Hackers in New York City

The upcoming Hackers On Planet Earth conference is dubbed The Last HOPE because the hotel where the conference is held may be demolished.

Michael Horowitz

Michael Horowitz wrote his first computer program in 1973 and has been a computer nerd ever since. He spent more than 20 years working in an IBM mainframe (MVS) environment. He has worked in the research and development group of a large Wall Street financial company, and has been a technical writer for a mainframe software company.

He teaches a large range of self-developed classes, the underlying theme being Defensive Computing. Michael is an independent computer consultant, working with small businesses and the self-employed. He can be heard weekly on The Personal Computer Show on WBAI.


Michael Horowitz
2 min read

If you are interested in computer hacking, then 2600 is for you. They publish a quarterly magazine, have a weekly radio show on WBAI in New York City, and are holding a conference in July, also in New York City.

Their conferences go by the name HOPE, for Hackers On Planet Earth. The upcoming conference is dubbed The Last HOPE because the hotel where the conference is held may be demolished. The first speakers for The Last HOPE conference were just announced. They are:

  • Kevin Mitnick, "the world's most dangerous hacker" in the eyes of the government and mass media, imprisoned for over five years, and now a successful computer security consultant.
  • Adam Savage, co-host of the TV show Mythbusters
  • Steven Rambam, private eye extraordinaire, who can find out anything about anybody and has always been willing to share his knowledge of privacy with the hacker community.
  • Steven Levy, author of Hackers: Heroes of the American Revolution and chief technology writer for Newsweek.
  • Jello Biafra, former lead singer of The Dead Kennedys and one of America's most interesting social activists.

The FBI prevented Steven Rambam from speaking at the 2006 HOPE conference, arresting him moments before his lecture. The case against him was later found to have no merit.

The Last HOPE will take place July 18-20 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, just across the street from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. If you are in town a day early, Ricky Gervais will be performing the Garden. Competing with the first day of the conference, the Dalai Lama will be in town. That's New York City, something for everyone, even in the summer.

Conference organizers expect to have over 100 presentations in four tracks. See also "Hacker confab 'Last HOPE' to track attendees with RFID".

Update June 6, 2008: Additional speakers/topics
* Crafting a Security-Enhanced Wikipedia - Virgil Griffith
* What's Wrong With Your Company's Website? - The Cheshire Catalyst
* VoIP (in)security: Italians Do It Better - Alessio L.R. Pennasilico aka mayhem
* SWF and the Malware Tragedy - BeF, fukami
* Simulating the Universe on Supercomputers - Mark Vogelsberger
* Ghetto IDS and Honeypots for the Home User - Black Ratchet
* How to Make Cool Things with Microprocessors - Mitch Altman
* The Phone Losers of America - Various PLA representatives
* Botnet Research, Mitigation, and the Law - Alex Muentz
* The (Im)possibility of Hardware Obfuscation - Karsten Nohl
* Evil Interfaces: Violating the User - Gregory Conti
* Macro Social Engineering - LexIcon
* Building a Hacker Space - Representatives of the Global Hacker Space Movement
* Current and Emerging Robotic Technologies - Ben Sgro
* Methods of Copying High Security Keys - Barry Wels, Han Fey
* Threat Modeling - Kevin M. Williams
* Monumental Women and their Influence on Modern Technology - L33tphreak
* RIAA Litigations: How the Tech Community Can Help - Ray Beckerman
* Autonomously Bypassing VoIP Filters with Asterisk - Blake Cornell
* AntiSocial Networking: Vulnerabilities in Social Nets - Nathan Hamiel, Shawn Moyer

See a summary of all my Defensive Computing postings.