Ever since the advent of the worldwide web and the idea of using it to better spread malicious software (otherwise known as malware) such as viruses, trojans, worms, adware, botnets, and more, IT security has become a booming, global industry that helps the modern-day man deal with the unique problems of the new millennium. On that note, as evidence of the growing cyber security awareness among computer and Internet users everywhere, an increasing multitude of IT security conferences and events have been appearing recently, with some of them taking place as long ago as two decades ago.
Counter Cyber Terrorism
These gatherings can serve as platforms wherein people can become enlightened of the dire realities of international security threats. They also mobilize academia, non-government organizations, businesses, and governments to make lectures about the global counter-cyber-terrorism effort. In any case, here's a list of the more popular IT security events across the entire globe:
As one of the foremost information-security- and cryptography-based conventions, the RSA Conference truly delivers high-quality content. Held annually at the San Francisco Bay Area, the RSA Conference first began in 1991 and has since then served as an important forum for the fields of cyber security, IT security, cryptography, software development, and technological advancements. What's more, since this RSA-managed convention is vendor-independent, it garners the support of the IT industry from all fronts without regard to sponsor influence and executive meddling.
The globally renowned DefCon (also known as DEF CON or DEFCON) is widely held by many as the world's biggest annual hacker convention based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's also one of the longest-running ones since it was established way back in June 1993. In 2008 alone, over eight thousand five hundred people (composed of hackers, crackers, federal government employees, lawyers, journalists, and computer security professionals) attended the event, and its popularity is ever-soaring up to this day because of increasing media exposure and influence over the IT security community.
The You Sh0t the Sheriff convention differentiates itself from the many other worldwide security events and conferences available by covering a dual range of topics on the cyber security (which pertains to online threat protection) and information technology security (which pertains to data safeguarding in general) fronts. In other words, it's the type of convention that'll open your eyes to what's really happening in the world of IT and cyber security in a plain yet frank manner.
ToorCon San Diego
This is one of the best conventions for top security experts to go to because it caters specifically to the cyber security and information protection fields. Its workshops aren't only informative, they're also practical, particularly its application security workshop that's perfect for the professionals in this industry who want to get a brief but well-rounded course on penetration testing and auditing software programs at the fraction of the cost of Black-Hat-promoted seminars. The software defined radio workshop for GNURadio USRP startup is also a very useful technology clinic to attend to as well.
Hacker Space Fest
Hacker conferences have traditionally served as informal congregations of brilliant minds who eschew the bureaucracies and pretentiousness of many a business-minded executive or propriety software vendor. In particular, the Hacker Space Fest is among the most down-to-earth hacker conventions you could ever find. However, its goal is an ambitious one—to bring together men and women from various technological and cultural backgrounds in order to unite them under the new religion of rational thinking and technological innovation.
The open security community has instituted NullCon in order to celebrate its never-ending quest for knowledge and the desire to carry on the legacy of "hull". Many a phreak, cracker, hacker, debugger, security expert, or researcher appreciates the symbolism behind the tech-savvy representation of "nothingness" and how it applies to this whole new digital age. Attempts to quantify the nonexistent aside, this entertaining and enlightening two-day event offers practical knowledge on how the modern world currently works.
Much less a hacker conference and more of an art movement, the world-renowned Burning Man festival is an event that promotes creative expression and information exchange of all kinds. Hackers and cyber security experts tend to congregate to meetings like this because of the comprehensive range of theme camps that cover every communicative subject under the sun, even those pertaining to information technology and security.
SummerCon is believed by many hackers to be one of the oldest and longest-running hacker conventions in existence. It's been held in numerous places across the world and has proven itself to be beyond pedestrian praise like "groundbreaking" or "educational"—it's the type of convention that's more of a social event and experience than a boring old sermon. It's a meeting of great minds that also serves as an incubator of wonderful, world-changing ideas.
This conference from North Carolina is a fairly young and recent one, with it being instituted as early as 2005. However, its influence on the IT community has grown significantly enough to warrant positive attention. As one of the fastest growing conventions out there, CarolinaCon prides itself in providing professional seminars, talks, and workshops. Its organizers also hire the best speakers to discuss the various attributes of information security, technology, and computing.
The FRHACK International IT Security Conference in France is the type of program that's organized by hackers for hackers (as claimed by its official slogan). It's a convention that holds in high-esteem the hacker and his ability to explore, deconstruct, and manipulate programmable systems in order to test their limits and improve their overall design. It is the FRHACK organizers' belief that these geniuses and their talent in understanding the inner workings of a network or system should be commended and encouraged instead of scorned.
