Impressions from 34C3 In Leipzig
The joy of going to 34C3 and why you should come too

It’s big — very big. The last time I visited the congress was around ten years ago. This was back when the event was held in Berlin. Since then, it has moved to Hamburg and now temporarily to Leipzig.

I thought the event that I went to in Berlin was big. I mean, how many hackers can there be? It turns out — a lot. The congress in Leipzig was huge. Way beyond my expectations.

So where do you start exploring such a big event? Well, what I did was to walk around and get a sense of the atmosphere. And perhaps also to just figure out where the different lecture halls were, a task that turned out to be a bit of a challenge.

So I walked and I walked. I strolled passed hardware hackers who had build anything from a thee led Christmas tree, to creepy-looking gas mask-wearing robot insects of some sort. I saw table after table of people hunching in front of their computers working on….well, something I guess. I also caught a glimpse of the result of all sorts of art-related hacking: amps, drawings, weird stuff soldered together. There was also a playground for kids. Good work CCC — some of us do have kids you know.

CCC - entry

Stickers

What would any get-together be without stickers? Nothing, right? There was a bathtub (figuraly speaking) of stickers for anyone to grab. Completely free of any of kind brand names, the stickers “marketed” initiatives of the underground kind. I was lucky to get my hands on a few nice TOR stickers. Needless to say, the sticker table was immensely popular.

CCC - stickers

The blinding lights

I most certainly didn’t expects there to be a never ending light show. From a far, one could see countless of colours and projections dancing up and down the Leipzig Mässehalle glass exterior. And inside there was an even bigger show going on. From floor to ceiling, there were light projections all over the place. Now, don’t get the impression they had turned the halls into your average disco — it was way more “tasteful” than so.

The talks

It’s impossible to go to all talks. If you make it to a handful, you’re keeping yourself busy. Here are some of the talks I went to:

let’s break modern binary code obfuscation

A talk about using the Monte Carlo Something algorithm to find out what a piece of code does without necessarily attaching a debugger to the process. This technique can be applied to analysing malware that is know to not run as originally intended when it detects that a debugger is attached to the process.

Technical Usefulness (for me) 4/5

Ahhh — I totally get every detail 2/5

mobile data interception from the interconnection link

A cool and informative talk about the inherit problems of older generation mobile networks and security issues that occur when they need to interconnect with other networks of a newer/older generation.

Technical Usefulness (for me) 2/5

Ahhh — I totally get every detail 3/5

digitale Bildung In Der Schule

“Digitale Bildung In Der Schule” translates to “Digital education in School”. The first question that was asked was: who is the typical programmer? Probably not a fifth grader. Well, that’s what this talk was about. Katja, guided us through her presentation of a project where kids were taught to code using a combination of soldering and C++ programming. The interesting thing was that after the project, most kids said that they really enjoyed programming — but they were not fond of math. The software platform they used can be found at https://www.progbob.org/

Technical Usefulness (for me) 5/5

Ahhh — I totally get every detail 5/5

may contain traces of FreeBSD

A presentation on how to best use dtrace to hook into running processes. A key feature of dtrace is to be able to do performance debugging. I’m sure all of this stuff is great but I just didn’t get it.

Technical Usefulness (for me) 1/5

Ahhh — I totally get every detail 2/5

Spy vs. Spy: A Modern Study Of Microphone Bugs Operation And Detection

Going old-school with hidden microphones and radio transmitters. The talk was a combination of 60s spy movies and modern software built to detect hidden microphones. The two presenters had built a nice piece of software that made use of software defined radio to detect anomalies in radio frequencies in any given space.

Technical Usefulness (for me) 3/5

Ahhh — I totally get every detail 5/5

CCC - rocket

You should come here!

I truly love love this event. The technical level of most talks is brilliant. And the zero risk of running into sales people is non-existent.

Pros:

  • Technical level of talks
  • Tons of free stickers
  • The number of bars
  • Lots of vegan food
  • The wifi quality

Cons:

  • The conference webpage (it would be great to have a more solid calendar page next year)
  • Finding your way to the lecture halls (the maps were just confusing)
  • The haters (stop making fun of speakers with accents)

CCC - wall projection

Robert Svensson

Tags: #34c3 #leipzig #ccc #chaos computer club

2017-12-28 18:07:00

This is the personal website and article collection of me — Robert Svensson. I currently work for Contentful writing about APIs, coding and the future of content management

You can also find out what I'm up to by following me on GitHub, Twitter and LinkedIn. Feel free to send me an e-mail at robert@artandhacks.se