NSA, Linux and handcuffs: Success in Serbia for Balkan hacker conference BalCCon

NSA, Linux and handcuffs: Success in Serbia for Balkan hacker conference BalCCon

Summary: Groundbreaking Balkan hacker conference BalCCon: First Contact brought hackers from all over the world to its successful launch and makes plans for next year's edgy event.

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  • BalCCon 2013

    At BalCCon, young hackers clogged the hallways, making it challenging for cranky older hackers to get around. 

    BalCCon stated,

    The basis of the hacker ethic is, and always will be, the exchange of knowledge, [and] free writing software to solve problems.

     While there were black hats inn attandance, and BalCCon plans to accomodate the anonymity needs of all hackers next year with a no-press presentation space, they also told ZDNet:

    Hackers respect the ethics and fight against virtual criminals. Exposing networks of pedophiles, neo-Nazis, religious sects, the misuse of personal data... are some of the most common hacker activities.

    In broad terms, hackers are working to find vulnerabilities in systems, document them, publish, and propose solutions to better protect them.

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

    Photos used with permission and courtesy of BalCCon/Milobit.

  • Vesna Manojlovic's Fifty Shirts of Gray

    Featured presenter Vesna Manojlovic shows off the Fifty Shirts of Gray project, a growing collection of hacker t-shirts stitched together in a commemoration of hacker culture, its history and community.

    Manojlovic's talk RIPE Atlas probes at hackerspaces was met enthusiastically by BalCCon attendees, reflecting a population of Balkan hackers eager to start their own hackerspaces movement.

    Her dream is to see a RIPE Atlas in every hackerspace; RIPE Atlas employs a global network of probes that measure Internet connectivity and reachability, providing an unprecedented understanding of the state of the Internet in real time). We think that would be really cool, too.

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

    Photos used with permission and courtesy of BalCCon/Milobit.

  • BalCCon

    While the atmosphere was open and fun, as seen in the hardware hacking area above, a recurring theme was learning from the mistakes of the US and its current NSA debacle. 

    Featured presenter Igor Nikolic explained current issues weighing on hackers to Serbian press during interviews at BalCCon, notably privacy protection in relation to Internet companies and the intelligence services of some states:

    Private data are currently more vulnerable than ever, and I think that it will only get worse. Whether through social networks where we leave our own data, or through oversight, or wrongful taking of data. 

    What some states are doing currently borders on fascism. 

    (...) Personal information that is collected through the Internet is certainly not used by ordinary people; it is primarily used for commercial purposes. 

    Companies use data for profiling and direct marketing. Certain countries (or those in power) do much worse. What is scary is that it does not matter just what I do, but what my friends and their friends do: the fact is that it is now very easy to monitor.

    We see this in the current example of the United States, where the government has monitored hundreds of thousands of people over the internet without permission.

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

    Photos used with permission and courtesy of BalCCon/Milobit.

Topics: Security, Government, Hardware, Linux

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