$500 Billion Broadband Scandal: It’s Time to Break Up AT&T... Again

Bruce Kushnick

America was supposed to be a fiber optic nation and the telecom pipes were supposed to be open to all forms of competition. Customers paid over half a trillion dollars to make this happen by 2018 - and that’s the low number. Through mergers and the takeover of the FCC and some state commissions, today there are only a few companies that have taken control of most of America’s broadband, Internet, cable TV, phone, satellite, and wireless services. How do we fix net neutrality, get back our privacy, stop the overcharging, and finally get gig speeds and open pipes? Hear how to hold them accountable for their misdeeds and take the final step: It’s time to break up AT&T, Verizon, and the cable companies... again.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1200 Booth

Accessibility, Dammit!


Accessibility is for everyone, and yet not everyone is for accessibility. Security has gone from being a layer atop existing products to a ubiquitous and pervasive presence in information technology. Accessibility should be second nature as well. This talk will delve into the subject and discover where progress is being made and where it is failing, where we are and what is on the horizon, how it overlaps and how it complements other tech fields, and why you should be for accessibility too.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1600 Ritchie

"And This Is It?" - What Went Wrong with Surveillance Reform After Snowden

Jeff Landale, Sean Vitka, Marcy Wheeler, Sue Udry, Alex Marthews

After the passage of the USA Freedom Act, former NSA director Michael Hayden was flabbergasted at the lack of restrictions placed on the NSA. "And this is it after two years? Cool!" What happened? The panel will discuss the failures of the post-Snowden surveillance reform movement and examine the divergences and conflicts between think tanks and grassroots organizations on strategy, tactics, and goals that allowed the surveillance reform sphere to fail to capitalize on the massive public interest in domestic and global spying.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2000 Booth

ArduTouch Music Synthesizer Kit: Music Generation for Newbies

Mitch Altman

This is an inexpensive Arduino-compatible musical instrument with a touch keyboard, amp, and speaker that anyone can make. It is easy to build - designed for total beginners to learn to solder together. It’s a very low cost method for making music/sound/noise, and a fun way to learn digital signal processing (DSP) for generating music/sound/noise. This talk will show beginners how the ArduTouch music synthesizer kit makes use of DSP to create its large diversity of music/sound/noise. Mitch will also explain how the touch keyboard works, as well as the cheap amplifier/speaker built into the board. The ArduTouch Arduino library works on any Arduino board and Mitch will demonstrate how to make use of this library to create your own unique synthesizers - both by hacking some of the many examples it comes with, or by making use of its high-level functions. This talk will also include a demo of some of the music the ArduTouch can make, as well as some wonderful nasty noise!

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1400 Booth

Ask the EFF: The Year in Digital Civil Liberties

Kurt Opsahl, Vivian Brown, Bill Budington, Sydney Li, Cooper Quintin

Get the latest information about how the law is racing to catch up with technological change from staffers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the nation’s premiere digital civil liberties group fighting for freedom and privacy in the computer age. This session will include updates on current EFF issues, such as the government’s effort to undermine encryption (and add backdoors), the fight for network neutrality, discussion of EFF’s technology projects to spread encryption across the web and emails, updates on cases and legislation affecting security research, and much more. Half the session will be given over to question-and-answer, so it’s your chance to ask EFF questions about the law and technology issues that are important to you.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1300 Vaughan

ATT&CKing with Threat Intelligence

Cody Thomas, Christopher Korban

MITRE’s ATT&CK is a community-driven knowledge base and model for cyber adversary behavior, reflecting the various phases of an adversary’s life cycle and the platforms they are known to target. By scoping the wide breadth of the MITRE ATT&CK matrix to focus initially on the techniques used by threat actors you specifically care about, you can help the defenders create more useful and impactful detections first. Once you start emulating the appropriate threat actors, you can practice your defenses in a scenario that’s more realistic and applicable without the need for an actual intrusion. The speakers are providing a process and a case study of APT3 - a China-based threat group - for how to go from finding threat intelligence, sifting through it for actionable techniques, creating emulation plans, discovering how to emulate different techniques... to actually operating on a network. They are also providing a beginning "cheat sheet" for this actor to give a starting point for red and blue teams to accomplish these techniques in their own environment without the need to build their own tooling.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1000 Vaughan

Autocrypt: End-to-End Encrypted Email for Everyone

Daniel Kahn Gillmor (dkg)

Autocrypt is a user-centered, developer-driven effort to make a set of standards that support convenient, usable, easily-adoptable end-to-end encrypted email. With multiple email programs participating, they aim to make interoperable tools that actual humans can easily use. Compared with existing email encryption schemes, Autocrypt involves a number of minor heresies, all aimed at simplicity of user experience and avoiding surprising failure modes. This talk will explain the differences between Autocrypt and other schemes, highlight the state-of-the-art (including some demonstrations), and talk about what comes next and how to get involved as a user, a trainer, or a developer.

(direct link) (download audio) Sunday 1000 Ritchie

Barrett Brown Onstage Interview

Spencer Ackerman

Writer and anarchist activist Barrett Brown was prosecuted and sentenced to 63 months in federal prison and nearly a million dollars restitution after posting a link to a URL where stolen emails of private intelligence agencies were already online. He will be interviewed onstage by award-winning journalist Spencer Ackerman, who is currently a senior national security correspondent for The Daily Beast. This freeform interview will cover a variety of topics, likely to include Brown’s alleged past connections with Anonymous and LulzSec and their reported exfiltration and sharing with WikiLeaks of a huge trove of stolen emails and other sensitive info from private intelligence agencies HBGary, Infragard, and Endgame Systems. This data exposed collusion between U.S. government law enforcement and intelligence agencies with private sector intelligence agencies that have no public oversight. An audience Q&A will follow.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1100 Vaughan (2 hours)

Basement MEMS: Tools, Processes, and Techniques for Producing Microelectromechanical Systems on a Shoestring

Dave Arney

MEMS devices include microfluidics, pressure and motion sensors, and actuators like valves and comb motors. We usually think of them as black boxes that arrive packaged up like integrated circuits. In this talk, Dave will share some experiences, equipment designs, and early results with creating small silicon parts in a home lab. Semiconductor manufacturing equipment is available cheaply on secondhand markets, and processes that were state-of-the-art are now achievable on a small budget and without the infrastructure requirements of large scale production. Together with open lab hardware and accessible microcontrollers, this puts MEMS fabrication in reach for the maker community.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1100 Ritchie

Being Mean to Software Patents

Daniel Nazer

EFF has a "Stupid Patent of the Month" blog series, which highlights some of the silliest patents and the most destructive patent troll campaigns. It has also gotten EFF sued - twice. People don’t like it when you say that their stupid patents are stupid. Fortunately, both times EFF fought back and won. But how is the policy battle going? Did the Supreme Court get rid of software patents in a 2014 decision? Is the USPTO still churning out terrible patents? Will Congress do anything? This talk will revisit some of the greatest hits from the Stupid Patent of the Month series and give you the big picture about the fight against software patents.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2100 Ritchie

Breath of the RF Field: Hacking Amiibo with Software-Defined Radio

James Chambers

Amiibo are Nintendo’s "toys to life" product line, supported by the 3DS, Wii U, and Switch. Interested in seeing whether these figures could be used to exploit games or consoles, James decided to make an Amiibo simulator and fuzzing tool using software-defined radio. This talk will provide an in-depth look at the technology and proprietary security system behind Amiibo, as well as the process of reverse engineering it. He’ll also explain the development of the simulator using a Proxmark3, and how he used it to find a bug in the NFC protocol used by the Switch and Wii U.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2300 Ritchie

Chelsea Manning Onstage Interview

Yan Zhu

Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense who disclosed a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks revealing human rights abuses and corruption connected to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will speak onstage with noted technologist Yan Zhu on a variety of topics - including the ramifications of government secrecy, the need for greater government transparency, her experiences being charged and court-martialed for violations of the Espionage Act, and serving seven years in military prison before receiving a commutation of her 35-year sentence by the President of the United States. An extended audience Q&A will follow.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1400 Vaughan, Booth, Ritchie (2 hours)

Closing Ceremonies

Too many people make the mistake of leaving before we get to the end. And in the case of HOPE conferences, that end is a bit later than most other conferences. We believe that the day after a HOPE conference is a lost day, a time of recovery, perhaps even a holiday. Therefore, it makes little sense to not enjoy to the fullest this Sunday evening where we all celebrate another fun weekend together and start planning for the next one.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1900 Vaughan

