travel leading up to the event.