DEF CON Blog - Day 1

Day 1 - Thursday

On Thursday we got up at 5:45 so that we could practice our talk one last time.

The Talk

We went to the greenroom and got our speaker badges. The speaker ops team was very surprised when the realized how young we were.

When we went on stage we were shocked by how full the room was. Almost all the seats were full, with even more people standing in the back. During our talk we had a lot of technical difficulties. The slides did not work because of a broken HDMI repeater for roughly the first twenty minutes.

Image of the audience

We had to cut much of the presentation, but we were still able to get most of our speaking points across. I am very proud of how we were able to still make it work. Zack Bertocchi was especially good and making the presentation flow even though we had never practiced for a situation like this.

During the questions and answers time I was shocked by how supportive everyone was. I think I gave out at least 20 business cards during the Q/A time and we ended up having diner later on with some of the people that we met then.

The full slide presentation is on the DEF CON media server, and I will update this article with a link to a recording of the talk when it comes out.

Wired Photoshoot

After our talk we met with the wired photographer Roger Kisby. He took pictures of us and the vending machine for the Wired article.

It was very interesting seeing just how much work goes into one news story. The photos alone took over an hour to take.

Meeting with Bobby

We finally got to meet Bobby Rauch in person. Bobby gave us great advice about how to reach out to the MBTA and was very helpful throughout the whole process.

Speaker Party

We went to the speaker party on Thursday night. It was very much set up as a networking event rather than a party. We stayed for the entire event and met many very interesting people. Even though everyone was probably older than us by about a decade they were still very willing to talk to us about both our research and their research.

We got a lot of helpful advice to help us with a career in cybersecurity. The two biggest pieces of advice we heard were to be careful so we don’t get into legal trouble, and to focus on what we find really enjoyable.