A Conversation on Internet Censorship

Roya Ensafi, Ksenia Ermoshina, Sergey Frolov, Lex Gill, Will Scott

The Internet around us is increasingly regulated and censored. Censorship is present across the web - influenced by law, politics, activism, and corporations. This panel discussion will highlight some of the successful strategies being used to understand online censorship and to support our voices in the online forum. The conversation will cover recent events that impinge our online speech, and what we can do about it.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1100 Vaughan

Creating a Radio Time Machine: Software-Defined Radios and Time-Shifted Recordings

Thomas Witherspoon

Since the earliest days of radio transmitting, individuals and organizations have made an effort to record and preserve radio signals in the form of broadcasts and other over-the-air communications, especially those of historical significance. Now low-cost software-defined radios (SDRs) coupled with today’s faster memory-enhanced computers allow us to record not just individual signals from one radio station at a time, but an entire broadcast band - a wide swath of frequencies - all at once. Each recording from a particular day and time can easily contain dozens, if not hundreds, of stations broadcasting and communicating simultaneously. Later, via a software-defined radio application, recordings can be tuned and listened to (decoded) as if they were live. This talk will discuss how you can build your own "radio time machine" which supports such virtual time shifts by utilizing an inexpensive ($25-$100) SDR, and also show how you can - for free - virtually "travel" through recent history on radio archivists’ preexisting radio time machines.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1900 Booth

Crossing the Border in the Age of Trump

Bill Budington, Kurt Opsahl

When we travel, we bring our lives with us. From financial records and personal photos to account passwords and even digital wallets, the information we carry on our devices can be extremely sensitive, and gives anyone with access to it an enormous amount of power over us. At the same time, TSA and border agents have shown increasing interest in gaining access to this information, putting us in a compromised situation and disrupting our travels. This talk will cover the legal protections that you have, and what you can do before, during, and after you travel to protect your data from prying eyes. This includes the legal and practical precedents that have been established when crossing both domestic and international borders, the technological capabilities of border agents, techniques that are likely to become more prevalent, and what tools you have in your digital toolbox to ensure your data is kept safe.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1500 Vaughan

Cybersquatting on the Trump Campaign: A Bizarre Tale of Real Fake News

Alexander J. Urbelis

This talk will reveal and discuss a disinformation operation that was gearing up to attack the Trump campaign during the summer of the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s surprisingly competent information control operation detected and halted the attack. Alexander will discuss how he and his law firm pieced together evidence of the disinformation attack and the Trump campaign’s countermeasures by collecting and analyzing DNS-related data. This talk will involve a fascinating and bizarre set of characters and settings, including psychics, preachers, lawyers, gamblers, conspiracies, mystical locations, and of course, domain names, DNS data, and quite a few active threats.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1600 Vaughan

Dark Caracal: How to Burn a Spy Agency and Get Away with It

Cooper Quintin

The nature of state surveillance is changing, and "cyberwar" is becoming cheaper. Stuxnet, Fancy Bear, and WannaCry are some of the more infamous examples of state-sponsored hacking. But what happens when a nation state on a shoestring budget wants to run a global espionage campaign? And more importantly, what happens when they are stupid about it and get caught? This talk will discuss the changing nature of state surveillance, the details of a new state-sponsored malware campaign uncovered by EFF and Lookout, and what hackers can do to stop governments engaging in targeted digital surveillance.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1800 Vaughan

The Demoscene: How Software Piracy Birthed an Underground Art Scene

Inverse Phase

Have you ever used old, pirated software and found it came with an "extra" introduction from the person who broke the copy protection? Have you ever watched a music video stored entirely in mere kilobytes of space? There’s a whole community of individuals called the Demoscene trying to make art under extreme limitations, whether it be 3D graphics on an 8-bit Atari, or CD-quality music playback on a Commodore 64. This presentation will explain how that scene came to be, what it consists of now, and of course you’ll see some example demos!

A two hour Demoscene screening will follow.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2300 Vaughan

The DMV and You: Where Identity Meets The Road


Nearly everyone in the United States and Canada interacts with these agencies whose reputation is linked with Patty and Selma from The Simpsons. The modern DMV isn’t simply a place to get a card with your picture on it. They are arbiters of identity in these countries without national IDs. In this talk, Aphrodite will provide a unique inside view into the operations you don’t normally hear about, such as facial recognition, the REAL ID Act’s consequences, and high tech details of the plastic or polycarbonate cards in your wallet.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1700 Ritchie

EMP, CME, and the Electronic Apocalypse

David Cripe

With continued geopolitical unrest among nuclear powers and the total ubiquity of electronics in every aspect of modern life, there is a concern over catastrophic events that could have the potential to disrupt and alter life as we know it. The threats of EMP (electromagnetic pulse) and CME (coronal mass discharge) are real and, should they occur, the results would impact the lives of millions. The physics behind these threats are analyzed, their effects and potential for damage estimated, and means to protect against them examined. Additionally, the use of EMP as a weapon is analyzed from a strategic standpoint, and non-nuclear threats to the electrical grid considered.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1600 Vaughan

The Encrypted Notes of Antonio Marzi

Anna Bernardi, Filippo Valsorda

Antonio Marzi died in 2007, leaving behind dozens of encrypted notes and a partial key. During World War II, he chose to work with the British Special Operations Executive and was parachuted into Italian territory under German occupation. There he transmitted detailed military-related dispatches in encrypted form. This was not modern cryptography, nor Enigma, but the kind that was doable on the field with pen and paper. Specifically, they used poem codes, as "Between Silk and Cyanide" tells us: a double columnar transposition cipher that scrambles the order of the letters. Marzi sent the notes to an Italian professor and there they stayed undeciphered until 2013. Anna and Filippo obtained copies of the notes and exploited one of the mortal sins of cryptography, key reuse, to reconstruct the key. (Armin Krauss independently decrypted the notes in the same year.) A number of them were indecipherable due to encryption mistakes made in the field. During the war, entire departments hacked away at these ciphertexts, but today computers make easy work of them. This talk will explore how they went from recognizing the code, to reconstructing the key (partially thanks to little handwritten dots), to the contents of the notes.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2100 Booth

End of File

Jason Scott

Every file has an end, every hard drive goes bad, and every carrier eventually drops. What matters is what we do when these expected (or unexpected) ends arrive. Jason Scott of the Internet Archive and Archive Team talks about endings, near-misses, and confronting finite resources and energy in a variety of situations that demand infinite amounts of attention, effort, and meaning. Expect humor, sadness, overviews of moving day logistics and a hint of angel wings.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1400 Vaughan

ENIAC: The Hack That Started It All

Brian L. Stuart

The ENIAC was dedicated on February 15, 1946 and became the testbed upon which people learned to build and program powerful digital computers. It became a national resource, contributing to a wide variety of R&D until it was decommissioned ten years later. ENIAC was designed and built at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, using 18,000 vacuum tubes consuming 150,000 watts of power. This presentation will focus on how the ENIAC was conceived, designed, built, and worked; how it was used in different modes of operation; and the details of its internal operations. This will be illustrated in real-time with a fully functional, interactive, and photorealistic ENIAC emulator created by the speaker. The significance and relevance of the ENIAC to computers we use today will also be discussed. A brief audience Q&A will follow.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1200 Ritchie

The Enron Email Corpus: Where the Bodies Are Buried?

David Noever

As the biggest public domain email database, the Enron email corpus details financial deception in the world’s largest energy trading company and, at the time in 2002, triggered the most costly U.S. bankruptcy and its most massive audit failure. What can Enron tell us today? This talk will invite fresh perspective on how email has (and has not) changed since 2002. Can modern forensic methods find where any new email bodies are buried, even when scanning through the evidence of a previously closed case? The presentation highlights some funny and poignant examples of how humans in business suits write to each other when planning mischief. For the previous six years prior to its failure, Fortune Magazine had named Enron as "America’s most innovative company." Enron’s former chief financial officer now lectures profitably to business groups and hedge funds using a new self-appointed title of "chief loophole officer." More than 3,000 studies have dissected Enron’s email, but have failed to uncover some of its more fascinating forensic artifacts. Nearly two decades later, we revisit this trove to discover what modern tools can do with it. For instance, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) originally released two terabytes (1.6 million emails and attachments), they claimed to have stripped all personal information. Yet a modern machine learning pipeline in 2018 can identify almost 50,000 previously unreported instances, including credit card numbers, bank accounts, and additional evidence that potentially harms the 99 percent of Enron employees who were never charged. At least one example of detectable malware is still included in the official Enron corpus (called "Joke-StressRelief") along with 231 other executables which continue to accompany each download. This talk will further investigate whether by using email traffic alone, machine learning can predict all of the (eventually charged) persons of interest. It will discuss how Hadoop distributed processing on multiple, clustered virtual machines was deployed. More than 50 algorithms were analyzed for both accuracy (90 plus percent) and execution times. In compliance with new (June 2018) European privacy rules for explainable artificial intelligence, each algorithmic decision was reduced to human-understandable rules and rank order to define which email factors might prove most predictive to future fraud and conspiracy investigations.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1600 Booth

Evidential Study of IoT Botnets - The Bad and The Ugly!

