Tentative Speaker List
The following speakers have submitted abstracts for presentations at
PhreakNIC 9. Selection will be finalized by the end of August and scheduling
will be set by mid September.
- Jason Scott - The BBS Documentary
Jason will briefly talk about the
experience of collecting the footage for the documentary before
explaining the finer points of the drinking game. We will then
watch said documentary and enjoy ourselves.
- Amy H. Sturgis, PhD - Still Big Brother After All These Years
What dystopian futures have been predicted by science
fiction? Which predictions speak directly to 21st century realities?
George Orwell's 1984 was not the first work of literature to suggest
a dystopian future, but its vision of Big Brother, memory holes,
and Newspeak introduced a new vocabulary to those who were
concerned about the growth of state power and control. Join Amy as
she considers 1984, the tradition it has informed, and why works
of dystopian science fiction are relevant in today's political,
social, and technological climate.
- Acidus - Layer 7 Fun : Extending Web Apps in Interesting Ways
Modern Web applications offer an amazing array of services. Complex
systems like Gmail, Google Maps, Flickr, and Outlook Web Access are
accessible by anyone with just a browser. While these services offer
a range of capabilities, people are extending these applications by
writing web apps that run on top of other web apps. GMail File System,
Housing maps, and ChicagoCrime.org are excellent examples of
increasing the utility of a web app without having access to its code
or the consent of the original creator.
We will discuss some technologies used in complex web apps (AJAX, RSS,
backend databases) and discuss how to directly interface with them.
We will discuss the legality of extending existing web apps. I will
be referencing an application I wrote that runs on top of TinyURL as
a case study and release the code.
- A Myers/D VanBelleghem - Smoke and Mirrors
Security experts and IT managers have been preaching against security
through obscurity for years. The general tone being that obscurity
could not be relied on to protect critical infrastructure assets.
The goal of this session is to illustrate how appropriate methods
of obscurity and misdirection can be an effective defensive
strategy used to enhance the security posture of a system or
organization. Using various techniques coupled with Intrusion
Detection Systems and honeypot technologies, misdirection and
obscurity can prevent successful attacks while forcing
would-be-hackers to unwittingly reveal themselves. This session
will encompass the application of misdirection and obscurity at
the protocol, operating system and application level layers. This
presentation will show case a collection of misdirection techniques
that have been collected from numerous government and Fortune 500
client risk assessment engagements.
- Ethan McCargar - Dr. Cablelove, or "How I Learned to Stop
Worrying and Love the QAM"
Learn the theory and practice of creating creating an analog TV
channel, and how to insert it into a cable network without
bollocksing everything up. We will cover analog and digital cable
theory, troubleshooting, and practice. Possible ideas as to what
you can do with your own cable channel(s) in your house and others
will also be covered. A basic understanding of how to turn a
T.V. on and off as well as the ability to change channels is
recommended for understanding this presentation.
- MaxieZ - Web Security 101
An indepth look at the security systems in place on most
web sites and vulnerabilities in sites leading to unwanted access.
This covers http authentication, http referring and most importantly
php/cgi attacks leading to remote execution.
- Decius - The Rant
Who knows what Decius will rant about once we get a few beers
- Scott Milliken - MythTV Isn't As Hard As You Think
In this presentation it will be demonstrated just how quickly
and easily one can set up MythTV using KnoppMyth. Using the most
common platform components (Hauppauge TV cards and NVidia video)
it can be a very painless transition from blank hard drive to
capturing cartoons. He will actually start with a pre-assembled
PC but with a blank hard drive and create a working MythTV box in
less than the allotted time of 50 minutes.
- Greg Zapf - Vehicular Computing: What, How and Why?
Greg Zapf will review the basic hardware requirements and offer a
collection of applications which will assist anyone comfortable
with system building to construct and operate an in-car computer
for, at minimum, basic media playback purposes. He'll also
discuss general system design principles as applied to in-car
computing (safety vs. functionality, pricing by feature, media
and data... transport or sync?) PhreakNIC 7 attendees saw his
Corolla computer with very early car computing features... this
time he's bringing the latest and greatest and will provide a
demo during the Q&A portion of the presentation.
