HacDC Cryptoparty 2017 (01/28/2017)

It’s 2017 and cybersecurity affects our society daily. Come by HacDC in the morning for a layperson’s introduction to cybersecurity and gain some insight to the problems and solutions behind recent headline-grabbing hacks. Then, after lunch, we’ll delve into more advanced technical topics and some policy discussions with a lineup of invited speakers. Details below.

hacdc_cryptocover

Morning (10:30am): The introductory session in the morning will introduce concepts and terminology of computer security that will help you make sense of recent news headlines and policy discussions surrounding cybersecurity. We’ll describe phishing and spear-phishing scams, malicious websites and software, technical concepts like buffer overflows, SQL injections, man-in-the-middle attacks and DNS poisoning and go over the technologies and programs that combat these issues, and things you can do to secure your online presence. We’ll introduce hashing, encryption, digital signatures, certificate authorities, domain names and DNS security. We’ll also explain end-to-end email encryption with PGP, encrypted messaging using the Signal messaging app and anonymous web browsing using Tor.

Afternoon (1:00pm): In the afternoon we’ll delve into more advanced technical topics and host invited speakers for presentations and discussion of a variety of relevant topics like attribution of cyberattacks, internet freedom, privacy, cybersecurity law and policy.

Check back for updates.

HacDC is located inside St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at:

1525 Newton St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010. (2.5mi due North of the White House)

RSVP (helpful but optional) on MeetUp.com:

Cryptoparty, Morning Session

Saturday, Jan 28, 2017, 10:30 AM

HacDC
1525 Newton St NW, Suite 212 (use lot entrance) Washington, DC

19 Hackers Attending

It’s 2017 and cybersecurity affects our society daily. Come by HacDC for a layperson’s introduction to cybersecurity and gain some insight to the problems and solutions behind recent headline-grabbing hacks.We will introduce concepts and terminology of computer security, common scams, how to improve your security, how encryption works and how it’…

Check out this Meetup →

Cryptoparty, Afternoon Session

Saturday, Jan 28, 2017, 1:00 PM

HacDC
1525 Newton St NW, Suite 212 (use lot entrance) Washington, DC

12 Hackers Attending

After the morning’s introduction to cybersecurity, join us for an afternoon of presentations and discussions on online privacy, security, US policy, law and other topics. We’ll host speakers from Open Technology Fund (Radio Free Asia), Open Technology Institute (New America Foundation), the Mozilla Foundation and more. Stay tuned for updates.

Check out this Meetup →

 

The 2nd Annual HacDC CryptoParty is Nov 16

cryptoparty

Date: 16 Nov 2013
Time: 4 – 10pm
Place: 1525 Newton St NW
Washington DC 20010
(16th St entrance)

Subscribe to HacDC’s CryptoParty list for more interactive info and updates.

The HacDC CryptoParty will cover topics aimed at helping you keep your data safe by learning how to use basic cryptography tools to protect the content of your data and — of particular interest because of recent revelations— to thwart common forms of surveillance.

Like most of us, your life is probably pretty normal and of course you have nothing to hide. You may even think that allowing the government to read citizens’ email is the price we all have to pay for security.

But what if increased surveillance actually doesn’t keep us safer? What if the mere specter of surveillance suppresses your free expression? And what if you do have something that you want to keep private — for instance your sexual orientation, health status, political views, or that you’ve decided to stop practicing your religion?

Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom. —Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo

Continue reading “The 2nd Annual HacDC CryptoParty is Nov 16” »

DNA Cryptography

Diagram showing how DNA cryptography can work

For those folks that saw the Biomolecular Cryptology talk at This article in Technology Review talks about how DNA can be used to also encode data.  This approach leverages some deep properties of DNA biology, transcription and translation to enable a “public key” approach in which proteins (or their virtual equivalent) can be exchanged as a kind of public key, allowing the decoding of the underlying data encoded in DNA.  It is an interesting compliment to the so-called DNA stegnography, in which messages are encoded directly in the DNA bases, in something like a Caesar Cipher.

The paper appears to have some weaknesses in the cryptography, but I am nowhere near expert enough to be an effective judge- I wish that the paper has better references.  Perhaps some of our HacDC cryptography experts would be interested in giving it a go!

The details can be found in the paper here on arxiv.

Hack the Genome Shmoocon Presentation

genome_picture1

Had a bunch of really interested folks at the “Hack the Genome, the age of biomolecular cryptography” talk today at Shmoocon.  Lots of fantastic ideas and great discussions afterwards with interested hackers.  It is great to see how much creative knowledge and energy there is in our community.  I was asked to share my slides, so I have put them up on my site over at Radio Free Genome, and you can download the presentation directly from here.