Hacker Summer Camp: Part 2 Black Hat

Pool’s closed, time for Black Hat.

I am well acquainted with Joe Fitz and he we was going to give me one of his trainer’s badges once they were done with teaching classes. At the start of the day, I headed over the Ceasers to grab my DEF CON badge before meeting Joe at Mandalay Bay. Badge line was extremely short and I got my DEF CON badge is less than 10 minutes. Next I went to get a cab and played a little social engineering again. Being that I am cheap I didn’t want to pay for my own transportation. I knew there should be other people picking up their DEF CON badges and heading back to Black Hat. I was on the look out for anyone wearing Black Hat badge to bum a ride. My speculations were correct and was able catch a ride to the Bay. The cab dropped us off at the convention center and I had to walk over to the Hotel. Thankfully, it is all connected and it was fun to walk and see advertising for Black Hat along with other security products plastered around the casino. Finally I met Joe in the lobby and help moved his training gear to his rental car. After loading his car, Joe gave me a badge which included a lunch ticket! Badge and lunch ticket in hand, my objective for Black Hat was simple: Get a Job and get swag. The expo hall was divided into two halls for vendors and companies looking to hire. There was about a dozen companies ranging from The MLB to Starbucks recruiting. In the same hall was an area for presentations, meeting booths, and seating lounge in the back. When talking to the companies I always asked for cards and how to followup. The responses I got varied. I was always got a business card, but some want Linkedin invites. Strangely while walking around the hall a distraught man on phone told to me to come work on a CTF. I went into the booth, grabbed food and left.

The lunch bell rang over the intercom system and I headed down the escalator following the crowd to get my meal. To my surprise the lunch hall is massive. I estimate the size to be that of a Costco filled will tables and chairs. As you walk in you are waved to a sectors of the hall for a buffet lunch line. Lunch included entree, soup, and dessert, all quite good. They are quick to close down sectors but you can head over to a different area to get more food.

After stuffing my face I headed up the escalator to the vendor hall. The first impression was “this place is huge”. The second impression was “this is a trade show…”. I walked around and found some hardware security vendors to talk to about jobs. After that I walked around more grabbing shirts. Some of the booths are quite elaborate. A company had a two story booth and some other had a 80’s themed bedroom. The other thing that stood out was everyone at the booths are desperate to scan your badge.

Misc observations:

  • Ice cream social in the recruiting hall
  • college kids can volunteer at Black Hat
  • The vendor hall is all about selling products, not security

At the end of the day I got about 15 shirts, some several business cards.