As previously announced with a dedicated post, WabiSabiLabi has been invited to the Hack In The Box security conference, in Malaysia, to participate with a dual mission: try to compete with the Asian experts at the Capture the Flag hacking game and to hold a speech to the conference attendees about our marketplace initiative.
We welcomed such opportunity as it gave us the occasion to meet the people and show our faces (in response to those who speculated about our non-existence) as well as to address to the public, with a speech aimed to explain every single aspect of our venture from the business and legal point of view.
The response has been fantastic. In two days we have talked (beside the public speech) to more than 100 people who were eager to ask us details about the WSL project. We also released 6 newspapers interviews as well as a BBC radio interview. Believe it or not, in those 2 conference days we received nothing but compliments for our initiative, from hackers, security companies attending the conference, from journalists and from militaries.
One of the questions often addressed to us was related to the trust that should be put in place in order to have WSL being perceived positively from both the security researchers and security companies. People were asking us: "how will you build the trust?" and our answer was: "It will take time, we know it. Being here showing our faces in the most important conference in the Far East it's a first important step."
So there we were, people could see us, people could touch us, people could ask us.
During the 50 minutes speech, our Director of Strategy Roberto Preatoni tried to address most of the criticism we received at our launching date. We think we succeeded in explaining to the attendees (and through the press interviews to the general public) what is the scope of WSL and how the whole security market segment will benefit from it.
During the conference, we participated also at the Capture The Flag competition, where 10 teams (8 from Asia, us from Switzerland and the US Army team) struggled with offensive and defensive techniques, reverse engineering, crypto analysis, exploit coding etc.
At the end of the competition, we managed to score second, behind the excellent team SaoVang from Vietnam (really tough and skillful guys, believe us). During the competition we also wasted a lot of time reversing some crypto daemons, but eventually at the end we succeeded. More details about this in a separate post.
A particular mention to the US Army team (Army Strong). They didn't succeed in scoring any hacking task, but they succeeded to get the best defensive points. Considering that their critical mission in every day's life is to defend the US Army network (they don't have any legal right to attack), we think that they met their mission objective which was to come to the CTF to score the best in defense. Mission accomplished, congratulation US Army Team!
Overall it has been a truly exciting experience, the HITB conference is just a "must-be-there" event, with a very high level of speakers and attendees. We certanly will try to show up also the next year, that time aiming to the first price ;)
WSL @ Hack In The Box, over.