This annual, three-day hacker conference has been around since the latter part of the nineties; 1998, to be exact. It's a gathering wherein enthusiasts from across Italy congregate, particularly activists supporting the digital freedom movement. It takes place in different Italian and European cities every year, and is composed of two programs: the Lanspace and the workshop. It also covers a wide range of IT topics such as freeware in general, GNU or Linux systems, the digital divide, artificial intelligence, and cryptography.
Black Hat Conference
This conference is among the most well-known ones in existence, and for good reason; it's considered by many experts, government officials, tech gurus, and vanguards in cyber security to be the official and original hacker convention for the growing online and information security threats. It has traveled the world and it is composed of a successful two-section system that covers black hat trainings and black hat briefings.
This computer security conference's ability to bring together high-quality speakers that serve as representatives of companies and federal agencies as well as hackers is its main strength. Its lectures are sure to provide a wealth of knowledge that informs, educates, and enlightens attendees about the present state of IT and how people could adapt to these contemporary trends and future developments. SEC-T assures that no technology enthusiast will be left behind when it comes to cyber security news and current events.
Open Source Bridge
This annual open source conference attracts a myriad of representatives from the highest level of civil, government, and business society across the globe. Speakers and participants of this congregation will typically carry this meeting's agenda back to their respective industries, thus making the Open Source Bridge a true "bridge" of mutual cooperation and harmony in the IT community.
As the new kid on the block, the locally based BruCon conference isn't half bad. Sure, its organizers still has a lot to learn in order to achieve the prestige that other long-running gatherings have earned, but because of the hearty support and positive feedback of its attendees, volunteers, and speakers alike, the sponsors for this event are inspired enough to keep this particular congregation running as part of the new generation of conventions.
Maintaining computer and information security in the face of a multitude of threats is a global concern, and as such deserves a worldwide series of conferences on the subject. The EC-Council delivers just that and more by organizing conventions specifically developed to raise international awareness of cyber and IT security hazards. From incident response and computer forensics to social engineering, this congress of sorts assures the highest order of comprehensive learning.
Founded way back in 2003 and running for seven years now, the East West Institute's Worldwide Security Conference serves as the organization's answer to concerns across both sides of the Atlantic regarding the need to create a more complex, dependable, and united security policy development. Its cyber security program (one of the company's many worldwide security programs) has become an important part of the yearly event since it has been expanded to cover the protection of infrastructure, economies, and people from online threats like hacking, malware spread, and identity theft.
This technology and information security congress organizer handles a variety of seminars, camps, conferences, and lectures within Germany. It's dedicated in offering the best lectures and workshops available and covers a wide range of topics such as (but not limited to) cryptography, the Internet, cyber security, information technology, and the critical-creative attitude towards technological advances in general as well as roundtable discussions about the effects of technology on modern-day society.
Who says a convention needs to a big corporate affair in order to be successful? The NeighborCon conference proves that small town gatherings can make for a worthwhile event as well. The meeting provides short but sweet lectures from enterprising panhandlers to generous technology experts who want to share their world-changing knowledge at no extra cost or catch. As a congregation filled with neighborly friends and colleagues who'll help you map out your plans, hatch your tactics, and widen your technological perspective, NeighborCon is second to none.
DeepSec maintains its non-product, non-vendor-biased policies despite its strong multinational following by catering to the IT and cyber security community at large (particularly policy makers and hackers). The lectures and workshops it presents aren't only after shallow discussion of theories; every single information passed through this conference has great relevance and influence in the field of innovation and data exchange, which is part of the reason why it's so well-attended in the first place.
The ToorCamp convention is the kind of convention where you can never expect what you're going to experience. Not only are its outdoor conditions a touch unpredictable, the event itself encourages spontaneity and a burst of out-of-box creativity from its guests and speakers alike. Just as the camp format of the event forces the conference attendees to adjust to the circumstances of their environment, so too must everyone in the cyber security industry accommodate the present evolution of technology and the Internet.
Even though this convention caters more to robotics than technology in general, quite a lot of hackers have been looking into the role of cocktail robotics as a directory for the incorporation of technological advancements into human life or to record the growing occurrence of extreme hedonism in man-machine communication. These are the type of topics that technologist and futurist hackers live for, in a sense.