Aditya K. Sood

IoT botnets are deployed heavily to perform nefarious activities by circumventing the integrity of the IoT device to launch sophisticated targeted or broad-based attacks. IoT botnets have enhanced the cybercrime operations to a great extent, thereby making it easier for the attackers to carry out unauthorized activities on the Internet. In this talk, Aditya will perform an empirical analysis to conduct a characteristic study of IoT botnets to understand the inherent design, architecture, and associated operations. Code samples will be dissected to highlight the inherent nefarious operations performed by the IoT bots. The study covers analysis of multiple IoT botnet families.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1700 Booth

Four Arguments on Why State Hacking is Bad

Luca Follis

While state hacking is a powerful weapon for authoritarian regimes, it has an erosive effect on democratic states. Hacking is advantageous for authoritarian governments that need to retain domestic control, monitor and disturb dissent, attack aggressors, and project force internationally. State hacking is bad because it is deleterious to the legitimacy of the democratic state, the legal system, "ethical" capitalism, and the democratic process itself. In this talk, the argument is presented that state hacking is bad for democratic elections, the integrity of the security services, transparency in government, privacy for the individual, the separation of public and private militaries, the judicial system, and the development of ethical cybersecurity practices. Such hacking is a short circuit in the rule of law and undermines the machinery of democracy. State hacking is bad because it provides unparalleled advantage to rulemakers while delegitimizing the citizen led government.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1700 Booth

Free Expression, Privacy, and the Role of Tech Companies: Where Do We Go From Here?

Laura Reed

From the proliferation of dangerous speech online to massive data breaches to the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s clear that tech companies’ policies and practices can have a significant impact on people’s ability to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and privacy. Yet companies aren’t doing enough to protect these rights. How can they do better and how can we incentivize them to move in the right direction? Ranking Digital Rights, a nonprofit research initiative, works with an international network of partners to set global standards for how companies in the information and communication technology sector should respect freedom of expression and privacy. Its annual corporate accountability index ranks 22 companies on a set of indicators evaluating how transparent companies are about their commitments and policies affecting human rights. This talk will give an overview of how the corporate accountability index lays out a road map for companies to improve their human rights standards. Laura will provide highlights from the recently launched 2018 index, showing where companies are beginning to be more transparent about their practices - things like content moderation policies and practices for handling user information - and where there are still significant gaps in disclosure that leave users in the dark.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1400 Booth

Free Geek Panel - Reusing and Recycling Old Computers For Fun and Nonprofit

Dan Bartholomew, Ryan Fukunaga, Zachary (Zac) Slade, Charlie Coile, Joel Izlar

Across North America, passionate people help out at their community Free Geek (or a similar organization) to refurbish discarded computers and make them useful tools again for people who need them. In the process of this, people build community, gain skills, and help the planet. Challenges to successful operations include ethical e-waste recycling practices, troubleshooting and repair, parts management, drive imaging, ensuring free and open-source software (FOSS) use, managing volunteers, organizational structure and governance, financial sustainability, and ensuring a balance between community needs and interests. Participants from Free Geek and similar organizations will discuss these challenges, with success stories and wrong turns, and how they manage to keep the doors open and lights on to serve the public good.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1100 Booth

Futel: The Payphone, Devolved

Karl Anderson

Part public service and part public art, Futel is keeping payphones alive by installing them in public locations and providing free telephone service, telephone-mediated art, and live human interaction. They feel that the constraints of the phone interface spur creativity, pay homage to a generation of creative hackers, and allow them to worm their way into the minds of large groups of people. Now that we are finally living in the cyberpunk dystopia promised in the 1980s, they are poised to seize this moment. You will learn what aspects of the project make it effective, and how they can be applied to other creative technological projects.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1900 Ritchie

Go FERPA Yourself: Checking Your Student Record

Adam Goldstein

Your student record is available to law enforcement, the military, and professional licensing boards - but do you know what it says about you? There’s a law for that: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g). This session covers the mechanics of how to request your record, how to handle some of the ways colleges have tried to wiggle out of turning those records over, and the process for disputing incorrect information (including how to tell if those records are already in the possession of law enforcement).

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1300 Booth

Hackers and Shamans - Travelers of the Black Box

danae valentina

A session to critically analyze the figures of the hacker and the shaman, their ontological similarities and their journeys as travelers of their respective "black boxes" - the computational network in the case of the hacker and the human conscience in the case of the shaman. This talk will delineate modes of direct action that would allow us to think about hacking as a way to overcome ruling knowledge paradigms.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1600 Booth

Hackers Got Talent

Do you have a cool talent or hack? Here’s your chance to present it onstage to a large audience of enthusiastic hackers, hosted once more by hacker archivist Jason Scott. Onstage hacks will be judged by a combination of panelists and audience. First place wins a valuable prize!

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2359 Ritchie

Hacking Extradition: Fighting the Long Arm of U.S. Law

Nathan Fuller, Grace North, Lauri Love, Barrett Brown

The United States punishes computer crimes more severely than any of its western allies, often threatening to imprison digital dissidents for decades for crimes other countries would sanction with fines or probation. Preventing the U.S. from extraditing alleged hackers across the pond could mean saving a defendant’s life. Earlier this year, U.K. security researcher Lauri Love successfully beat back the U.S.’s attempt to extradite him from Britain, in a redux of Gary McKinnon’s ten year extradition battle which resulted in the "forum bar" that helped protect Love. But the judges in Lauri’s case went further than protecting only him: The High Court’s ruling condemned the conditions of U.S. prisons, citing dangerously inadequate mental healthcare as a reason to keep Lauri in the U.K. Using his ordeal as a case study, we can see how these extradition cases can have meaningful ramifications beyond a single defendant. Lauri Love, Gary McKinnon, and Richard O’Dwyer have recently shown how to stand up to the United States’ perceived global reach. How can we learn from these cases to protect others facing extradition? Can we turn a U.K. court ruling into meaningful U.S. prison reform?

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1300 Booth

Hacking Healthcare: Bringing a Hacker Mindset to Solving Healthcare’s Biggest Problems

Dave Arney

The Institute of Medicine estimates that up to 400,000 Americans are killed by preventable medical errors per year. Better patient monitoring, smart alarm systems, advanced treatment algorithms, and data analytics are key technologies that can help to reduce this number. Attempts to build better systems run into common problems including the difficulty of integrating into existing workflows, manufacturer-specific silos, and a lack of data to help drive improvements. Solving these problems requires people who can connect things together in new and unlikely ways, holistically examine processes that involve both technology and human workflows, and find creative ways to get things done. This talk will discuss why healthcare can be a difficult place to be an engineer, some possible reasons that clinicians may be unwilling to implement your perfectly reasonable solutions, and how a hacker mindset is essential for improving the safety and effectiveness of healthcare.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1300 Ritchie

Harley Geiger, Amie Stepanovich

The Internet of Things is expected to grow to more than 200 billion devices by 2020. Unfortunately, the market has not incentivized strong security for most IoT products, and the legal and regulatory environments - not surprisingly - have not been able to keep pace with the technology. This talk will detail the potential growth of the Internet of Things, focusing on the exploration of key legal and policy developments related to IoT security. Included will be updates on relevant court cases, legislative proposals, and regulatory activities.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1000 Booth

Hip-Hop Can Hack Everything! Solutions from a Culture of Innovation

Manny Faces

Hip-hop is a world-class disruptor. It has transformed music, popular culture, fashion, business and advertising, creating (and upending) massive industries in its wake. This talk explores the enormous innovative potential that hip-hop music and culture continue to exert across multiple fields and disciplines, including science and technology, education, health and wellness, politics and activism, journalism, the fine arts, and... well... everything.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1800 Booth

History of the Maker Movement

Limor "Ladyada" Fried, Sherry Huss, Mitch Altman, Phillip Torrone, and more

There are a few people who claim to be the "father of the maker movement." This panel will explore the history of what is called the maker movement, and help un-erase some of the pioneers who have helped bring communities together, shared open-source, and built places for all hackers, makers, artists, and engineers.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1100 Vaughan

Homebrew 68K Retrocomputing on Low Cost FPGA Boards

Keith Monahan

Growing up on the Commodore Amiga introduced Keith to the venerable Motorola 68000 processor. This talk will share the technical details of how he integrated an open-source 68K soft-core processor on a $30 FPGA board: what challenges he faced, skills he needed to learn, and how he managed to create his own retrocomputer - complete with 7" touchscreen and old-school audio - from scratch. This talk will touch on topics like computer architecture and design, Verilog HDL, 68K assembly language, electronics, and more!

