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2600 HOPE conference bringing hacking to New York City

About the upcoming hacking conference

The list of talks is now firm for the upcoming hacker conference, known as The Last HOPE. Organized by 2600, who you may know from their weekly radio show, Off The Hook, on WBAI-FM or their quarterly magazine, the conference will be held July 18th through the 20th at the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan.


The 100 scheduled talks cover not only the expected computer hacking, but many other types of hacking too. Among the topics for computer techies are:

  • Crippling Crypto: The Debian OpenSSL Debacle
  • A fundamental flaw in virtualization
  • Malicious User Interface techniques
  • Intrusion Detection and Honeypots for the Home User
  • Hacking with Microcontrollers
  • Hacking the Business Traveler
  • Identification Card Security
  • Reverse Engineering Proprietary Algorithms
  • Hacking the TI MSP430
  • IPv6, the Next Generation
  • Penetration Testing with Firefox
  • Penetration Testing Using LiveCDs
  • PGP vs. PKI
  • RFID (a talk and a large demo)
  • Malware with Adobe's Flash
  • VoIP (in)security
  • VLAN Layer 2 Attacks
  • XSS Vectored Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

The non-computer hacking topics include:

  • Biohacking - An Overview (about modifying DNA)
  • Brain Hacking
  • Consumer Electronics Hacking
  • Hacking the Media
  • Hacking Sex
  • Hacking the Price of Food
  • Food Hacking
  • Hacking the Post Office

Anyone interested in security in the real world has a lot to choose from, including:

  • Escaping High Security Handcuffs
  • Design Defects in High Security Locks
  • Methods of Copying High Security Keys
  • Maintaining a Locksporting Organization
  • Safecracking
  • Ask a Spy a Question
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Physical Access Control Systems
  • Bug Detection (not programming errors, surveillance bugs)

If you are interested in computer hacking but don't have a techie background, try the presentations on "No-Tech Hacking" and "Social Engineering."

Anyone who flies on commercial airlines may be interested in the "Bagcam" presentation by someone who put a small camera in their checked luggage to learn "exactly how TSA or the airlines managed to destroy your luggage". Also covered, "what security measures are actually in place once your checked luggage disappears from view?" Travelers may also be interested in "Warrantless Laptop Searches at U.S. Borders".

Voters would be interested in "Building a Better Ballot Box" and "Hacking Democracy: An In Depth Analysis of the ES&S Voting Systems".

New Yorkers may be interested in "The Art of Do-Foo" talk which aims to use statistics to "quantify successes and failures with the New York City community" and "isolate the key factors that have both positively and negatively influenced the culture in our region". There is also a talk on Privacy vs. Utility in the New York City Taxi System.

Among the featured presenters are Steven Levy author of "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" published in 1984. The book was a defining work about the hacker culture. Kevin Mitnick, arguably the most famous hacker of all, will also be a featured speaker, as will Steven Rambam, an expert on privacy, who was arrested by the FBI prior to his talk at the previous HOPE conference.

If getting to New York City is impractical, 2600 is planning a hacker radio station during the conference to "give additional talk and interview time to the conference's speakers, broadcast the keynotes and other popular seminars, and offer attendees who don't speak at the podium a chance to share their ideas."

Information about the speakers is available at An interactive schedule is available at

Think of it as the summer semester at hacking school.

See a summary of all my Defensive Computing postings.