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Conference tips from your friends at Trustwave SpiderLabs

We are quickly approaching the largest security conference week on the planet. July 25th will start a string of concurrent events that include Black Hat USA, BSides Las Vegas, DEF CON 20, and DEF CON Skytalks.

The members of the Trustwave SpiderLabs team have been attending and speaking at these events for many years, so we thought it would be a good idea to give everyone some tips. These will be especially helpful for those who are making the trek to Vegas for the very first time.

Do shower at least once per day.
Don't wake up in a shower on any day.

Do use the WiFi networks.
Don't use the WiFi without encryption.

Do not trust the clowns, even at Circus Circus.
Do leave Circus Circus if you find yourself there.

Do drink. Responsibly. If over 21.
Don't challenge Kaminsky to a drinking contest. Nobody wins.

Do swim in the pool.
Do not put soap or food coloring into the pool.
Do not pee in the pool.
Do not look for the pool on the roof.

Do observe the wild life throughout the con.
Do not pet any exotic animals you may find. (If you find any you may be outside the con, take corrective action.)

Do trust the Goons and listen to what they say.
Do not trust the clowns, the hackers, or the dealers. Trust no one. (Except the Goons.)

Do arrive early at Registration to get your badge.
Do not loose your badge.

Do drink a LOT of water.

Do bring your laptop with cantenna, packet radio hookup and bluetooth guns.
Do not bring these items onto the casino floor. (Hotel security does not appreciate the finer things in life.)

Do not count cards at Blackjack.
Do not get caught. (Your choice.)

Do use social media to keep in contact with your peeps at con.
Do not use unencrypted WiFi, bluetooth or cell data to maintain this connection.

Do use cash for all transactions.
Do not walk around the city alone.
Do not use any ATMs in the con hotel.

Do apply deodorant twice daily. This is mandatory.
Do not smell. This is mandatory. (It is hot in Vegas; you will sweat!)


  • You'll find that emergency room at the Las Vegas hospital will be filled with familiar faces, but we don't recommend doing anything that require you to visit.
  • If you see Charles Henderson after 4:00am, you have made some very poor life choices.

Also, "3-2-1" will help you survive and is easy to remember:

  • 3 hours of sleep per night
  • 2 meals
  • 1 shower

See you in a few weeks!

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