- Kenneth Swain - Hacker to Professional
Information Security currently has a disease and it is the current
crop of managers. The majority of those individuals have
letters behind ther name and that is about it. You have people
running Information Security departments that do not know how a
hacker thinks. Most of these people would be worried if they
ever heard anyone of their employees talking about 2600 or
phrack. They do not think. They are just worried that someone
might know more then they do. The only way this can change is with
those that we currently put in jail for exploring and
experimenting. We need more of these people to take the reigns and
lead companies in the direction of real security and not just
trying to buy magic bullets. We need to get more people in their
ranks so we can change things from the inside.
- Tom Cross and Nick Levay - Information Warfare for
The People Tom Cross and Nick Levay from the Industrial
Memetics Institute will be speaking about their ongoing explorations
of social information architecture. Topics covered will include
future directions for the MemeStreams software, Web 2.0, community
grouping, and meme flow in social networks. They will also be
unveiling a patch for MediaWiki designed to improve the reliability
of Wikipedia articles.
- Prof. Robert Knop - Blender: Rendering and Animating in 3D for
Astronomy Blender is a free (as in GPL) 3D modelling,
rendering and animation package. In this talk, Robert will describe
how he's used it together with GIMP and Mencoder to create
animations and used in teaching introductory astronomy. Some of his
movies can be found online here.
- dc0de - Outbound Content Compliance
Outbound Content Compliance is a growing industry within Information
Security. This area of control watches traffic and data in networks
to scan the content for potential violations of policy. With the
increase in visibility of personal data loss, organizations are
increasingly coming under fire to tighten their controls, and ensure
data privacy to the consumer. Today, several 1st generation
products provide the visibility to the "data leakage", providing
the ability to modify existing controls to prevent further data loss.
2nd Generation products are on the immediate horizon, promising the
ability to leverage the existing Information Security architectures
to not only identify content in violation, but to prevent it's
release into the "wild".
This presentation will define the scope of the product market, the
abilities of the products today, and discuss how they will effect
not only the consumer, but the enterprise end user, the IT employee,
and the InfoSec employee. Lastly, a demonstration of one of the
products will also be included. This presentation is not meant to
be a sales presentation, but an exploration in how outbound
content compliance will effect you and your computer experience.
- Catonic - Professional Wifi: How to Build Reliable Links
Ever wondered exactly how much engineering goes into professionally
installing WiFi links to 99.999% availibility? In this talk, Catonic
will be covering calculating path loss, Fresnel zones, Gain, Power,
and other advanced topics which when combined are used to design RF
links between two locations. Additionally, Catonic will be providing
an armchair analysis of the factors considered when Team PAD planned
and then executed this year's record WiFi shot of 125 miles.
- Rodney Thayer - A Security Analysis of Skype
This presentation will apply a security analyst's evaluation for the
SKYPE (Voice over IP) Product and Service. It will present an
analysis from three points of view: an enduser evaluation, an
engineering assessment, and an attacker's target assessment. The
purpose of this presentation is to provide a briefing to
network/security technologists on the state of the defenses within
the system, and points of potential risk, so as to aid in answering
the question: "Is Skype safe to use?"
- Virgil - Artifical Life: Evolving the Way to Artificial Intelligence
In the natural world, all known examples of even modest intelligence
are products of the evolution of nervous systems living within an
ecology. Artificial Life (Alife) is the study of natural selection
acting on artificial organisms living within a computational
environment. Alife simulations can replicate many of the forces behind
the evolution of intelligence. Genetic algorithms can act as natural
selection, neural networks can capture many aspects of real nervous
systems, and virtual ecologies can provide a complex environment for
fostering competition and cooperation. I will present a brief
overview of the field, its recent development, as well as some of the
research I've been doing on the "Polyworld" artificial life system.
Polyworld is one particular alife simulator in which virtual
organisms with artificial genetics, vision, neural networks, and
learning compete for survival. I will show some of the behaviors
we've seen in Polyworld such as foraging, flocking, niche formation,
and tribalism. There will be humorous anecdotes, SEX, soothing
animations, VIOLENCE, and a source code release at no additional
- Strick - Croquet, or "How I Learned to Quite HTMLing and Pass the Virtual Joint"
For information about Croquet, check out