24 hours in Serbia at Balkan hacker conference BalCCon

24 hours in Serbia at Balkan hacker conference BalCCon

Summary: This weekend the Balkan Computer Congress BalCCon: First Contact is putting Balkan hackers center stage with international hackers at the first-ever Balkan hacker conference.

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  • BalCCon 2013: First Contact

    This weekend ZDNet is in Serbia for BalCCon 2013: First Contact - called this as the first official hacker conference in the Balkans - and it is organized by LUGoNS/Linux Users of Novi Sad, Serbia.

    BalCCon's co-organizer Jelena Georgijevic told me,

     

    We have gone back and forth through the wars and crisis. This [BalCCon] is one of the healing processes that will help reunite our region in one industry.

    We want BalCCon to be a catalyst for numerous other projects, to inspire people to hack more, to discover more, and to be more curious.

    We want this conference to be the place of gathering for everyone from this region, and to kind of unite all dissolved parts.

    Follow BalCCon on Twitter, and the event hashtag #BalCCon.

    Read more about BalCCon in Darknets, wargames and Raspberry Pi at first-ever Balkan hacker conference.

  • Nikola Tesla - Belgrade Airport

    Upon arrival for the conference into Serbia's Belgrade airport, hackers were greeted with their very first billboard seen on entry: a tribute to the scientific pride of Serbia, Nikola Tesla.

    Tesla is also on the Serbian Dinar 100 RSD.

    Nikola Tesla Serbian Dinar

    Read more about BalCCon in Darknets, wargames and Raspberry Pi at first-ever Balkan hacker conference.

  • Serbian hacker culture

    As seen in this traditional Serbian restaurant where the first assembly of early arrivals for the conference met for local food and drink, its culture has a rich and storied (and tragic) history. Much of the country is poor and still recovering from the brutal 1999 NATO bombings - which put Serbian hackers in the news for the first time when they took out NATO's servers with a weeklong DDoS in a push back to stop the bombings.

    Novi Sad, where BalCCon is having its first hacker Congress, was punished beyond the pale in NATO's aggression. This made for a determined hacker population that had no out-of-the-box computing like many other hacker cultures, and shapes the views of Balkan hackers to make them like no other hacker population on Earth.

    But like most hackers, generalizing does them a disservice, and at BalCCon we've seen the gamut, from Linux evangelists and hacktivists to science hackers,  hackers-for-good - and, of course, black hats with 'crew' names.

    Much of Novi Sad is "under repair" - this house matches all the ones on its block, just across the street from where a 5-star hotel is, and half a block another is being constructed:

    DSC03732

    Read more about BalCCon in Darknets, wargames and Raspberry Pi at first-ever Balkan hacker conference.

Topics: Security, Government, Linux

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