Held in Albany on June 16th and 17th, 2017, the first annual ANYCon conference took place at the new Albany Convention Center. ANYCon creator and coordinator, Tyler Wrightson, had a goal to bring hackers, information security professionals, hobbyists and the like together from throughout the region.
Hacking, InfoSec, cybersecurity and more were among the topics covered over the two-day event. Popular at ANYCon were several events including the Hardware Hacking Village, Capture the Flag and just for some extra added fun, a Ping Pong Tournament.
Hackers and hobbyists have been creating their own hardware for years and are focused on finding different ways to utilize the tools that they have made. The Hardware Hacking Village served as the perfect event for those who were looking to test cables, use soldering irons and learn tips about creating wireless tools. Live demonstrations included a soldering workshop 101, ESP8266 & MicroPython and several live discussions.
Capture the Flag, a challenge to a hacker who wished to participate, encouraged any and all conference goers to bring a laptop and have fun while attempting to win.
Other discussions included diving deep into both offensive and defensive tracks along with education. Twinstate’s Jennifer Allen, Red Team Manager, led the discussion ‘DIY Spy: Roll-Your-Own Covert Channels with Scapy and Python,’ a demonstration to teach newcomers the art of stealthy exfiltration and how to create your own covert channels.
Going forward, Wrightson hopes to get the local colleges and universities more involved. “We plan to host our second annual event in September or October when we can work more closely with the student bodies in Albany,” said Wrightson. “There is a lot of talent and interested newcomers who could really get involved in an event like this.”
Other future plans include expanding on the already existing events such as Capture the Flag and the Hardware Hacking Village along with adding other events. Wrightson concluded with emphasizing the importance of keeping the focus on the practitioners rather than catering events and talks to vendors.