Round 3 at Converge
Converge 2018 and Bsides Detroit was May 10-12. 3 days of infosec talks, workshops and challenges. I volunteered this year and had an amazing time (as I usually do at conferences). In case you missed out on the fun or are looking to catch up, check out Irongeek’s website for the recorded talks.
Converge is a smaller conference if you’re used to hearing about Conferences like Shmoocon, DerbyCon, and Defcon. However we still manage to fill three days with awesome content. Instead of my usual daily play by play of what I do at conferences I want to share some of the things that made Converge 2018 great.
There were many great speakers at the conference, some with names that you’d instantly recognize and others who were giving their first ever talk. There were two tracks and many topics. There were four categories: hackers, security operations, IT engineers, and developers. Many talks covered multiple topics which was pretty cool.
On a more personal note, many friends in #misec gave amazing talks. I have notes on things I now need to explore further or remember to get back to. It’s great to see such involvement from the local community
Something that started last year was longer workshops outside of the talks. This year there were multiple workshops on Thursday and Friday. Topics ranged from presentation skills to starting out with malware.
Since I was volunteering, I didn’t think to join workshops. I should have know that it was possible to work my schedule around to make it easy to attend one. That’s definitely my plan for next year since workshops are not recorded like talks.
This year, CTF 313 rocked throughout the conference once again. CTF 313 is a challenge based CTF with many categories. Boot2root, cryptography, forensics, and physical are just a few. Winning the CTF, either alone or on a team, means getting a black badge to the conference as well.
I was able to do a few of challenges by escaping handcuffs in under 5 minutes and helping a friend with the boot2root category. It was a lot of fun and I got to introduce others into lock-picking while brushing off some rust on my own skills.
Converge is one of my favorite conferences. Not just because it’s in my backyard, but because it’s an awesome atmosphere. The organizers, speakers, staff, sponsors, and attendees all care about learning and sharing their skills. As soon as I get home I’m thinking of things I need to learn, start doing, or projects I want to join.
The people make the con, and converge is no exception. There may be larger conferences but I’d argue there’s none better.
Converge 2019 is on the calendar and early bird tickets are already on sale! I hope to see you there.