Well, I had fun. You have to be basically a kill joy to not have fun in Vegas.
Black Hat is getting busier and busier every year, and this year is no exception. There would have been easily three thousand folks at the event, and it was approximately 1.5-2.5 thousand too many, especially during breaks when it was basically impossible to change locations.
They made Black Hat smoke free! FINALLY! I wrote a strongly worded e-mail to Jeff Moss a couple of years ago after being smoked out by an extreme minority*. As I suspected, the 17 dying puffers who were displaced from killing us all upstairs were down the bottom of the escalators, and they seemed pretty lonely compared to the insane numbers upstairs.
The talks I attended were as were light on for solutions as I’d expected with one surprise – Billy Hoffman had a couple of slides on how to prevent the Ajax nastiness. He must have left that bit out of his outline.
The hallway track was excellent, met up with Jason Wood, my ex-boss at the NAB for breakfast, Justin Derry, an ex-colleague from b-sec, and a bunch of folks who I talk to over e-mail and hadn’t met until this year, and of course all the usuals like Jeremiah and RSnake.
The WASC / OWASP meet up was awesome – nearly 350 people turned up and got a bit plastered. It was very cool to meet up with everyone there. Huge kudos to Breach Security for organizing and sponsoring the event!
So will I go again? Most likely – the networking and hallway track are awesome and worth the effort. Will I submit a paper or talk there again? No. They simply don’t deserve it. I will give those talks to conferences who are into cutting edge research and solutions, not just yesteryear’s issues and non-problems.
* Folks in IT are generally too smart to smoke. I usually equate smoking to being reckless and / or stupid when doing interviews. Both attributes are a bad sign if you’re a contractor