Jonathan Tomek

Jonathan Tomek

What the world needs now, is HAM sweet HAM

Do you know why the hacker community is so interested in HAM radio? You probably do; it is the ultimate nerd hobby. It invokes a variety of abilities involving multiple competencies and skills. What skills you may ask? Too many to list here…

Devices from IoT to satellites to power meters all use radio signals to communicate. Since security is often an after-thought, it is the wild west in the radio realm for a hacker.

Let’s introduce you to some things to increase your appetite for becoming a HAM. Whether you have an SDR laying around or hand-held you have had since the last hackercon, you should to know how to use it. For those HAMs out there, this should still get you excited to try something new. Since it wouldn’t be Cyphercon without the “cypher”, there will be some fun things here to spir the curiosity in your old hackerself.


Antoinette Stevens

Antoinette Stevens

A Kinesthetic Approach to Learning Encryption

Kinesthetic (also sometimes referred to as tactile) learning style usually means that someone learns best by physically doing something to fully learn and memorize a topic. As a kinesthetic learner, it is a must for me to see and fully engage with a topic before I grasp it fully. I’ve found that Capture The Flag (CTF) competitions are the best way for me to fully understand security concepts because I can read about it and understand the concepts and then apply it and watch it in action, creating a full multi-sensory learning experience that helps me to retain those concepts in my memory for later use. This talk explores my approach to learn more about RSA and AES through the recreation of CTF challenges. We’ll look at my (very long and extremely frustrating) process of recreating an AES ECB challenge and an RSA short key-length challenge, the lessons I learned from both, the lessons I’m still trying to understand, and why I believe it doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice or an expert, CTFs are the best way to learn something new —especially if you have a kinesthetic learning style.


Jim Nitterauer

Decrypting the Mess that is SSL /TLS Negotiation – Preparing for the 2020 Apocalypse

Recently, all major browser vendors agreed in principle to end support for TLS (Transport Layer Security) versions 1.0 and 1.1 in 2020. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) version 3.0 support was removed from Chrome in early 2015 effectively ending the use of SSL completely. Akamai will discontinue support for TLS 1.0/1.1 on January 7th, 2019. These protocols have all been found to have various vulnerabilities that no longer make them safe for use in the negotiation of secure connections between end points.

With the deprecation of these cryptographic protocols, several new security exploits have come to light. These exploits including Heartbleed, POODLE, BEAST, CRIME and others attempt to disrupt the availability of services or stealing data. The most common service using TLS is obviously web traffic that is transmitted via https. Since SSL and TLS are secure connection negotiation protocols, the process for establishing a secure connection can be used for almost any type of traffic. Some of the more common ones aside from https are DNS, VPN, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP. All rely on the ability of client and server to understand a common protocol and the ability to negotiate a connection based upon a commonly understood version.

Many server-side instances still utilize older versions that support deprecated SSL/TLS versions leaving them vulnerable to availability and integrity attacks. Many client applications have the same issues with many of those built into IOT devices which are rarely upgraded.

We needed to find a means to understand what types of conversations were happening on our publicfacing proxy services. We noticed a rash of SSL downgrade attacks that resulted in intermittent outages.

We also wanted to be able to proactively engage our customers by letting them know that they had devices on their network reaching out to us using deprecated or soon to be deprecated SSL/TLS versions.

This talk will provide a quick overview of the major SSL/TLS versions along with their major vulnerabilities. I will then discuss how we were able to use some F5 iRule magic on our load balancers combined with Graylog (a log aggregation platform) to track as well as block undesirable client and server connections to our proxy end points. This strategy can easily be adapted to any protocol scenario that uses TLS connection negotiation.


