This past weekend (2 December 2017) a few of our Telspace team members traveled to the annual BSides Cape Town conference. This year the con was inspired by the classic movie “Back to the Future”. Kicking off the con was the pre-party Friday evening at the Cape Town Science Centre.
This was the perfect venue not only to compliment the theme but to also tickle the fancy of all us geeks and nerds attending. After welcome drinks and exploring the Science Centre with all of its fantastic scientific illustrations it was time for a movie. You guessed it, we watched “Back to the Future”. And so, we ended off Friday evening.
From left to right: Charlie Smith, Cobus Mentz, Kenny Matima and Frank Allenby
Finally!!! D-day, the con starts. Up early Saturday morning we headed off to Observatory. Full of excitement we got our SWAG-on and headed off to the talks but first, coffee. This was clearly a mutual feeling as everyone was standing in line to get their cuppa for the morning.
The con was packed with great talks, loads of challenges such as the CTF, lock picking and a bunch more. Frank from our team did a great talk on Data Huffing and ways in which we can use data breaches to aid with pentests and information security in general.
The CTF from Nclose was also great fun with Charlie and Frank being the only 2 participants (out of about 15) to successfully capture the flag. Charlie was the overall winner because, through his years of experience breaking Web Apps, he generated the least number of alerts. He actually found a path that not even the CTF creators knew about, he truly hacked the CTF!
As Telspace regularly does we once again chose a charity to contribute to. This time around we chose the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (@TheSADAG). They do fantastic and much-needed work and we are proud to be associated with them. To spread awareness, we asked delegates to track down our team members, take a selfie with them and post it to Twitter. As a thanks to the participants, we gave them a special limited edition 15 Year Anniversary Telspace shirt. Selfies can be found on Twitter by searching for @telspacesystems or #BSidesCPT17.
In conclusion, BSides Cape Town 2017 was a huge success and it is great to see how the information security community within South Africa is growing not only in numbers but with the quality of research as well.
To summarise, the highlights were:
- Awesome talks
- CTF Victors
- Selfies for charity
- Great Conference