The sweat has finally dried and we are back to the normal swing of things here at Social-Engineer. I scoff at my own ridiculous self as I write that sentence and say, “What is normal?”

But never-the-less, we wanted to give you a small glimpse of the craziness that was DEF CON 22 and the SEVillage.  Let’s start off by saying that this was the best year so far.  The best in regards to the Village, to the SECTF competition, to the SECTF4Kids and in regards to DEF CON.

Also it’s notable to mention that we hit DEF CON running at full bore.  It is right after Black Hat, where we held our 4 day version of the “Advanced Practical Social Engineering” Course.  That class was so packed there was standing room only and it went off amazing.  The new venue was great and the students this year where engaging, intelligent and very diverse.  It was a real pleasure to have that class.

So Starts the DEF CON….

Our class ended on Tuesday  and so also our last night of “normal” (there’s that word again) sleep for the remainder of our time in hel….err… Vegas.  Most of the team packed up our things and headed over to the Rio for set up on Wednesday.  However, Chris had a book signing and had to come later.  It always makes him nervous when the team is left alone.  When asked he said, “Do you really want me to trust a team of professional social engineers, wifi hackers and whiskey lovers left all alone?”

Wednesday set up went well:


The following picture just proves why Chris is so nervous to leave them all alone… it’s like gang warfare in the SE Room.


But one good thing is that this year we decided to get booth babes…


What do you think?

Anyhow, set up went smoother than ever. The team was amazing and our new sound guy/god/man, Evan, just made the set up of the sound painless.



DEF CON decided to open up Thursday and it was a good idea, as the line was like 3 days long.  But we had to have some competitions to pass the time, so we came up with two.

First, we locked people in leg and handcuffs then threw them in a booth and they have to get free as quickly as possible. If that wasn’t hard enough after they got out of the booth (without knocking any of our fragile booth apart) they had to solve a  cipher on the screen and were only given a pencil and a sheet of paper to solve it with. The one to do this in the fastest time won.  Second, we placed the names of three Microexpressions in a lock box and made them pick the lock and then match the expressions to the faces on the projector screen.  Here are some shots of what they looked like:

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The two fastest times won and they had an SE DEATH MATCH.   Handcuff winner was hogtied with handcuffs and lock box guy was given a lock box.  Each had 3 nerf darts they could gain access to.  The first to unlock themselves, grab the gun and load the darts and shoot was the winner.

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Our handcuffed contestant won.  And there was so much fun to be had people were lining up asking to be handcuffed.


So we started handcuffing people together and testing their abilities to get out from weird positions.  Overall, it went very well and everyone had a lot of fun.

So starts the SECTF

Friday arrived quickly and that was the start of SECTF. The calls were amazing.  It was our first year for a tag team competition with two people in the booth at the same time. The premise was they hadto come up with a pretext that would allow them to tag out and switch to their partner mid-call.  This went from Friday into Saturday… here is what it looked like:

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These are just some of the images we got from the SECTF, one of the more common images involved the outside:


The room was so packed there was a line just trying to get inside… sometimes for over 45 mins.


SEVillage Speeches

One of the bits of good news was that DEF CON made the SEVillage an official DEF CON Track this year!!  That is super exciting for us and meant that all of our speeches are going to be on the DVD this year – w0000t!

Our speeches started off with Friday’s Brent and Tim:


Followed by our good friend and the always entertaining David Kennedy:


On Saturday we had a full line up as well, starting off with the relaxed and ever cool Jayson Street:


Followed by Chris:


No sooner did Chris get up on the “stage” and he was informed that the SECTF was a black badge event this year.  That was a certainly exciting way to start off the speech. 

And then Michele warmed up the room….


And the final speech was the room packer, Kevin Mitnick:


Soon as the speeches were all over the room was packed, but we were hosting an Anniversary Party to celebrate SEORG’s 5th year in existence.

The packed room quickly got converted to….


Wide open space and then….


Overall it was a great party with food and drink and some great friends all celebrating what started off as a hobby and turned into all of this!


Don’t Forget the Kids!!

Saturday also started off the SECTF4Kids.  This year was a great year.  More teams thanever, the hardest CTF ever and support from Qualys and DEF CON made it easier for the kids to get to DEF CON. This year with a “Who Dunnit” theme the kids were sent off to solve a corporate crime using their critical thinking and social engineering skills. 


The team this year was amazing and our proud success story is all about Ashley, whom we wrote about before DEF CON.


yes she is wearing a Tardis. 🙂

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The kids all – we mean ALL – completed, even the team that went to 6pm!!  That was amazing.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and from what we have been told, the kids loved every second of it. 

The SEVillage Spirit

The SEVillage was started as a place to come and discuss, play and participate in all things Social Engineering.  Is it always calm?


Sometimes Chris had to teach his people a lesson or two (cough)… but in the end it always results in hugs all around:


Its almost over….

Sunday was the final day, but by no means relaxing.  Besides packing, shipping and organizing we had both awards ceremonies as well as the podcast.


We were graced with an amazing guest this year, our good friend and community example, Johnny Long.


Fortunately as legal questions arose, our lawyer was close by to help out.

Really this year was the best DEF CON podcast we have ever done and it shows by how happy we all were.


No really, he is happy… i promise. 🙂


That is the SEVillage Crew with Johnny Long – just a great group of people here. 

After that, there was the inevitable running over for a few interviews and the first awards ceremony.

The best part is Amanda did NOT want to be there but we made her go up with Chris…. look how happy she is.


Then the main ceremony for the black badges.


The crowd was screaming, the teams were super happy and yes, it was almost over….

A couple pictures with the winners and one of well… Chris, with Eddie’s creation of Chris…

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Thanks EDDIE!! 

And that about sums up DEF CON 22 in a few short pages and pictures.

Really?  it felt so much more brutal – but looking at this, I kinda miss it. 🙂

 DEF CON 23 anyone?

The news is out… DEF CON is moving the Bally/Paris Hotel – which will offer more space and a bigger venue.  Which (we hope) will mean more room for the SEVillage too!  (hear that DEF CON?) 

We have some massive plans for the SEVillage next year – more on that soon enough, but I can tell you this, in a meeting with Jeff Moss after DEF CON 22 he asked us to make the SEVillage an official track from now on.  So speeches, CFP’s, bigger, better, more!!! WOW.

Not sure if there are any more hours in the day but I guess for now we will just sleep and shower less to prepare for next year.

Don’t forget – the SECTF report will be released on Oct 27th and there is a FREE webinar that we will be hosting all about the SECTF on Oct 31st.  Sign ups start October 1, with limited seats.  Until next year, stay safe and stay in touch.