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1500 Ritchie

Saint, Hook, Pete Tridish

Montana Ethical Hackers (MEH) walks you through the trials and tribulations of developing KMEH 107.9 - End of the Dial Hacker Radio. Their presentation ranges from overcoming low budget logistical challenges and the FCC application process to convincing the U.S. military to give up a call sign. Content generation and copyright issues will be covered. The talk will also include a quick background on the pirate radio movement of the 1990s, and how that spawned the legal LPFM service, which created thousands of legal LPFM stations. You will learn about some of the practical challenges of starting radio stations, radio’s role in today’s media environment, and the future of community radio.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1800 Booth

How to Pwn an Enterprise in 2018 (and 2019, and 2020...)

Johnny Xmas

This talk will "reveal the magician’s" secrets on all of the "low-hanging fruit" hackers used to compromise enterprises in 2018. This will be a candid, detailed, step-by-step how-to attack chain walkthrough, explaining how and why the attacks work, and what steps can be taken to proactively defend against them. Participants will walk away with highly actionable tasks to immediately take to work on Monday to not only bump their security posture up a distinctive notch with little to no hit on their budgets, but also inherently render future penetration tests more cost-effective by eliminating potential "cheap shots" that pentesters love to take. They will also, of course, walk away with the ability to become the domain admin of an average corporation from their couch in record time.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2000 Vaughan

How Your Personal Information is Obtained and Exploited to Manipulate Your Emotions, Your Actions, and Your Vote

Steven Rambam

Your habits, hobbies, friends, family, location (today, and for the past 17 years), activities, deepest thoughts, and desires are known, indexed, and analyzed. Dataveillance is now all-encompassing and the "small window into your soul" is now a barn door. Attack vectors now include photos, video, audio, self-installed wiretaps (i.e., Alexa) and an always-on ever-present tracking device (your cell phone). Drink a certain type of cola? You’re 20 percent more likely to believe in space aliens. Enjoy chunky peanut butter and own a cat? You’re significantly more likely to buy a Volkswagen. Live in a certain zip code? Subscribe to a certain magazine? Use a certain email domain? Drink a certain kind of alcoholic beverage? Order certain combinations of pizza toppings? Drive a certain color car? Visit certain noteworthy (for profilers) locations? Data about these otherwise innocuous choices are now routinely merged and extrapolated into deep understanding of your personal characteristics and political beliefs, and are used to target you with information tailored to influence your emotions, actions, purchases and, especially, your vote. This will be the HOPE talk Steven always wanted to give. It will amaze, disturb, and frighten - and it will be Steven’s last talk at any HOPE conference (he’ll explain that, too). Deprogramming available.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1700 Vaughan (3 hours)

The Hype is Over, So What is Desktop 3D Printing Really About?

Matt Griffin

While the world was falling in love with desktop 3D printers as a potential disruption to how consumer products might be created and manufactured (in the home), a parallel transformation was taking place that shows no sign of stopping. It is time to cut through the bullshit and examine the revolution that actually took place! Experience case studies and research that speaks practically to how manufacturing, medicine, design, and enterprise use of the technology is accelerating the evolution of product and hardware design, transforming how we manufacture and package products, and how HOPE audiences can leverage pipelines and strategies they have mastered for other purposes (web, IT, security) to move forward their design and hardware. Welcome to the "data center moment" for fabrication technology!

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1700 Ritchie

I Dream of Game Genies and ZIP Files - Hacking the NES

Vi Grey

The Nintendo Entertainment System existed in a time when video game consoles didn’t have an operating system. It was up to the game cartridges to tell the NES what to think and how to behave. Cheating devices like the Game Genie worked by taking full advantage of that fact. These cheating devices, along with the fact of cartridges being mightier than the console, opens up unusual and creative gameplay options that can be utilized by a game developer. The design of these cartridges also allows for information to be discreetly concealed in unexpected ways. Building on the research from his article in PoC||GTFO Issue 0x18 about concealing ZIP files in NES ROMS, Vi will share his process for creating a custom game cartridge that utilizes these unusual gameplay options while also making the cartridge data work as a fully functioning ZIP file and web page.

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Friday 1900 Ritchie

Inspiring the Next Next Generation of Hackers

BiaSciLab, Kousei

Want to get started in the world of hacking but don’t know how? How do you inspire your kids to begin looking at things like a hacker? When should you start? What should you do? Eleven-year-old old hacker BiaSciLab and 14-year-old Kousei will answer these questions and more as they set adults at ease with bringing their kids into the hacker world. They will explain how they started their journeys, where they are planning to go, and how to get there. This talk will also have lots of great tips for adults starting out too.

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Saturday 1000 Ritchie

The Internet Society

Joly MacFie

The Internet Society is an international, non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet-related standards, education, access, and policy. Its mission is to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world. Their efforts and skills are directly responsible for the streaming and archiving of The Circle of HOPE, so please help support their efforts and consider starting a chapter in your community.

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Saturday 1545 Vaughan

Introduction to User Freedom

Karen M. Sandler, Molly de Blanc

If you are coding, writing, or making art or any other creative works, at some point you need to pick a license for how you want to share what you’ve done. A license represents a series of ethical, legal, and values decisions. Instead of proprietary "software" and "culture," you have "free software" and "free culture." The licenses used to accomplish this are the legal embodiment of a set of ideals represented in the four freedoms of free software. This talk will provide a historical and philosophical overview of just what it means for something to be free, why it matters, and what your responsibilities are in a world where our experiences, our selves, and our lives have become intellectual property that may not always belong to us.

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Saturday 1800 Ritchie

Is the Internet Sick? Findings from Mozilla’s Internet Health Report

Jairus Khan

Our personal credit details have been stolen en masse. Social media has been weaponized as a tool of cruel harassment. The democratic process has been undermined by the manipulation of online news and ads. We are beginning to see the health of the Internet as not just a technical issue, but a human one. Mozilla’s Internet Health Report is an open-source project that documents and explains how people worldwide are interacting with and affected by our connected world. The report aims to provide a "big picture" of the global state of health of the Internet through the prism of five core issues: privacy and security, openness, digital inclusion, web literacy, and decentralization. This talk will share findings from the 2018 Internet Health Report, and examine how we might use the concept of "Internet health" as a catalyst for change in our communities.

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Friday 1600 Booth

It Takes a Village to Hack a Voting System

Matt Blaze, Harri Hursti, Margaret MacAlpine

Modern electronic voting systems are notoriously vulnerable to attack, and the 2016 election was perhaps the first time we saw evidence of state actors attempting to compromise local election system infrastructure. But how insecure are the actual voting systems we use? And how can the average hacker get access to these systems to find out firsthand? Last year, the speakers organized the first ever Voting System Hacking Village at Defcon, in which the community was invited to example, take apart, and hack several real voting systems used in U.S. elections. Many exploitable vulnerabilities were discovered or reproduced over the course of the weekend. This talk will describe how the voting village was organized, the technical and legal challenges in doing so, and how you too can (legally!) obtain and hack real election equipment. The background and requirements for secure elections will also be discussed, as well as how technology can both hurt and help these requirements.

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Friday 1700 Vaughan

Lessons from an Undergraduate Course in Cybersecurity and Cyber Warfare - Is Our Children Securing?

Ming Chow, Matthew Weinberg

This is the story of a course that was taught in the spring of 2017 at Tufts University. It was taught jointly between the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Political Science and was created to develop bridges between students and faculty members in the fields of computer science, political science, and international relations. The speakers will explain how the foundation of progress in cybersecurity can be achieved by addressing the knowledge and cultural gaps of technologists and policymakers at an early age. This talk provides a prescription for running similar courses, including a list of topics covered, assignments, and outcomes. It will also delve into the challenges encountered when the course was run, what was learned, students’ comments, the growing need for such courses, and future opportunities.

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Saturday 1100 Ritchie

Liberate Your E-book Reader with fread.ink!

Marc Juul

fread.ink is an open-source operating system for electronic paper e-book readers based on the popular Debian GNU/Linux. Why are these devices interesting and underutilized? How have problematic laws like the DMCA impeded progress and what did it take to get a modern GNU/Linux system working on one of Amazon’s devices? This talk will attempt to answer these questions and show you how to start hacking your own paper display devices using fread.ink.

