Ruxcon 2013

For the past couple of days (26th – 27th October) I have been hanging around at Ruxcon 2013 in Melbourne with some of Australia’s best and brightest in the Security world.

This was my first ever con and I enjoyed it, however it did have a couple of effects on me :

  1. I am now even more inspired to try that little bit harder to get my hacking up to speed.
  2. It made me feel a little stupid.

I was inspired to get my shit together by one talk in particular, “Schoolin’ In: How to Build Better Hackers” by Brendan Hop.

Basically he spoke about how Universities in Australia have thing wrong! That Computer Science Degree’s have been dumbed down and now contain more management fluff then actual Computer Science.

He spoke about how a lot of Uni’s in Australia no longer even teach C as a language and  if coding is taught it’s done late in the course.

After bitching out most of the Universities in Australia he went on to speak about the course he runs at the UNSW (COMP9447). This is a (and I may get this wrong) almost 100% offensive security course.

They start from the ground up with the course, teaching the students C then moving on to Assembly, once the students have a grasp on the basics they dive deep into exploitation. It looks like a killer course.

The part that stuck with me the most is his advice about learning C and Assembly before getting too far into your career as a pentester or what ever field of IT Sec you venture into.

So I have taken that as a sign that the next step for me is brushing up on my C…. then god help me moving on to ASM. Hours of fun for the whole family.

He also made me think about some of the training I have done and I realise now just how shit most of it was. Spoon feeding students power point slides will not teach them anything! You need to force them to write code, break code and come out at the end with a heap more knowledge.

The second thing that I took away from Ruxcon was that those guys and girls are WAY smarter then me! I hung round the CTF area for a bit looking over the shoulders of some of the contestants, man these guys were good!

So the big take aways for me are this, I need to pick up my game! Next year I want to be part of the CTF, not just watch from the side lines.