Chaos Communication Congress has been organised by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) since 1981 mainly on the topics of Computer Security, Cryptography, Freedom of Speech, Hacktivism. CCC is the largest association of hackers in Europe, the type of hackers believing in openness, sharing, decentralization, free access to computers and world improvement.
Thanks to invitation from Edgeryders and willing to spend some time with them as a warm-up for Opencare project, I attended the Congress for the first time. Costantino and me used to spend the days after Christmas watching the streaming, but it was really worth it to attend it live!
4 Halls with 4 streams of talks from 11.30am to 2.00am in the night made it impossible to follow them all, plus a lot of self-organized sessions where you could meet working groups and new projects. We also had the chance to meet with Mario Behling, part of the software team of Ayab project, who organized a Knithack meeting during the congress.
Here’s my list of the 5 best talks of the congress. It’s obviously limited to what I could attend or my friends watched and suggested!
- Shopshifting – The potential for payment system abuse
Karsten Nohl, Fabian Bräunlein and dexter focus they research on vulnerabilities of technologies we use in our daily life. During this talk they analyze the failures of payment protocols on debit cards.
- The exhaust emissions scandal / Dieselgate -Take a deep breath into pollution trickery
Daniel during the talk shows how engineering a Electronic Control Unit (ECU) works, and how many people are involved. Then Felix looks at body of evidence that 8+ million people have access to but too few took a closer look. He shared the tricks to extract the firmware from the affected engine control units and the findings he made along the way and when he looked at the plain and honest truth in code.
- My Robot Will Crush You With Its Soft Delicate Hands! – How to design and fabricate soft robots using everyday materials
The world of soft robots is fascinating and promising. Matthew Borgatti, Lead Scientist at Super-Releaser, approaches the problems of robotics from a low-cost point of view, allowing creative solutions and providing tips and info to make it yourself (don’t miss the Q&A session)
- Unpatchable – Living with a vulnerable implanted device
Marie’s life depends on the functioning of a pacemaker that generates each and every beat of her heart. This computer inside of her may fail due to hardware and software issues, due to misconfigurations or network-connectivity. In the talk, Marie together with Eireann Leverett examine what are the issues of privacy and vulnerabilities of implanted devices and how the hacker community can work on it.
- Collect It All – Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) for Everyone
M. C. McGrath is the founder of Transparency Toolkit, an organization that investigates surveillance and human rights abuses by collecting open data and making free software to analyze it. In the talk he discusses techniques for collecting Open Source INTelligence on surveillance and human rights issues. Q&A session reveals how M.C. started to be involved in this form of hacktivism at MIT.
If you have a bit more time and want to catch some perspective on CCC I’d also suggest to watch We lost the war, ten years later: Rop Gonggrijp (one of the founders of XS4ALL) and Frank Rieger (spokesperson for the Chaos Computer Club) present the sequel of the talk made at Congress ten years ago, causing quite a stir.
Enjoy and explore more talks on the 32c3 channel on CCC tv!