On Hotel Accommodation And Safety

First and foremost, if you’re attending 44CON, please add this phone number to your contacts list, under “44CON”. It’s our at-event emergency crew contact number:

+44 (0)7955 376 729

Recent events in Las Vegas as a result of policy changes following the Mandalay Bay shooting seriously affected some of our attendees visiting the city for conferences in early August. We watched from a distance in abject horror as people routinely had their privacy and safety compromised by aggressive security teams demanding entry to rooms and confiscating soldering irons and lockpicks, some of which we understand haven’t been returned to their owners.

While we completely understand the need to beef up security in the shadow of yet another mass shooting in America, the horrific stories that unfolded on twitter made us ask ourselves what we were doing to ensure that such invasions of safety and privacy don’t happen here.

To that end, we’ve done two things:

  1. We’ve asked the ILEC’s attached hotel under what terms they’ll enter rooms booked there.
  2. We’ve set up an emergency contact number you can call to reach the crew at any time during the event.

In the UK there are reasons under which your hotel room can be forcefully entered, but generally it shouldn’t need to happen unless your stay is longer than a few days and you’ve left the Do Not Disturb tag on your door. This is partly to check that you’re still alive, and also to check you haven’t trashed the hotel room. From the ILEC:

We do not access guests rooms apart from cleaning. If the Do not disturb sign is displayed up to 3 days we do not enter but after that we have to check. Initially we would ring the room and if the guest answers we would ask to go and see the room if it is inacceptable[sic] conditions ( as in damages).

If there is a fire evacuation the fire marshals will go floor by floor and knock and open the rooms for people to evacuate as they can be asleep.

The only other reason for someone to enter the room by force would be if the police or fire service needed to enter in an emergency.

The author of this post is a man, but the 44CON crew are a mix of men and women. If you’re struggling to see why this is primarily a safety rather than privacy issue, I think Joe Fitz summed things up best in this twitter thread:

“I sympathize with @maddiestone and @k8em0 ‘s experiences but realize I can’t possibly know how terrified they probably felt.”

Once again, that emergency crew number is:

+44 (0)7955 376 729

If you’re attending 44CON, please add this number to your contacts. It’ll only be active during the event, but someone will have the phone 24×7. Please don’t abuse this number, as it may block the line for someone who needs it.

Fundamentally, your safety is the most important thing to us. If we can’t get that right, nothing else matters. While we don’t expect problems, should anything happen that could compromise your safety:

  1. If you’re in your room and something is happening outside, make sure the room is locked. Do not let anyone into your room if you don’t want to.
  2. Dial reception on the in-room phone and tell them what’s happening, and what you need them to do.
  3. Let us know something’s happened via email so we can track it, regardless of whether it’s been resolved.
  4. If it’s unresolved, or you feel your safety is being threatened then call +44 (0)7955 376 729. We’ll sort things out from there.
  5. In case you need it, please remember that the emergency services number is 999 in the UK, not 911. 112 will also work.

We don’t expect anyone to need this, but if you do, we’ll do our best to keep you safe.

 

TNMOC Guided Tour Giveaway

Proudly sponsored by F-secure

Following the recent prize draw for Steelcon tickets, it’s time for the next opportunity to win with 44CON.

F-Secure are sponsoring a guided tour of The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) which will take place on Saturday 1st September from 12:30.

logo_f-Secure_Red-web

The tour will last around 2 hours and cover the full museum collection from the Colossus, war code breaking machines and the history of computing from 1940 to the start of smart phone. Much of what is on display actually works, and the guide will describe how the computers were used, tell anecdotes on their design and operation, and operate some of the equipment.

After the tour you will be able to stay in the museum if you’d like to go back and look at certain computers. TNMOC also has a few old gaming consoles which you’ll be able to play on.

How to enter:

  1. Sign up to our newsletter
  2. Send an email to marizel@44con.com letting us know you’re interested in the TNMOC tour. Please either use the email you used to sign up to the mailing list or mention it in your email.
  3. Keep an eye on your emails in mid August to see if you’re a winner

Winners will be contacted around the 15th of August and the tour will take place on the 1st of September 2018. Instructions/directions will be sent to the winners prior to the tour taking place.

Detailed information about getting to TNMOC situated in Bletchley Park can be found here.

 

Steelcon Ticket winners

44CON Soldering Area at Steelcon

Steelcon is coming up soon, Steve and Marizel are looking forward to running the soldering area on the 7th of July. We’ll be offering hands on help for those new to soldering or who haven’t had a chance to solder in a while. So come over, say hi and have a go!

We’ll also have some new sticker designs and a Steelcon exclusive discount code for 44CON tickets!

And the winners are…

After being generously provided with two Steelcon tickets to give away to 44CON supporters, last week we did a random draw. If you bought a 44CON2018 ticket and are signed up for our newsletter you had a chance to win.

We are very happy to announce that Will Deane and Mick Vaites are the winners of the two tickets and were contacted last week.

 

 

 

Introducing 44CON’s House Rules

44CON was born out of a private event that Adrian and I used to occasionally get involved in organising. It was a close-knit group of people featuring deeply opinionated and often spectacularly drunk people who somehow mostly got along.

As 44CON grew, more people outside that group attended. The new people didn’t know about our overton window. These people paid good money for a good time, but were new to our community and we hadn’t provided guidance on what was acceptable behaviour, or how we handle concerns.