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Saturday 2300 Booth

Life Before 1337: The Hacker’s Illustrated Guide to Script Kiddie History

John Dunlap, Alex Ivanov

For some, "script kiddie" is a term leveled at the younger, more boisterous, and less experienced members of the hacking community. For others, it’s a badge of honor confirming their dedication to the more inane, sardonic, and social aspects of the hacking scene. In this talk, these two New York City security veterans will give a loving tour of the history of the script kiddie scene. The speakers will describe the evolution of script kiddie staples such "1337" speak, ASCII art, widely shared premade exploits, hacking communities such as IRC/Usenet/forums, and a wide range of the cultural tropes born in the script kiddie scene. The speakers’ aim is to educate and entertain listeners by demonstrating the genesis of the hacker stereotype, and to fill in the blanks between media hyperbole and hacker culture reality. Negative preconceptions about the hacker scene will be dispelled, and mistakes from hacker history will be explored.

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Friday 2200 Vaughan

The Locksport Variety Hour with TOOOL and Friends... Now with 100 Percent More Hour!

Lady Merlin, Max, Click, Ann, Aidan, Nite 0wl, NoHackMe, TheSleep, Chaz, Spam, Smoke Legend, Deviant Ollam

Lockpicking has been an official part of the presentations at Hackers On Planet Earth for almost 20 years now. (The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers (TOOOL) has existed for nearly two decades in the Netherlands and emerged here in the USA at The Fifth HOPE in 2004.) And yet there are still so many stories to tell and new things to share! This year’s locksport panel will again include voices and faces from a wide range of picking groups around the country and around the world, but will incorporate more lessons and instruction than last time’s free-for-all. Everybody who asks a cool question will win a small prize. If you ask a question that none of the panelists can answer, you win an even bigger prize. If you bring an awesome demo device to show the panel and the crowd, you might win the biggest prize of all... audience members can offer up a lock or key of their own for inspection by the panel, who must endeavor to identify it and discuss how the mechanism works and how it might even be opened.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 2000 Vaughan (2 hours)

Mad (Data) Science - Teaching AI to Pop Boxes

Kevin Hodges

In William Gibson’s prophetic 1984 book Neuromancer, he described AI that could autonomously wage cyber warfare. Today, we are regularly warned about the security and privacy implications of software that can learn and make decisions from massive datasets, but rarely do we discuss the possibility of this same software being used to make cyber attacks, or the possibility that it could escape our control. Through a series of questionable ethical decisions, the first iteration of just that has been developed. WinterMute is an open-source deep learning project that can assess and exploit a network, reproduce itself, pivot on a compromised machine, and learn from each step.

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Sunday 1800 Booth

Making Sense of the Ether

Marc DaCosta

The airwaves can be a cacophonous place. Signals from GPS satellites exist alongside Bluetooth headsets and the dispatch channels of police stations. The emergence of low-cost software-defined radios (SDRs) have made this world more accessible than ever. In this talk, Marc will discuss how public data can be joined with the electromagnetic spectrum to better understand the world around us. In the first portion of the talk, he will discuss how governments regulate the usage and ownership of the electromagnetic spectrum. The data residue of this process can be used for everything from geolocating electronic border surveillance infrastructure to discovering the location and transmission frequency of every McDonald’s drive-thru radio. He will also discuss how various protocols for data transmission can be decoded and joined with contextual public data. For instance, every cargo ship emits an "automated identification system" signal that can be joined with shipping records to understand what the ship is carrying. Attendees will leave with a richer sense of how the radio waves are being used and the tools necessary to critically explore them further.

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Saturday 2200 Ritchie

Mixing DTMF Tones in Space, Illuminating the Aurora with Giant Cat Pics, and Other True Stories About HAARP

Chris Fallen

Internet theories abound that the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) ionospheric research facility in Alaska is used for sensational and nefarious purposes such as conducting mass mind control, triggering earthquakes, causing hurricanes, spraying chemtrails, and even making local caribou walk backward in circles. Peer-reviewed journal papers postulate that scientists use the HAARP transmitter to conduct ionosphere radio modification experiments including enhanced airglow (i.e., "fake aurora"), artificial magnetic field-aligned irregularities, stimulated electromagnetic emissions, plasma wave instabilities resulting from electromagnetic pump wave decay, cross modulation effects, and ELF/VLF radio wave generation. This talk will explore recent experiments, including the first modern recreation of the Luxembourg effect which featured DTMF tones and musical compositions written to take advantage of cross modulation, the first crowd-funded HAARP experiment, and the first SSTV image broadcast simultaneously with transmissions that also created fake aurora. Additionally, the HAARP facility and the software that runs the main HF transmitter will be discussed, as will small elements of truth to some of the conspiracy theories. Finally, this talk will suggest how you can participate in future experiments.

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Sunday 1500 Vaughan

Movie: Glossary of Broken Dreams

Johannes Grenzfurthner

Puppets! Pixels! Anime! Live action! Stock footage! Johannes gives an ideotaining cinematic revue about important political concepts. Everyone is talking about freedom! Privacy! Identity! Resistance! The Market! The Left! But, yikes, Johannes can’t tolerate ignorant and topically abusive comments on the "Internet" anymore! Supported by writer Ishan Raval, Johannes explains, reevaluates, and sometimes sacrifices political golden calves of discourse. A must-see for politically interested hackers. Not to be used with false consciousness or silicone-based lubricant. A film paved with good intentions.

(direct link)

Networked Authoritarianism

Nathalie Maréchal

Nearly two years into the Trump administration, it’s practically a cliche of Twitter gallows humor to quip that the day’s bonkers headlines are the result of a Marvel-esque plot twist that has transported us into a parallel universe. But of course, powerful forces have been laying the groundwork for a long time. Networked authoritarianism is a political system that leverages information and communications technologies (ICTs) and media regulation to carefully control the expression of dissent in a way that gives the impression of limited freedom of expression without allowing dissent to gain traction. Networked authoritarianism combines strategies and tactics from the surveillance capitalism of Silicon Valley and from the information controls practiced by illiberal regimes around the world to create strategic infrastructures to control information flows domestically and to intervene in global media systems. The democratic regression and rise of ethno-nationalism around the world is directly linked to networked authoritarianism. How did we get to this point, and how do we fight back?

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1500 Booth

New Cryptography

George Tankersley, Filippo Valsorda

Cryptography is usually associated with encrypting and signing messages, but since the 1990s, the field developed new tools that bring completely new capabilities: from PAKE protocols that make bruteforcing passwords impossible, to zero-knowledge proofs enabling blind credentials. This talk will take a look at all those things modern cryptography can do beyond the old encryption and signatures.

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Friday 2300 Vaughan

NotPetya: Ransomware vs. Cyber Action

Roel Schouwenberg

The NotPetya "ransomware" made the headlines last summer because it spread widely and hit major logistics supply chain companies. It caused $10 billion in overall damages. This presentation will dissect the technical, disinformation, and influence operation components of this extremely effective and misunderstood campaign.

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Saturday 1200 Ritchie

The Onion Report

David Goulet, Alison Macrina, Steph Whited, Matthew Finkel

The Tor Project has been hard at work building usable free software to fight surveillance and censorship across the globe. Join a handful of Tor contributors at this panel and learn all about the state of the onion and what Tor has been up to since the last HOPE. They’ll talk about adding new security features, improving Tor Browser on Android, deploying the next generation of onion services, making Tor more usable, lowering the network overhead, making Tor more maintainable, and growing the Tor community with new outreach initiatives. They’ll also share some of what you can expect from Tor in the coming year, and will leave lots of time for questions from the community.

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Friday 1200 Vaughan

Online Monitoring of the Alt-Right

Caroline Sinders, Freddy Martinez

Online communities have become a popular recruitment platform for alt-right and other extremist groups. While there is no standard playbook for alt-right recruitment, some major themes emerge, including recruiting on Discord servers, Reddit boards, Chan boards, and other platforms. Effectively, there is a web of overlap linking these disparate sites under the umbrella of the larger alt-right ideology and ethos. This talk is part how-to and part explanatory on research conducted by the speakers. It will cover some of the technical and ethnographic methods that are being used by researchers, activists, journalists, and others to monitor the evolving ecosystem, ideologies, tools, and tactics of the alt-right. The discussion will include some of the tooling that developed to monitor the alt-right and their online communities: both online and off. Also included will be coverage of the analysis that was performed alongside Unicorn Riot on analyzing thousands of leaked Discourse chats, as well as a dictionary of alt-right terms and memes that Caroline has been assembling from her research. Finally, the talk will focus on future concerns for the Internet, including safety, censorship, etc.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1700 Vaughan

OpenOversight: XKEYSCORE for Cops - Tracking and Surveilling Your Local Police Department

Jennifer Helsby, Camille Fassett

Through highly sophisticated surveillance technology from drones and license plate readers to facial recognition, law enforcement agencies have sweeping and unprecedented abilities to compile databases of the people. But despite these capabilities and the prevalence of police abuse of power, the public is largely left in the dark about law enforcement and their activities. In this political context, it’s on the people to hold police accountable, and surveillance technology and data collection are methods that should not be unilaterally in the hands of law enforcement. OpenOversight is a project developed by data liberation collective Lucy Parsons Labs that consolidates police information from public records, public submissions, and web scraping into an open-source, community governed database. In this session, Jennifer and Camille will discuss how it works, how you can bring it to your city, and what’s next.

