Hacker Summer Camp: Part 1 BSides Las Vegas

I am finally getting around to writing up my Las Vegas adventure.

If you don’t know already, Hacker Summer Camp is the 11 days of security training and conferences in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. It consists of Black Hat, BSidesLV, and DEF CON, in that chronological order. Last year I just did DEF CON and this year my plan was to do a bit of all three. I booked my tickets with SouthWest and got my stay at the Linq booked on the conference discount code. SouthWest offers free checked bags, and if you are going to DEF CON you will be taking things with you that cannot be brought on the plane.

I came into Vegas on a Monday afternoon, which gave me enough time to unpack and grab some food. Thankfully the Linq, had a mini-fridge in the room and I was able to store some leftover White Castle for breakfast. I was bit too rushed working on my #shittyaddon to fully prepare for my trip. Compared to last year, I did not bring enough food or any cash. I highly advise bringing your own food with you unless you want to waste time and money on food. First Vegas food is expensive, even in food courts. Second going out to find food takes away from con time. My suggestion is to pack protein bars, apples, and trail mix. Along with that bring a metal water bottle or two. As for money, you will be need cash for DEF CON entry, vendor hall, badges, shittyaddons, food, taxis, etc. I didn’t bring any cash with so I hit the Strip for an ATM and food. Several posts on TripAdvisor say that Casino Royale charges $1 fee. I think I found the correct casino, but the fee was $3, which is not bad.

Come Tuesday morning I headed out to the Tuscany for BSidesLV. BSides Las Vegas has a limited number of badges and they are capped by the fire marshal on how many people can be in the conference space. You can get a badge either by staying at the Tuscany, donating, volunteering, or walking in the day of for a free badge, I am cheap and planed on getting a walkin badge. When I got there around 07:00 people were already leaving saying there were no walkin badges. Other people said there were a only a couple. The official word of the situation was not consistent. I was bummed out that I would be missing my chance at BSides so I stuck it out in the line for walkin badges. At least while I was in line i met TwinkleTwinkie, and some of the AND!XOR crew. I gave up on staying the line and tried some social engineering to see where that would take me. I found my way to the pool and started taking to people seated at tables. Eventually I met Seattle Locksport, and he had a badge! It probably helped that I used to visit The Black Lodge for DC203 meetings and could name drop Noid. So I got in and was able to see the keynote and get free coffee! There was also some food there too during the day. I am not sure if it was for everyone or not but I was able to stuff my face a couple of times. I sept nearly all my day in the Hire Ground track talking to recruiters and career coaches. It was a good to get my resume reviewed by people in the industry and make some correction. BSidesLV had about eight different companies in the Hire Ground room, but ther were more in the main hall, but were vendors. I can’t speak to the quality of the talks or the training becuase I was pretty much only in Hire Ground or talking to people in the main room.

I met some new poeople like @babint_, @infosec_eskimo, @ambrose604, @E1_M4ri4chi, and many more! Also, I was able to sell more DC503 addons! And don’t forget the pool party the last night of BSides. You will need a badge to get in, but if you got connections you can do a badge swap and the fence around the pool and get in.


  • Pack well for Vegas - cash, food, gear
  • Make sure you have a badge before going!
  • Go to the pool party