An event with talks about exploiting human and computer trust relationships tends towards some attendees holding unusual views about acceptable behaviour. To make things easier for everyone, we introduced Wheaton’s Law. For those that don’t know, it’s fairly easy to take on board:

“Don’t be a dick.”

For a long time “Don’t be a dick” was the only rule we had. Every year we’d review it, and every year it would stay.

We have had people breach the rule. We’ve had and investigated complaints. We stand by Wheaton’s law as it’s stood by us. What we haven’t done is properly track complaint resolution, and we hadn’t told people how to raise concerns. That’s why we’ve launched our House Rules. They’re not going to be perfect, but it’s a start.

The House Rules are simply an expansion of Wheaton’s Law. They set expectations, a reporting process and circumstances under which we’ll eject someone, along with a reminder that the laws of England and Wales may not match your own at home.

We’ve integrated feedback from event organisers up and down the country, and we’re fully open to suggestions on how to improve them for next year. To be clear, there’s no change in our expectations from previous years, only in how we communicate them.

If you’re coming to 44CON you’ll see the house rules in your brochure or you can read them now. Please take a moment to read them, as they apply to everyone. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, use the email address on the House rules page before the event, or follow the procedure to report a concern once you’re there.

We want everyone to have a good time, regardless of preferred text editor, open source licensing beliefs or i/o port configuration. We hope you’ll join us and keep making 44CON a great place for everyone.

SteelCon2018 Tickets up for Grabs!

Ey up, We’ve got two SteelCon 2018 Tickets to give away. Make like a whippet and you too could be at Sheffield’s finest hacker conference!

Nah then, 44CON will be exhibiting at SteelCon in July 2018. We’re also running a soldering area and have stickers and reyt good goodies to grab! Even better, we have two tickets to give away! As lovely as it is, Sheffield is uphill both ways in the snow. If you’re heading up from that London, make sure you wrap up warm.

How to enter:

For a chance to win one of two SteelCon 2018 tickets all you have to do is this before the 31st of May 2018:

  1. Purchase a 44CON 2018 ticket
  2. Make sure you’re signed up to the 44CON mailing list (you can do this by ticking the relevant box when purchasing your ticket or here).

Obligatory fine print:

Don’t stress love, if you’ve already bought a  ticket and are signed up to our mailing list using the same email address for both, you’re already in the draw.
Winners will be contacted around the 4th of June 2018. If you would rather someone else had your SteelCon 2018 ticket just let us know and we’ll make it happen.
Marizel is running the draw, and her decision is final. She cannot be bribed with crisps, breadcakes, nor flat caps, although you’re welcome to try.

We’d love to see you at SteelCon!

If you’re planning to attend SteelCon 2018 please come over and say hi. We’ll be the ones selling 44CON tickets, sticking things to people and soldering to our <3’s content. The SteelCon team have two 44CON 2018 tickets to give away, so look out for a chance to win these too.

CRESTCon & IISP Congress 2018

44CON is exhibiting at CRESTCon & IISP Congress on 3rd May at theRoyal College of Physicians in London. Tickets are available now – www.crestandiisp.com

Now in its sixth year, CRESTCon and IISP Congress is a unique event that brings together leading technical and business information security professionals and is a key date in the industry calendar, attracting an impressive line-up of speakers and senior delegates.

This year it also welcomes the BCS Security Conference in the third stream. 2017’s event welcomed over 450 delegates, had three conference streams, a bookshop/meeting area, as well as expanded exhibition and demo areas and 2018 is building further on the success of these features. The length of the day is being increased to incorporate further networking and entertainment in response to the feedback received from delegates and sponsors.

Delegates at the event include senior security, risk and compliance managers from a wide range of public and private sector organisations, along with security consultants and business directors working in the technical information assurance and response industry.

If you’re attending, please stop by and say hello to Steve and Marizel!

44CON 2018 CFP Is Open!

We’re really excited to open our Call For Papers for 44CON 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing all of your submissions on our shiny new CFP system, which promises to be far less painful than the old one.

44CON consists of 2 dedicated speaking tracks, a dedicated workshop track and combined speaking/workshop track over the two days. Talks range from softer subjects in areas such as governance, law and policy through to reverse engineering, exploitation, tooling and abuse of weird machines. We also have an open evening freely accessible to all (but with pre-registration) on the Wednesday evening before the main event.

Talks are 45 minutes long, while workshops are 60-120 minutes in length. All submissions are welcome but some useful guidance on particular topics of interest can be found at the CFP submission system.

As usual, speakers from outside of Fulham, Putney or London Underground Zone 1 will have travel reimbursed. We’ll provide two nights accommodation for speakers or workshop presenters with more than an hour’s travel to a mainline London rail station. We’ll bump that to 3 nights accommodation for any accepted speaker providing a talk and a workshop.

If you’re interested in submitting something, we highly recommend reading last year’s How To Game The 44CON CFP blog post.

The CFP closes on Monday 30th April 2018 at 23:59pm UTC. We’ll start notifying speakers by the 4th of June and announce our first round of accepted speakers on the 6th of June at BSides London. Full details of dates can be found on the CFP system.

44CON 2017 Schedule Available.

Here you go folks the 44CON 2017 schedule is now available here.

Go take a look at all the wonderful talks and workshops we have lined up for you! As with all things the schedule could be subject to some last minute changes so make sure you keep an eye out on the day so you don’t miss out.

If you have’t got your ticket yet there are some still available here.

We look forward to seeing you all in September.