HackInBo 2016 – Winter Edition

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HackInBo 2016 – Winter Edition

Saturday 29th October I was in Bologna for the HackInBo and during this week a lot of you, foreign readers, asked me what the HackInBo is, if it was good and what type of event is it, so, I will try to break it down.

The HackInBo is probably the first and the only Italian security oriented event without sales pitches and marketing. It is hard to describe because it is very different from any other events that I can think of.

It is a small event (if you are going to compare it to the Defcon or the BlackHat), generally it can handle something between 500-600 participants, it is structured as 6 hours’ events and, usually, at the end of the day there is a panel discussion between participants and speakers, plus a special guest.

The good

  • Social: You know, we are Italian, we like to meet each other, eat and drink. Do not get me wrong, the HackInBo does not looks like other events with the Italian Grappa stand, but I honestly like to meet old friends and have nice talks with other Italian guys that are doing crazy things inside the Infosec industry. You can always share, discuss, meet some business partner and, in the worst case scenario, have a nice Italian dish (Bologna is one of the right cities).
  • It is freaking free, you do not have to pay an incredible amount of money, like the BlackHat’s ticket.
  • It is free from marketing, sales pitches and vendors stands. You do not have to die following a “sparkling” talk about the last Security Appliance that can 100% protect you against APT attacks. In one word: No bullshit.
  • It is in Italian. I know, if you are not Italian it does not have sense, but, since we are trying to speak about information security with the greatest number of people, English will be an obstacle for an event like this.
  • It is live streamed during the event.

The bad

  • If you are intermediate – high level skilled, you should expect something like two technical talks out of six but it really depends on the editions, for example in the lab editions there are some technical workshops. There were some very technical topics like: iOS forensics, iOS/Android secure storage schemas, Rootkit, Honeyclient, Threat Intelligence and Malware Analysis, Automotive Network Security, Exploit Kit, Botnet based on DGA and Android Malware.
  • HackInBo is not like the Defcon/Black Hat, you should not expect the last researches and exploits.
  • There are 6 talks in one day, one followed by another. You cannot choose the topic since there are not others talks to follow in the meanwhile.

The ugly

  • I`m mad about it. There is no Call for Paper and there is no transparency about who and how talks, topics and speakers are chosen. In my humblest opinion, every event should be as much as democratic as possible: speakers should propose their talks and their audience should be able to vote for them. A technical “director board” could filter the talks applications following the event guidelines.
  • It is Italian only, this cut out international speakers and limits the audience.

So, if I need to choose only one reason to go at the HackInBo, I will choose the very social aspect of this event.

Last but not least: thank you Mario for bringing something like this in Italy. I know that you put your heart and a lot of commitment to carry on this event, although it is not perfect, even if I’m picky and it’s not exactly as I would like. It could be improved and I will always try to suggest better things to bring in it.

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