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DerbyCon "The Reunion" Kicks Off In Louisville

An Estimated 1,700 people arrived in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday for DerbyCon, a weekend filled with training, technical discussions, and fine Kentucky bourbon. This year will be the second time DerbyCon has taken place, hence the conference’s theme of “The Reunion”. If the mood from the attendees is anything to go by, things are off to a great start.

DerbyCon 2012For the uninitiated, DerbyCon has several talk tracks scheduled, where speakers have about an hour to present, along side the stable talk area, where speakers offer shorter talks, which last about 30 minutes. This is in addition to the hardware hacking area and the lock picking area. For those who like a challenge, there is a game of Capture the Flag going on all weekend, which is available for players of all levels and skill.

During the opening ceremony on Friday afternoon, DerbyCon co-founder Dave Kennedy gave an enthusiastic address, welcoming the filled to capacity room to the family.

“That’s really the vibe we like to give off here,” Kennedy remarked to his newly minted extended family.

“We’re all friends, we’re all equals here, there’s no private parties, there’s no exclusivity; speakers are all the same level as the attendees, we all have our own individual experience in the security industry and that’s really why we started DerbyCon,” Kennedy said.

The opening ceremony offered those new to the event a bit of a background on the conference, as well as a caveat of “be nice to the network.” Perhaps that is a standard request for a security event, but at DerbyCon – it might not be needed. However, pranks will happen and have happened before at DerbyCon, including the touchscreen system in the hotel’s lobby – that seems to be a favorite toy for a select few.

Another interesting note on the opening ceremony was the award given to Johnny Long, the founder of Hackers for Charity (HFC). Long’s giving spirit is a fixture in the hacking community, and he has inspired hundreds of others to volunteer their time and skills to help organizations and people in need. Last year, HFC raised more money at DerbyCon than any other conference, with attendees giving over $11,000.

DerbyCon runs through Sunday, the event is sold out. SecurityWeek will be bringing coverage of the event all weekend long.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.