Frequently Asked Questions
From BruCON 2012
What is BruCON?
BruCON is an annual security and hacker(*) conference providing two days of an interesting atmosphere for open discussions of critical infosec issues, privacy, information technology and its cultural/technical implications on society. Organized in Belgium, BruCON offers a high quality line up of speakers, security challenges and interesting workshops. BruCON is a conference by and for the security and hacker(*) community.
The conference tries to create bridges between the various actors active in computer security world, included but not limited to hackers(*), security professionals, security communities, non-profit organizations, CERTs, students, law enforcement agencies, etc.....
(*)Hackers are "persons who delight in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular." People who engage in illegal activities like unauthorized entry into computer systems are called crackers and don't have anything to do with hacking. BruCON doesn't promote any illegal activities and behavior. Many hackers today are employed by the security industry and test security software and systems to improve the security of our networks and applications. In addition, for the younger generations, we want to create some awareness and interest in IT students to learn more about IT Security.
How did BruCON start?
BruCON is organized as a non-profit event by volunteers. A group of security enthusiasts decided that it was time in Belgium to have its own security and hacker conference. A lot of countries around the world have these kind of conferences to discuss and present research on computer security and related subject matters. We want to unite people who share the same passion and support the Belgian (research) communities, with BruCON as a yearly highlight. We are not professional organizers and started this as a non-profit organization. We all have full time jobs and dedicate a lot of our free time to this project. Everyone is welcome to join us and help!!
When and where is BruCON 2012?
Trainings are planned for Sep 24-25, the conference for Sep 26-27. BruCON 2012 will be in the historic center of Ghent, Belgium.
Is there a map for BruCON 2012?
Don't forget to check out "THE PLAN" -> TBD
What are the rules of BruCON ?
There are no rules. But we ask you to refrain from doing anything that might jeopardize the conference or other attendees. BruCON crew members are there to answer your questions and help you wherever they can. It is unwise to do any illegal activities as law enforcements officers probably will attend the event as well.
What is there to do at BruCON?
BruCON offers a presentation track and some workshops by some very interesting and bright people bringing some of the most recent material in security research. The attendees of the conference can help us shape the event. We welcome anyone with some innovative research, a tool or just to present an interesting website to give a lightning talk or a workshop. If you want to give an additional workshop or need some space for your project, please contact us
What is hacking?
The term 'hacker' has been misrepresented in popular media for a long time: “Hacking has nothing to do with criminal activities such as identity theft and electronic trespassing! Rather, it [hacker] has been coined at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a term for curious individuals for whom every device or piece of software is full of exciting challenges to develop potential improvements or discover alternative uses."
“Anyone who remembers the childhood curiosity and excitement of taking apart radios and other devices to find out how they work is a good example of what is considered a hacker!”
There are a lot of different forms of hacking, most if which don't even involve computers. So computer hacking is only a subset of this.
Computer hacking is the practice of modifying computer hardware and software to accomplish a goal outside of the creator’s original purpose. People who engage in computer hacking activities are often called hackers.
Computer hacking is most common among teenagers and young adults, although there are many older hackers as well. Many hackers are true technology buffs who enjoy learning more about how computers work and consider computer hacking an “art” form. They often enjoy programming and have expert-level skills in one particular program. For these individuals, computer hacking is a real life application of their problem-solving skills. It’s a chance to demonstrate their abilities, not an opportunity to harm others.
Since a large number of hackers are self-taught prodigies, some corporations actually employ computer hackers as part of their technical support staff. These individuals use their skills to find flaws in the company’s security system so that they can be repaired quickly. In many cases, this type of computer hacking helps prevent identity theft and other serious computer-related crimes.
Computer hacking can also lead to other constructive technological developments, since many of the skills developed from hacking apply to more mainstream pursuits. For example, former hackers Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson went on to create the UNIX operating system in the 1970s. This system had a huge impact on the development of Linux, a free UNIX-like operating system.
In comparison to those who develop an interest in computer hacking out of simple intellectual curiosity, some hackers have less noble motives. Hackers who are out to steal personal information, change a corporation’s financial data, break security codes to gain unauthorized network access, or conduct other destructive activities are normally called “crackers” or "blackhats" !!! This type of computer hacking can earn you a trip to a prison for several years and we don't approve of this kind of behaviour.
Can you help me "hack" into the hotmail account of my girlfriend?
Of course ... NOT, you didn't read or understood the F.A.Q. Please go away.
Will there be hackers at BruCON?