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Sunday 1000 Vaughan

Owning NFC Toys I Own: A Case Study

Vitorio Miliano

NFC toys are figurines with a built-in near-field communication tag, containing supporting data for games or play. Reading from and writing to these figures is restricted; you can buy the toy, but only special hardware or software can fully use it, not you! This introductory-level case study will explore the NFC tags found in three makes of toys, using off-the-shelf hardware and software. You’ll see how much can be learned with each different tool, and once read/write credentials are obtained, what some of the legal risks are under the DMCA. Original documentation and code will be presented to generate credentials for any of the three makes of NFC toys, and NFC toys will be distributed for attendees to explore on their own.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1600 Ritchie

The Phone System Is Dead - Long Live The Phone System!


At the dawn of the modern era of telecommunications, the underlying SS7 protocol was a marvel of modern engineering. For decades, it was the technology underneath almost every phone call, routing conversations securely and efficiently across the planet. And then, almost overnight, everything changed. The Internet converged with the phone system. This happened very fast and caused serious problems. These days, SS7 is the bane of every telecommunications engineer’s existence and is often the root cause of poor telecom security. In this talk, TProphet will take you around the world and across the telecommunications landscape to explore the past, present, and - hopefully - future of the phone system.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1300 Booth

Phonopticon: Leveraging Low Rent Mobile Ad Services to Achieve State Actor Level Mass Surveillance on a Shoestring Budget

Mark Milhouse (amne51ac)

By now, we all know that mobile advertisements aren’t secure. How would an attacker take advantage of that, though, and spy on people without their consent, knowledge, or interaction? And how do we defend against that? This talk will be a journey through the demand-side of advertising as we put ourselves in the role of an attacker, build an ad-based surveillance system, and unleash it on the masses. Mark will demonstrate how, using the built-in features of advertising demand-side platforms (DSPs), it’s easy to build a surveillance system that can track unsuspecting people. He’ll demonstrate that some platforms make it much easier than it needs to be, and show that there’s more than just geolocations at risk here. Finally, Mark will discuss some ways that everyone can help mitigate this, from the users all the way up to the ad networks and software developers. Like every good spy story, this one includes Russian ad networks, hastily written code, and GPS coordinates - lots of GPS coordinates. By now, if you’re still clinging desperately to the hope that your location is safe, then this talk is for you!

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 2000 Booth

The Problem With The Hacker Mystique

Gillian "Gus" Andrews

There are common themes in the stories of those of us who have grown up in hacker communities. We show up as teenagers, excited by the sexiness, the secrecy, the possibility of meeting the legends who performed powerful spells of tech - or working those spells ourselves. Maybe working at the edge of the law. Maybe we’ll even change the laws as we hack. As we get older, digital security takes on different roles in our stories. For some of us, it remains a fun thing to do with friends. For others, it’s a political cause. For some, it’s the meat and potatoes of our jobs. And for others, digital security has become very, very unsafe. Or it was always unsafe, and the dangerous storylines are just now becoming clear. This talk will discuss components of hacking and security - technical expertise, secrecy, illegality, idiosyncrasy, and trust - that contributed to a mystique which until recently hid years of abuse by a number of hacking "rock stars." Gus will explore the psychological and institutional reasons why our communities let them keep acting that way, and ask some hard questions: are there aspects of hacking and infosec which make abusive experts difficult to avoid? What parts of the hacker mystique will we need to give up in order to make our community resistant to being trashed like rock stars’ hotel rooms?

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 1100 Booth

Programming 1980s Lego Robotics

Evan Koblentz

Everyone knows about Lego’s present-day Mindstorms robotics system. It is very popular, eminently hackable, and quite expensive. But virtually nobody knows that Lego also produced a robotics kit in the 1980s! It was only sold to schools and few ever bought it. Programs were developed on your choice of an Apple II or an IBM PC, using languages such as BASIC, LOGO, or assembly. Although the programming techniques are vintage, not modern, they’re easy to understand. Evan will show several examples, explain how it all works and why it works, and will teach how anyone can obtain or replicate the 1980s kit for their own modern fun at home.

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Sunday 1000 Booth

Protecting Whistleblowers: An In-Depth Look Within the GlobaLeaks Platform

Michael Casadevall

Ask yourself: Have you ever thought about what it takes to protect a whistleblower? In the world of whistleblowing, as counterintuitive as it seems, it’s frequently required that the whistleblowers must personally identify themselves and document their knowledge. To protect against reprisals, not only must a whistleblower secure their identity, but a receiving organization must secure their information. To help resolve these issues, the GlobaLeaks platform is designed from the ground up to tackle problems in secure whistleblowing by providing a simple turnkey system that even non-technical users can successfully deploy and operate. This talk will look under the hood of GlobaLeaks, a free and open-source whistleblowing solution, and see how they work to protect sensitive information about whistleblowers.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1300 Ritchie

Qubes OS: The Operating System That Can Protect You Even If You Get Hacked

Micah Lee

"If you’re serious about security, Qubes OS is the best OS available today," says NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. "It’s what I use, and free." In most operating systems like Windows, macOS, and all Linux distributions, all it takes is one mistake - open the wrong PDF, plug in the wrong USB stick, "curl | bash" the wrong URL - and it’s game over. Even without root, the attacker can access all of your data, take screenshots, listen through your mic, watch you through your webcam, and get persistence to spy on you in the future. Qubes OS aims to be a reasonably secure operating system that doesn’t have this problem. In Qubes, your host machine runs a thin layer of software for managing a graphical desktop environment and all other software is compartmentalized in separate virtual machines, with strict controls on what hardware they can access and how they can communicate, all while being usable enough to run as your daily OS. In this talk, Micah will show off some of the cool things that this approach makes possible, like opening email attachments in "disposable VMs," managing anonymous identities, keeping secrets like password databases, PGP keys, and sensitive documents stored in vaults without Internet access, and much more. Beginners are welcome.

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Friday 1500 Booth

Radio Statler! A Decade of Doing it Live!

Beaches, Nikgod, TechDarko, Bunni3Burn, Johnny Xmas, Nite 0wl, Sidepocket, Stoppay, xio

Since 2008, Radio Statler has been broadcasting original content from HOPE to the rest of the world. Content has included interviews with speakers, extended Q&As, panels, interesting people found in the hallways, and the occasional glimpse into the things that happen outside the talk rooms. Join this panel as they definitely stay on topic and tell the how and why of Radio Statler, the challenges of setting up a temporary online radio station, and lots of stories!

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2100 Vaughan

Reverse Engineering a Portable USB Firewall Appliance and Its Hardware Improved Recreation


In this talk, penetration/reverse engineering techniques of both hardware and software will be demonstrated by breaking into a portable "secure" Linux-based firewall device’s firmware, which will then be recreated and improved with a Linux single board computer. The original device provides anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, intrusion detection and prevention, VPN client and website filtering, and parental control - and it all runs on a computer the size of a pack of gum. Dernyn will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to gain full access to the inner workings of this discrete dedicated Linux-based ARM mini-computer firewall appliance. There will be a full analysis of its inner workings, with a dissection of the electronics and implemented system and software infrastructure, networking/firewall policies, and an overall security level analysis focusing on the lack of protection/security which the manufacturer claimed as Pentagon level protection.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1700 Ritchie

The Right to Repair Panel

Nathan Proctor, Gay Gordon-Byrne, Kyle Wiens

It’s time we restored ownership rights in a digital world, and that begins with letting us fix our electronics. As companies work to monopolize repair, use copyright law to block access to what we need to fix things, and design products that cannot be repaired, leaders from Right to Repair will share stories on how people are pushing back. They will give a presentation on the current state of Right to Repair legislation across the country and concurrent efforts with the U.S. Copyright Office Section 1201 exemptions to the DMCA. The discussion will include legal principles behind Right to Repair, including antitrust, contract law, warranty law, and how EULA and the DMCA have been weaponized to remove key intrinsic rights of ownership.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1200 Booth

Scientific and Amateur Analysis of the Facebook Algorithm

Claudio Agosti

The algorithm gives a personalized experience to each of us: the only way to understand its agenda, priorities, and values is through collective observation. With the https://facebook.tracking.exposed project, Claudio did some black box testing of the Facebook algorithm. It can be replicated by other researchers or among your group of friends. Spoiler: there is no algorithm neutrality; every user should be in control of their algorithm.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2000 Ritchie