J Wolfgang Goerlich

J Wolfgang Goerlich

Encryption, Silver Bullets, and Holy Water

Werewolves attack? We have silver bullets. Vampires attack? We have holy water. Criminal hackers attack? We have encryption. Or at least, that’s how we’d like it to play out. The villains come and the heroes beat them back. But too often, encryption is like water without the holy, bullets without the silver. The configuration is wrong, or the code is incomplete, or other simple flaws trip us up. This talk will cover how and where to architect for encryption to get real protection


Eric Escobar

Eric Escobar Matt Orme

Matt Orme

Remote Wireless Pentesting in a nutshell (or ammo can)

Wireless pentesting typically requires physical proximity to a target which requires time, limited resources, and constant traveling. Eric & Matt have pioneered an inexpensive device to covertly perform wireless pentests anywhere on earth. Their unique solution to the problem centers around the ability to perform a wireless pentest remotely. To achieve this lofty goal they did what any hackers would do; scrounge up pieces and parts until they had a workable prototype that could phone home via multiple LTE connections and give remote access to the wireless environment surrounding their device. Much improved since it’s tangle of wires and packing peanuts, a year later their device has compromised dozens of enterprise networks spanning 3 continents. In this talk we’ll discuss why we built it, how it works, and why we think it will revolutionize wireless pentesting.


Dustin Heywood (EvilMog)

Dustin Heywood (EvilMog)

Automating Hashtopolis

This talk will cover the basics of using the Hashtopolis user-api to automate functions in Hashtopolis. This talk will cover connecting to an HTP instance, creating hashlists, creating attacks, recovering plaintext, user creation and more.

Benjamin Brown

Benjamin Brown

More Than Tor : Shining a Light on Different Corners of the Dark Web

When the terms darknet or dark web are invoked it is almost always in reference to the Tor network, but what about the other extant darknet frameworks? A true understanding of the dark web would be impossible and misleading if it only included the Tor network. In this talk I will expand the field of view to include frameworks such as Freenet, I2P, and OpenBazaar. We’ll take a quick look at the origins and technical underpinnings of these darknets as well as their actors and offerings. I will also discuss the differentiators that set these networks apart from Tor and highlight why they too should be included in modeling our knowledge of the dark web. Audience members will walk away with a fuller understanding of the internet’s hidden corners, the goals of its users, and the technologies that help keep them in the dark.


Josh Bressers

Josh Bressers

Spelunking the Bitcoin blockchain

There are few topics that capture the imagination and headlines like Bitcoin. Many of us understand what Bitcoin is and how it works on a technical level. Bitcoin’s blockchain is a bit like art; sometime you just have to see it with your own eyes.
What if we use modern big data tools to store the blockchain data in a format that can be searched, viewed, and explored? Once you can see the data you can start to discover what Bitcoin is and how it works. It stops being ones and zeros and becomes a story we can watch unfold.
We tend to think about Bitcoin in the context of moving coins around. The coins that get mined and traded are certainly interesting but they’re not the whole story. There are plenty of other interesting aspects in the Bitcoin data. Watching the difficulty of the work, seeing how time of day and seasons affect the transactions flowing through the system. Even understanding what some of the upper bounds on what Bitcoin will be able to accomplish are. We can explore this data in a visual way that can be understood.
The most interesting part of Bitcoin isn’t the coin however. It’s something called nonstandard transactions. Most transactions in the blockchain are strings of data that move coins around. But a transaction isn’t limited to only moving around coins, it can be any random string of data. There are a substantial number of transactions that contain unique and interesting strings. Strings that don’t move the coins around, strings that contain messages. Strange things that only the anonymous person who placed it there may ever understand. There are hundreds of thousands of nonstandard transactions in Bitcoin’s blockchain. We have the ability to see them now, it feels like finding a secret note someone left behind.
Let’s spend some time looking at all this data. What can we learn about how Bitcoin works. What are some trends we’re seeing. And most importantly what are some of the secrets the blockchain holds for us to find. The best part is everything we look at is open data and all the tools we use are open source. You can continue the investigation on your own using what you learn in this session as your inspiration and guide.


Vi Grey

Vi Grey

Bet You Never Played an NES Game like This: Innovating Under Limitations

We all know someone who has a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) sitting around collecting dust.  The 1980s gaming console was limited in its capabilities, but just how much wiggle room does that leave for mischief?  In this talk, Vi Grey will demonstrate how it is possible to innovate under the limitations the NES restricts us with to create new ways a person can interact with a game.  You will see NES games that are also fully functioning web pages and ZIP files, console memory dumps that can be opened as JPEG images, game cartridges that secretly contain other entire NES games, and much more.