The Chaos Singularity (Cosin) convention isn't just a convention with a pretty cool name. It's a radical, non-profit movement dedicated to promulgating digital freedom from the tyranny of big business and corporate bureaucracy. It covers the needs of hackers, geeks, security experts, game developers, and many other tech-savvy individuals that want to spread disorder in the stifling environment of the world establishment. It challenges beliefs, promotes activism, encourages the do-it-yourself principle, and promulgates a long-overdue revolution on the technical and political fields.
As one of the technological frontiers of the new information age, India will most certainly not be left behind when it comes to IT conventions. Even though its very own ClubHack event only started in 2007, the conference is certainly gaining momentum in terms of quality information. It has all the prerequisites of lectures, paper presentations, hands-on trainings, workshops, and roundtable conferences; what's more, it is gaining significant headway in terms of popularity as more and more attention is being focused onto it.
This C3L (Chaos Computer Club Luxembourg) convention is a closely knit type of open-air hacker space meeting designed to fuel the creative juices of local hacker activists. The program's itinerary includes a demonstration of basic network attacks, workshops about the mallory.lu project, geocaching activities, OSM mapping action, an open-air cinema, a press conference on Biometric Passports, a tutorial on the basics of stalking your network neighbor, and much, much more. If you're in the area, feel free to join in on the hacker fun, and check the C3L site for regular updates on the latest congregation.
This 1984-initiated congress is undoubtedly one of the longest-running conventions in existence, so each and every installment it has is backed up by the momentum of its own legacy and history. This event has seen it all and has been through it all, so attendees can only expect the very best in lectures, hands-on events, workshops, and support from the local and international IT community as well as the sponsorship of multinational companies and policy-making bodies alike.
The GPN is not only an annual event; it's also Entropia's pride and joy convention, and as such it receives a lot of preparatory buildup and follow-up meetings across the globe all-year-round in order to ensure its success year after year. The organizers also work hard to release a steady stream of information for the event in order to maintain its momentum till the moment of truth arrives. Its meticulous groundwork is what makes this particular hacker congregation so renowned.
As expected of a casual, hacker-run convention, the PhreakNIC appears at first glance to be more of a party than a technology convention. Then again, even brilliant minds need to rest from time to time, so the meeting's fun-filled atmosphere can be forgiven. Don't let the barrage of hamburgers, hotdogs, and musicians fool you; informalities aside, the exchange of important hacker-based ideas, techniques, methods, workshops, panel talks, tips and tricks, lectures, and policies to best test the utter limits of different applications, systems, and networks assure you that this is no mere frat-boy bash.
PlumberCon is simply masterful when it comes to adapting itself to the present state of technology, cyber security, and the hacker community at present. Its ability to combine a wealth of knowledge from luminaries in the fields of hardware and software development, digital freedom activism, and information technology is what makes it such a versatile and relevant convention. It also features hands-on workshops and lectures on socializing, music, art, hardware hacking, IT security, and technology in general.
To become a forum for unlimited, unrestricted, uncensored, and unrestrained information exchange is BrumCon's main reason for existing. It is one of the best conventions to go to when it comes to covering a wide range of topics concerning technology or the events happening within the technological world. The topics of particular interest that are usually discussed in this congregation includes social engineering or experimentation, phreaking or telephony talks, hacking and security panels, and wireless communication technologies.
Summer Camp Garrotxa
"Comprehensive" does not begin to describe the type of scheduled activities that the annual Summer Camp Garrotxa has to offer. From technology gurus to game developers, this camp's eclectic tastes in lecturers and subject matter will leave attendees clamoring for more. To give you a better idea of what this particular three-day hacker convention is all about, here is a summarized list of lectures and workshops included in its program: Radare, XSS for fun and profit, roundtable discussion on the topic "How to Solve the Spectrum Problem on Free Networks?", open hardware and electronics with GNU or Linux, and workshops on CSK, Nixos, and DoS over TCP/IP.
This hacker convention doesn't claim itself to be the hacker convention to end all hacker conventions, but in terms of substance over style, it certainly delivers. For instance, even though this is a closely knit and neighborly conference with nary a promotion or sponsor to panhandle their wares, it still presents you with many opportunities to learn advanced hacking techniques like displaying text and images in network log graphs whenever you feel like it via blasting traffic to designated ports on a firewall at precisely timed periods.
Hacker Spaces Meet Up
This is an ambitious project wherein the organizers of the event will attempt to get as many hacker spaces available at the same time and at the same place. This particular consortium intends to get a little bit of everything IT-security-related included into the whole seminar—from hacker space problem-solution talks to advanced hacking workshops—so that it'll be known in the convention circuit as a jack-of-all-trades congress of sorts.