Securing the Delivery of Email

Sydney Li

In early 2014, research revealed the horrible state of email over TLS. About half of email was sent in plaintext and, for the email sent over TLS, half of those servers presented certificates that were invalid or self-signed. On top of this, some governments and ISPs were regularly downgrading SMTP connections to plaintext. Since then, there have been multiple efforts by IETF and large mail server operators to secure the delivery of email. This talk will summarize the state of secure email delivery in 2018 and discuss ongoing initiatives and efforts to protect against MitM and downgrade attacks, including MTA-STS, DANE, and STARTTLS Everywhere.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1500 Ritchie

Sensors Everywhere! What’s Available, How They Work, and How You Can Use Them

Jonathan Foote

From the IR sensor in the bathroom to the face detector in your phone, sensors are everywhere. Jonathan will give a guided introduction to the vast zoo of electronic sensors available. From commonplace accelerometers to sensitive pulse oxygen meters, come learn about a wide variety of sensors, how they work, and how you can use (or hack) them. He will cover sensors from the commonplace to the exotic: optical sensors including affordable lidar, UV, and passive IR; magnetic and inductive sensors; MEMS pressure gauges and microphones; position and location detection; force, flex and strain gauges; temperature sensors and thermistors; and a variety of health and biosensors. Though this talk is at the level an electronics hobbyist will enjoy, even experts will likely find something they haven’t seen before.

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1800 Vaughan

The Sex Geek Returns: Hacking Plus Human Sexuality AMA

Kit Stubbs

Got a burning question about sex? Curious about making your own silicone sex toys? Not sure of the difference between "biological sex" and gender? Wonder how you might start hacking a store-bought sex toy? In this session, Kit presents "I’m A Queer, Non-Binary, Disabled Trans Femme Originally From Missouri Who Makes Their Own Geeky Sex Toys And Runs A Sex-Positive Nonprofit: Ask Me Anything." Join Kit "where did this b!tch get [their] doctorate" Stubbs for their very first AMA! It’ll start with a quick survey of topics to get your ideas flowing, including sex and gender, technological empowerment for sexuality and pleasure, and DIY toys. Then the floor will be opened for your questions. Whether you’re ready to ask a question or just happy to listen, join this celebration of hacking and human sexuality!

(direct link) (download audio)

Sunday 1200 Booth

Sex Worker Rights and Internet Freedom

Maggie Mayhem

Digital media and communications technologies have been a critical component in improving the working conditions, health, and safety of sex workers in many ways. Message boards and thriving social media communities created strong communication networks where lifesaving information such as bad dates could be disseminated among peer networks to protect those in the sex trade from harm and find supportive allies. In recent years, sex worker rights have been systematically eroded in the name of combating human trafficking, despite a lack of evidence to justify these actions and the fallout they cause. The recent passage of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) not only continues this dangerous trend, it places human trafficking victims at greater risk and jeopardizes Internet freedom for all by eliminating Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. With online platforms open to civil and criminal liability for third party content, it is inevitable that mass censorship will follow and marginalized voices will face the steepest penalties.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1400 Ritchie

Snowden’s Critical Fuckin’ Flaw

Johannes Grenzfurthner

Back in the good old days of 2015, Shami Chakrabarti wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian, stating that Edward Snowden "is a hero." She claimed that saying so didn’t make her an apologist for terror; it made her a firm believer in democracy and the rule of law. Many saw and still see it this way. Snowden, the true protector of freedom! It’s heard frequently in hacker circles, echoing like a prayer in a church. He’s a freedom fighter, standing for the American ideal, codified in the Constitution. The state apparatus, not Snowden, deserves our disgust and derision. Johannes thinks a fatal misconception is going on, and that we have to talk about it because way too many people step on this ideological turd. He will try to explain what the fallacy is and use a lot of curse words doing so.

(direct link) (download audio)

Saturday 2200 Booth

Social Engineering

Emmanuel Goldstein and friends

One of HOPE's longest running traditions, this panel is a fun gathering where stories of social engineering triumphs and failures are shared. Social engineering is, of course, the subsection of hacking that focuses on obtaining information out of people by gaining their trust and lying through your teeth. As long as there's a human somewhere in the equation, this method of compromising security will always be possible. Techniques will be shared and an experiment or two will be performed live over our trusty landline.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 1600 Vaughan

SpellCheck: The Hacker Spelling Bee

Brianne Hughes

English is a messy language, and no amount of spellcheck can stop you from writing about "security breeches" or "rouge towers." Come witness your peers bravely seek the redemption they’ve hoped for since elementary school as they battle through increasingly difficult security terms for fun and a moderate prize. The bee will warm up with "asset" and "bypass" and work its way up to rounds where capitalization will count and determine the winner. The wordlist is based off of the most recent version of the Cybersecurity Style Guide at http://bit.ly/securitywords. Twenty spellers total will participate. You can sign up in advance at the Info Desk during the conference. A complete list of rules for the SpellCheck bee will be available there.

(direct link) (download audio)

Friday 2359 Booth

Spotlight on SecureDrop: Anonymous Whistleblowing in the Trump Era

Jennifer Helsby

The SecureDrop anonymous whistleblowing platform has become the journalism industry standard for communicating with anonymous sources and accepting high security leaks. The system was co-created by the late Aaron Swartz and first announced at HOPE four years ago. Each SecureDrop instance is physically hosted inside a news organization, and sources communicate with journalists by accessing a web application available over a Tor onion service. In the past two years, adoption has increased to include most major new organizations, including The Associated Press, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. This talk will cover the challenges SecureDrop administrators, journalists, and sources are facing, how SecureDrop has been scaled to more organizations, and progress in developing new tools for journalists to work with leaked documents, including a Qubes OS-based workstation. In the Trump era - during which the Department of Justice has issued a crackdown on whistleblowing in response to the current epidemic of leaks from the White House - secure communication tools like SecureDrop are more important than ever before.

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Friday 1300 Vaughan

Surveillance Architecture: 21st Century Surveillance and the Tools to Fight Back


In the last decade, we’ve learned a lot about the ways in which state surveillance is conducted - the state has likewise hardened their approach. This talk will examine solutions to this mass surveillance in the context of community-controlled infrastructure. In particular, the roles that encrypted messaging, distributed file systems, and mesh networking play in fighting back against the ever encroaching Skynet will be examined.

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Friday 1900 Booth

Surveillance Psychiatry and the Mad Underground

Jonah Bossewitch

Surveillance psychiatry is an emerging practice which seeks to predict and prevent mental illness across a broad population by using algorithms and big data. A new generation of digital systems for policing normal are currently in beta and will soon enable authorities to control all modes of social deviance and protest. Electronic health records, data mining social networks, and even algorithmically classifying video surveillance will significantly amplify this approach. Researchers are claiming they can diagnose depression based on the color and saturation of photos in your Instagram feed - and predict manic episodes based on your Facebook status updates. Corporations and governments are salivating at the prospect of identifying vulnerability and dissent. Although they will carefully use the language of suicide and violence prevention, these lines are not so clear. When algorithms are scrutinizing our tweets to determine who is crazy, it will become increasingly difficult to avoid a diagnosis. But there is hope. In this millennium, a new wave of mad resistance has emerged - the Mad Underground, a thriving network of mental health activists who are developing innovative strategies for resisting psychiatric domination and creating new models of community driven emotional support. By listening to their voices and understanding their visions, we can diffuse the menacing time bomb of big data surveillance psychiatry before it explodes, putting the depths of our emotions in the realm of public consumption and subjecting us to new forms of oppression.

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Saturday 1300 Ritchie

Tech Warrior Camp at Standing Rock: Lessons for Keeping the Lights On and the Livefeeds Streaming

Lisha Sterling

In 2016 and early 2017, tens of thousands of people gathered in camps on land near and on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in an attempt to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. At one point, the camps made up the third largest "city" in North Dakota, and yet there was no mains electricity, telephone service, or plumbing. Law enforcement and private security used continuous "low intensity warfare" tactics on this temporary community on the plains. The Tech Warrior Camp, led by Geeks Without Bounds, built and maintained a wireless ISP for the camp, as well as providing other technical support for communications and digital security. They did this despite 60 plus mph winds and -20F temperatures. In this talk, you can hear about some of the lessons gained from that experience, along with models for building community ISPs that are resilient to both human adversaries and natural events.

