Kiwicon X

Kiwicon X, Wellington, New Zealand
Part hacker conference, part cult event, part rock concert; Kiwicon X fully lived up to expectations this week. Attendees were treated to an almost constant barrage of live hacks, demonstrations, presentations and more live hacks in the southern hemisphere's answer to Black Hat without the tackiness and desert heat of Las Vegas.

That's not to say that attending Kiwicon is in any way safer then Black Hat - leave anything electronic a mile away from the conference and if you do take a credit card then make sure you have a lead lined wallet to prevent it being inadvertently scanned by someone.

Live hack demonstration

Oh, and did I mention the plutonium or uranium brought on stage to demonstrate how to break cryptography in a presentation entitled “Radiation-induced cryptographic failures and how to defend against them.” Maybe the attendees dressed up in silver radiation costumes weren't exactly wearing 'costumes' if you know what I mean!

Laser light show, Kiwicon X Hacker Conference, Wellington, New Zealand

If the radiation didn't fry you and the pyrotechnics didn't burn you, then the lasers almost certainly blinded you - albeit temporarily! What a show!


Fireproof conference attire advised for anyone in the first 5 rows

With an opening presentation that could easily have been incorporated into an episode of the X Files TV series, and other presentations that included hacking the Red Star OS - North Korea's only approved PC operating system and “Defending the Gibson in the Age of Enlightenment” I was never quite sure whether the coffee had been spiked or whether what I was hearing was in fact really happening.


“The Truth Is In Here” by Metlstorm opening presentation

Kiwicon X was informative and entertaining on SO many levels!


The house was packed for nearly every presentation 
Despite a major earthquake that shut down Wellington not long before the conference and multiple aftershocks during the conference, the show was a great success.

Kiwicon X, Wellington, New Zealand

It was great to meet and chat with so many utterly smart if slightly deranged people. I hope to drop in again for another Kiwicon at some point in the future.


More lasers at the Closing Presentation