We hope so!!! Many people have different definitions of what is a ‘hacker’. The only one we don't agree with is the mass media definition of 'Hackers' meaning criminals that deface websites and break into networks also correctly known as 'crackers'. "Hackers build things, crackers break them". For us, examples of great hackers are Linus Torvalds or Steve Wozniak who built the first Apple computer in his garage using parts from Radioshack.
Although security vulnerabilities in software are also discussed during BruCON, today this is called security research or white-hat hacking to improve our software and infrastructure. Read more about the term "hacking" and how it evolved in the last 25 years in this great Wired article or have a look at this documentary Hackers are people too (video)
How can I help or participate?
How can I speak at BruCON?
The Call of Paper phase is finished. But you can come to BruCON as a participant and subscribe to the Lightning_Talks and give a brief introduction of your topic.
How much is the entrance fee for BruCON
See Tickets for details.
BruCON is too expensive, how can I afford it?
We did our best to keep prices as low as possible so everyone could attend. We are not making any money out of this. If it's still too much for your budget, there are lots of ways to cut down costs. Find someone to share a room with, pack your own food for the trip etc... Organize a party to collect some money.
Why are there no student tickets?
Student pricing is available again for a limited number of visitors. If however you are too late the normal ticket price is kept extremely low. With meals included, we believe this is a great price for everyone!!! We will continue to keep prices low and this wouldn't be possible without your help and the help from our many volunteers.
This edition will be at the Aula Academica of the Ghent Universitity. Location and Travel information is to be found on the Travel page.
Is there a network at BruCON?
There will be internet.
BruCON is kindly asking our visitors not to do anything that might jeopardise this event. BruCON and it's members takes no responsibility regarding the illicit use of the network and internet access.
However, we have a CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team). If you suspect any illegal activity, you can contact us and we will take the necessary actions together with the Belgacom Network Team.
Email: cert at brucon dot org
Telephone: will be announced right before the conference
What should I bring?
That depends on what you want to do at the conference. Bringing a laptop, extra batteries and a long UTP cable might be a good idea if you want to attend workshops or other activities.
Will there be wireless?
There is free wireless Internet access available.
- SSID: brucon
Rules and warnings about using our network/wireless
Disclaimer: You are responsible for your own dealings and maintaining the security of your information when accessing the Internet or your corporate intranet via the provided Internet access. BruCON can provide no security because the venue provides access and BruCON does not interfere with or otherwise protect your content. For that reason, we cannot be, and are not responsible for the security of the information you transmit on the provided Internet access. Using a wireless network during a security conference is not without security risks.
Reminder: reading/editing information/software/hardware that does not belong to you or was not meant for you does not qualify you as 'l337' it only shows you are an '@$$h0l3'
Network survival tips
Here are a few survival tips:
- If possible bring a dedicated device to the conference with a fresh & limited set of (fully patched) applications and data.
- Don't bring confidential data with you and keep your USB sticks away from other participants.
- If you bring your regular device, perform a full backup of your data and restore them after the conference.
- Always encrypt everything! Your disks (TrueCrypt) as your network data (VPN, SSH tunnelling) and avoid unsecured protocols (POP3, IMAP, HTTP-auth, Twitter) like the plague. Do not trust anybody! Be prepared for the worst!
As a security measure and to avoid ARP cache poisoning you can set the MAC address of the gateway statically (static ARP). The gateway IP address and MAC address will be announced later
- On windows the command to set static arp: arp -s IP MAC
- On linux the command to set static arp: (sudo) arp -i eth0 -s IP MAC
Due to the open and unencrypted wireless network available, there are huge risks that people will try to tap your communications with the Internet during the conference. BruCON cannot be held responsible for the loss of confidentiality or potential disclosure of information you transmit over it.
Will there be food at Brucon?
Yes, since there is nothing to eat in the neighborhood of the venue, we will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner included in the income price. Taking that into consideration, we are one of the cheapest conferences out there.
Will there be Club Mate at Brucon?
YES!!!! Courtesy of Club Mate Belgium
What is the best Belgian Beer?
Come to the BruCON afterparty and find out. We will have several thousands of beer to choose from.
What is the perfect remedy against hangovers?
Don't drink too much beer the day before. ;-)
We are promoting some aspects of Belgium like our good Chocolate and fine Beers. Enjoy but use in moderation.
This FAQ didn't answer my questions, or was unclear, how can I get further information?
Please contact us if this FAQ didn't answer your questions.