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Friday 1000 Booth

Torrent More Pharmaceutical Drugs: File Sharing Still Saves Lives

Michael Laufer

Two years ago, the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective became public at The Eleventh HOPE after almost a decade of working underground, and debuted the first generation of the Apothecary Microlab, the open-source automated chemical reactor designed to synthesize the active ingredients of pharmaceutical drugs. They synthesized Daraprim onstage, and called Martin Shkreli’s cell phone from stage. It was a good time. Since then, the reactor has developed, and been involved in more complicated syntheses, and hacking medical hardware. Most notably, they released plans for a DIY version of the EpiPen (the EpiPencil) that anyone can make for $30 US. Come see the new releases they have planned, as well as the new beta unit. Learn how to make medicine from poison, how to use the shrouding of information about medicine to make custom-tailored treatment programs for rare diseases, and how to use public data to find new, more efficient synthesis pathways for drugs. Hack your health. We can torrent medicine. File sharing saves lives.

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Friday 1100 Booth

Tor: The Dark Arts of Attack and Defense

EOF (Hunter Rogers)

This talk discusses modern practical attacks on the Tor anonymity network. The topics include penetrating Tor hidden services and infrastructure, as well as open-source intelligence, operational security, social engineering, and client side exploitation as they relate to the Tor network. Real-world examples are examined, and methods of self-defense are explored. This discussion will arm the audience with the knowledge they will need to engineer attack-resilient anonymous ecosystems, and to defend their liberty, their lives, and their human rights of privacy, anonymity, and free speech in an age of ubiquitous surveillance.

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Sunday 1400 Ritchie

Tracing Invisible Neighborhoods: The Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map

David Goren

Every day in Brooklyn, over 30 unlicensed radio stations fire up their transmitters and take to the air. Historically known as pirates, they crowd onto an already packed FM dial, beaming transgressive culture-bearing signals into West Indian, Orthodox Jewish, and Latino neighborhoods. The sound map project seeks to explore and understand the forces that drive these stations, the conditions they operate under, the needs of their audiences, and their effect on licensed stations. The Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map (BPRSM) is an interactive archival home for intensely local, neighborhood focused radio programming.

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Friday 1400 Vaughan

Trolling, Free Speech, and the Hacking of Our Media/Attention Landscape

Matt Goerzen, Joan Donovan, Jeanna Matthews

Trolls are attention hackers, using social and technical means to bait journalists, set agendas, game media gatekeepers, and direct audiences. This panel of members of the media manipulation team at Data & Society will consider the relationship between trolling and hacking, free speech, and the implications for our media/attention landscape. Matt will focus on hackers who have used trolling techniques to disclose vulnerabilities and elicit public pressure. Joan will talk about source hacking techniques, a tactic where groups coordinate to feed false information to journalists and experts, often during times of crisis. Jeanna will discuss the relationship between free speech, amplification of speech through platform and media manipulation, and the implication of possible interventions. The floor will be open to comments, questions, and a discussion which hopefully will continue beyond the session itself.

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Saturday 2200 Vaughan

Trolling the Trolls and the Trolls That Troll Them

'Da Beave', 'Faux Real'

It has been said that Twitter bots and trolls helped Russia influence the United States 2016 presidential election. Looking towards the 2018 midterm elections, many voters, politicians, and government agencies are anxious and uncertain of what may come: "How might another nation influence our election?" "Might the potential for electoral interference persuade some politicians to preemptively ‘get on board’ with those who may influence the political outcomes?" The torrent of news broadcasts and research publications on the subjects of social media manipulation have led to greater confusion in some respects. This talk covers aggressive research conducted over the last year focusing on bots, fake news, and hate speech on Twitter. This "aggressive research" uses methods and techniques that are directly at odds with the Twitter ToS. To best understand the motives and techniques of your adversary, it’s sometimes best to walk their shoes. Using and abusing Twitter API, using automation to engage suspicious accounts without using the API, and engaging in "nontraditional" data collection methods (i.e., "social engineering"), 'Da Beave' and 'Faux Real' have been collecting and analyzing a wide range of data related to their targets. The methods employed have enabled them to gain a wider perspective than any amount of social media data alone could provide, and these techniques have allowed them to bring some of the "trolls" and "bots" out of the dark and into the daylight. This talk covers what they did and how they did it. Source code will be released as an open-source project (GPLv2).

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Friday 1900 Vaughan

Updates on I-Star Organizations from the Bullshit Police

Amelia Andersdotter, Mehwish Ansari, Avri Doria, Mallory Knodel

A panel of experts, technologists, and lawyers will give an update on several I-star organizations, namely ICANN, IETF, IEEE, and ITU. Short presentations will touch on the major controversies in each space as they relate to human rights, namely freedom of expression and the right to privacy. Questions to the panel from the moderator will draw out the tensions and synergies of human rights considerations in Internet governance and standards setting across the I-star bodies. Questions from the audience are encouraged.

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Saturday 1000 Vaughan

Alex Muentz

We’re seeing a lot of changes in privacy law and security regulations in both the European Union and the United States. Some of these are beneficial, while others may make us less safe and free. Alex will discuss the current state of GDPR (the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation), recent U.S. SEC guidance on reporting security breaches, as well as the recently passed FOSTA-SESTA. Of course, hypotheticals and Q&A will follow.

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Friday 1700 Booth

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: Documenting Attacks on the Press in the Age of Trump

Alexandra Ellerbeck, Camille Fassett

Last August, a coalition of more than two dozen organizations dedicated to press freedom came together to launch the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a website that systematically documents press freedom violations in the United States. When the tracker was launched, it was never anticipated that more than 100 cases would be logged in the first year. These cases show that Trump’s heated rhetoric in D.C. is far from the only press freedom story. Instead, journalists face obstacles in courtrooms, city halls, and protests. Information from the tracker has already identified concerning patterns, such as the fact that two-thirds of journalists arrested in 2017 were caught up when police used a controversial tactic known as "kettling." It still remains to be seen how much of Trump’s legal threats to journalists are bluster, but the press freedom tracker is rigorously documenting them, along with the myriad of other threats that often go overlooked.

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Friday 2100 Booth

We Must Legislate to Block Collection of Personal Data

Richard Stallman

With surveillance so pervasive, weak measures can only nibble around the edges. To restore privacy, we need strong measures. Companies are so adept at manufacturing users’ consent that the requirement hardly hampers their surveillance. This talk will discuss how what we need nowadays is to put strict limits on what data systems can collect.

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Sunday 1200 Vaughan (2 hours)

What Should Go into a dotMOBI Website?

The Cheshire Catalyst

The dotMOBI TLD (Top Level domain) has been established for websites meant to be read on Mobile devices (mobile phones and tablets). The Cheshire Catalyst (Richard Cheshire) will describe his thoughts on what design elements are needed to go into such a website for usablity on not just the latest smartphones, but on older Feature Phones as well (ask Nokia how their new 3310 is doing). The web site H12.Mobi will be used as an example.

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Friday 1100 Ritchie

Why Trade Secret Law Can’t Stop Hackers

Ed Ryan

Patent law can’t cover everything. In cases where the publicity of a patent is too high a price to pay, the law provides protections against the "misappropriation" of trade secrets, which have no expiration date. Trade secret law has been strengthened in recent years to include federal protection and warrantless seizure of property. This talk introduces the trade secret and industrial espionage laws and outlines the limitations of these laws in the face of a person intent on liberating closely held secrets. It will cover the Defense of Trade Secrets Act of 2016, including the provisions for "ex parte seizure" of property. This talk is an academic discussion of trade secret law and should not be construed as legal advice.

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Friday 1800 Ritchie

Your Blockchain Sucks

Glenn Willen

It sure seems like everybody wants a blockchain these days, doesn’t it? It started with finance, but now we have blockchain for books, airlines, advertising, clinical trials, energy... and that’s just the first two pages of Google hits. But why does everybody want a blockchain? There’s a ton of a lot of blockchain hype right now, and frankly, 95 percent of proposed blockchain projects are crap. So what precisely is a blockchain, and why is it useful? Where did it come from, what is it good for, and - more importantly - what is it totally garbage at? And what kinds of bullshit are people trying to use it for that just doesn’t make any goddamned sense? Glenn is here to tell you exactly why your blockchain sucks.

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Friday 2200 Booth

Your IoT Roommate and You - Living with the Enemy

Michael "Sveder" Sverdlin

More and more people, hackers included, are allowing IoT devices into their homes, while simultaneously not a week goes by without a new IoT botnet or an attack on and involving IoT devices. Time to talk about what the paranoid of us already know - how to live with your IoT roommates and keep your privacy, security, and sanity. Michael will go through the story of his smart water heater and how he’s slowly but surely making it more hacker friendly - from replacing its permission hungry app, to inspecting the software and the remote API it insecurely communicates with, and finally physically taking it apart in order to make sure it doesn’t have added "features." The talk will include technical details about his device, but more importantly it will contain strategies and ownership tips that will work on any other. IoT devices are moving in - will you be prepared?

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Friday 2300 Booth