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WA’s first global hackfest is coming to Perth in 2017

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Western Australia has always had a vibrant cyber security community, with defensive and offensive experts working tirelessly to protect local interests. However, professional security membership organisations have typically focused on governance, risk and compliance rather than the technical aspects of the job, leaving the disciplines of systems testing and forensics underserviced on the conference circuit. But things are about to change, thanks to the efforts of Perth’s most innovative cyber security companies. Now, a global hackfest is coming to Perth!

BSides PerthWACTF logo hackfest

BSides and WACTF Hackfest

Coming to Perth this weekend on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December 2017 are two mammoth cyber security events – BSides and WA Capture the Flag (WACTF), with both seeking to unearth the next generation of white hat hackers.

Across two challenging and educational days of workshops, demonstrations and hacking contests, the very best minds in cyber security will collaborate and share their learned wisdom, techniques and research, while new talent will show off their hacking chops in Perth’s very first Capture the Flag contest.

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BSides Perth

A relatively recent phenomenon on the global security conference scene, BSides exists to give a voice to many of the world’s highly skilled cyber security experts who struggled to bring their research to their peers at Black Hat and DEF CON (the biggest annual cyber events). This wasn’t because Black Hat or DEF CON excluded them, the problem was oversubscription.

BSides is a conference platform for cyber security practitioners to run their own collaboration sessions, bringing together researchers, tool makers and experts to participate in conversations they might not otherwise have. Already a sold-out event, BSides has attracted talks from some of the brightest local cyber security minds, as well as some incredible global talent.

Perth is excited to welcome Chester Wisniewski, Sophos’ Principal Research Scientist who will travel some 14,000 kilometers to present a ‘Deep Dive on the Dark Web’. Chester will discuss the tools available for purchase on the dark web and how easy it is to acquire them. We’ll also see presentations from penetration testers, recruiters, researchers and security managers across a diverse range of topics.

Here are just a few of the presentation titles you’ll see if you were lucky enough to have grabbed a ticket:

  • 2FAssassin: Bypass 2FA, Steeling Private Keys, Abusing Client Certificates, Make Illegal Profits, Have Fun and Much More.
  • Protecting your at-rest data from a surprisingly motivated adversary; and, Why you’re not paranoid enough about your disk encryption.
  • The snake that took down a child exploitation ring.
  • 433Mhz and the World – An introduction to jamming.

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WA Capture the Flag (WACTF)

WACTF is the brainchild of Perth’s cyber security business community, with founding organisations Kinetic IT, Hivint, Asterisk, Diamond Cyber and HostOne coordinating the event. They have drawn sponsorship from across the nation to fund a variety of coveted prizes for challenge winners. Both individual and team entrants will take on the challenge of increasingly difficult hacking trials, each of which have been carefully constructed to mimic a real-world cyber security problem.

Ultimately, WACTF’s goal is to connect local talent with organisations needing specialised cyber security skills. Speaking on behalf of the WACTF founders, Kinetic IT’s Group Manager for Security Intelligence Services, Kevin O’Sullivan, said, “Our view is that by putting these two groups in touch, demonstrating their relevance and directly raising the overall cyber security profile for WA, everyone will benefit.”

WACTF runs in parallel with BSides across this weekend (2 and 3 December 2017), with awards being presented at a networking event on Wednesday 6 December 2017.

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Get involved

BSides and WACTF will be held at the University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley. For more information on the BSides speakers and presentations, check out their website.
You can contact the BSides event organisers, Nigel Hardy, Peter Yorke and Alex Dolan by email, Facebook or Twitter:


For more information about the WACTF hackfest contest, check out their website or contact the WACTF team via email or Twitter:


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