Just at the end of last year I went to the 31c3, the annual hacker's conference organised by the Chaos Computer Club. I've been following this event via the streams and by watching the recorded videos for many years. This time, however, I actually made my way to Hamburg. Even though I did not know many people there, it was a truly great experience, since the atmosphere is very open and welcoming.
At the first day I felt a little lost in the CCH building with its labyrinth of confusing escalators and staircases. Also I did not quite understand the character of the different areas in this gigantic hackspace. It might seem obvious, but if feels very different if one chats to someone about his crypto setup at one place called Noisy Square or if you get someone to explain to you how his new 3D printer works in the hardware hacking hall — just because of the surroundings.
Most of the four days I spent walking around, chatting to people about their projects and participating in a few workshops (Lockpicking, Keysigning Party, Cryptoparty). I also went to a few of the ongoing talks. From what I have seen so far (either in the audience or recorded) I can highly recommend the following:
Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras about narratives of the surveillance state and the most recent batch of Snowden documents.
- Ich sehe also bin ich
Scary talk about how unreliable biometric authentication methods are.
- What Ever Happened to Nuclear
History and current status of Nuclear Weapons
Very good talk that made me understand the basics of elliptic curve cryptography.
- State of the
The last year with respect to anonymity in the net and the Tor Project
- Source Code and Cross-Domain Authorship
How documents and source code can be accurately attributed to people, and how to protect against it.
- The case of Chelsea
Alexa O'Brien discussing the Chelsea Manning case with her lawyers.
- Vor Windows 8 wird
Why Windows 8 and secure boot are screwed up.
- Why are computers so @#!*, and what can we do about
Funny talk by one of my former Computer Science lecturers at Cambridge about the strange design that computers and programming languages have historically adopted.
You can either watch these talks online, or you
can download these or likewise all other talks from this year's congress
using a small Python script, which I wrote. For each talk it
automatically downloads the recorded video, the abstract and all files
which were attached in the
all you need is a plain text file which contains all four-digit talk-ids
line by line. This file should then be passed to the script. For example
to download all talks I mention above, you simply create a file
31c3talks.list with the ids
6258 6450 6121 6369 6251 6173 6602 6294 6574
and then you execute