PHDays 2012: Day One

  • May 31, 2012

    More than 1000 guests gathered in technocentre Digital October on the first day of Positive Hack Days international forum on practical security organized by Positive Technologies. The place was bursting at the seams: hackers, government and business representatives, information security experts, scientists, and students socialized, attended reports, studied and taught.

    As the forum scenario author and director, Sergey Gordeychik, noted in his speech, Russian IT industry is now greatly divided. In spite of ultramodern government IT-projects, there still exist such problems as lack of experts, “brain drain”, high level of corruption, and, to crown it all, absence of a unified development strategy. Therefore, we organize the PHDays forum, whose main aim is to gather «jackets» and «T-shirts» together and help them to consolidate their efforts in making information handling more secure.

    Embrace the unembraceable

    On Day One of PHDays, the forum guests could enjoy speakers’ reports not only in the lecture halls, but also on live video streaming displays. They were also competing in cracking different information systems and actively participated in hands-on labs. Hacking an authentic Soviet coin-operated telephone, intersecting cash terminal, searching for bonus flags in the garbage container, hunting down moving WiFi access point – these are just several forum events.

    Bad guys break the law, and so do the good ones

    It’s worth mentioning the keynote by Bruce Schneier, the world-renowned legend of cryptography. Mr. Schneier shared his ideas about the need society has for the law-breaking individuals and the importance of sporadic rule-breaking actions. The famous reporter spoke up for the hackers, who, at the end of the day, promote progress and social changes.

    Anonymous revolutionary

    Heythem El Mir, IS expert from Tunisia, told the forum guests about the struggle of Tunisian National Agency for Computer Security against Anonymous hacker group. For the most part, Anonymous consists of ordinary computer users in possession of easy-to-use utilities developed by a few hackers. This story clearly shows that these days even a layman can crack information systems.

    Moreover, today’s cyber threats are not limited to spam or fraud, but can even endanger many lives. This was what Mr. Amin, the Chairman of the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT), mentioned at the press-conference. And that is why IMPACT considers its main task to coordinate international efforts against malicious actions and prevent proliferation of cyber weapon. And according to Mr. Amin, white hats will play a significant role in the process.


    Twelve hacking teams from 10 countries were competing in breaking and protecting information systems all through the day and night. The finalists of the first day of the forum are Leet More (St.Petersburg), 0daysober (Switzerland), and Int3pids (Spain).

    PHDays Everywhere

    Dozens of hackspaces uniting best hackers from all over the world from Tokio to Krasnodar and from India to Tunisia joined the PHDays forum, making it a really global event. It was specially for the hackspace members supporting our PHDays Everywhere initiative that the Hacked in 137 Seconds competition was orginized. The task was to hack a Cisco network device, and it was the DCUA team (Ukraine) who got the first prize. The second place was taken by the Indian tem XBios.

    Day Two

    On May, 31st we will have lots of hands-on labs, 0day vulnerabilities demonstration, reports - among them a keynote from Datuk Mohd Noor AMIN, - and competition finals with the winners awarding; Hack2own prizes are about 700,000 rubles, and CTF about 300,000 rubles.

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