BSides London - a Retrospective

BSides London, BSides London… what can I say about BSides London… Well, for one it’s small - if you’re expecting a massive convention like Defcon you will be sorely disappointed. But the size doesn’t matter when you get to meet revered infosec people like Jack Daniel (Tenable) , Martin McKeay, Tod Beardsley (Metasploit) et al and talk to them on a one to one level about anything (I had a conversation about Hello Kitty with Tod B - that says a lot). Oh, and don’t forget the fact that staff members from the ever so epic Offensive Security were there too - I’m looking at you g0tmi1k :D It was also nice to meet up with Nullmode (forever known as N0tmi1k) and Arr0way as well and chat randomly about anything and everything that came to mind.

The talks were brilliant and well organised, and the lock picking village allowed me to get my first taste in lock picking - I think I’ve gotten the bug now and have already ordered my first set of picks and practice locks. I wasn’t able to get to as many talks as I’d have liked, but that wasn’t an issue due to the people around me who were happy to impart their knowledge and answer any questions asked.

And Tod, if I see any weird transactions on my credit card in the next few days, I know who I’m going to ask ;)

The only slight issue with the day was not related to BSides at all - but it was due to the Tube Strike. I’d like to extend a personal thank you to all the TFL members of staff who continued to come to work today and assist in keeping London moving at a moderate, but slightly slower, pace than usual. I will not repeat what went through my mind as I walked down onto the platform at Earls Court only to see thousands of people - I couldn’t see one inch of the platform ! At no point did I come across a staff member who was nothing but polite and level headed about the whole situation.

After sitting on the floor of a very busy train for the nearly two hour journey home, I was able to reflect on the introduction I’d been given to the infosec industry; I mean I’m a novice - I’ve only been seriously thinking about this as a career path for around a year, if that. There’s a lot of people talking about Infosec Burnout at the moment, but I saw nothing of the sort. All I experienced were people who went out of their way to run and attend an event for other like minded people in the industry. Those people pulled out all the stops to make BSides London welcoming, friendly and a lot of fun. I hope the Burnout mentality is just a phase and that it passes quickly so we can continue to host events of this stature.

Here’s to next year - and here’s to BSides London getting bigger and better.