Cryptoparty 2014 – Hi my name is Ed


press-release dated 17 September 2014


For Immediate Release

Who: HacDC

What: CryptoParty 2014: "Hi, my name is Ed."

Where: HacDC, 1525 Newton Street NW, Washington DC 20015 USA

voice: 202-556-4225 |

(Entrance is behind St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, via reddish door on 16th St NW, NOT via Newton St NW).

Geolocation: 38.93374, -77.03546

When: 20 Sept 2014 at 2pm ET


There has been heightening awareness about online security over recent years. The Snowden revelations have made the topic gain prominence with the main stream media and the general public. Concerns have been further amplified by widely publicized personal data thefts from large companies’ systems, vulnerabilities found in widely used networking software, the growing inadequacy of passwords as a means to maintain data security, and the privacy concerns raised by social media corporations’ use of our lives’ data streams. The topic is one that renders otherwise informed people powerless with its confounding technical issues and what to do about them. The CryptoParty format is meant to help educate lay and expert communities, and provide a friendly place for ad hoc Q&A.

Contact media inquiries: email hidden; JavaScript is required


Local DC hackerspace, HacDC, is hosting its 3rd annual CryptoParty. This event is aimed at all levels of computer expertise including anyone interested in cryptography, securing their information and identity on the Internet, and in the socioeconomic issues surrounding data privacy.

Talks have been scheduled on strengthening the security of email, WiFi, passwords, web browsing, and more. Speakers on topics relevant to public policy and legislative agendas are in the pipeline. Mini-workshops will be conducted on setting up encrypted email, placing secure phone calls, password management, and more. Two tracks are planned for novice and expert participants, respectively.

If anyone has knowledge to share in the form of a structured or ad hoc talk, would like to propose and run a mini-workshop, or volunteer for conference day logistical support, they are asked to contact email hidden; JavaScript is required to introduce themselves.

Twitter @cryptopartyDC

RSVP on (not required but useful for planning purposes):

Event page at

Event Google Doc:

Some speakers to-date

Arshad Noor is the CTO of StrongAuth, Inc., a Silicon Valley company focused on cryptographic key-management for more than 13 years. He has authored/designed open-source cryptographic tools: CSRTool, StrongKey, CryptoEngine and CryptoCabinet, written many papers/articles: Identity Protection Factor, Regulatory Compliant Cloud Computing, Data Encryption Infrastructure, etc. – and has spoken around the world at conferences hosted by RSA, NIST, ISACA, ISSA, ISSE, OWASP, CARTES, ABA and others.

Ben the Pyrate is a programmer, hacker, and social justice activist. Ben is a long time member of HacDC and one of the founding members of Project Byzantium. Having been obsessed with crypto since childhood, he is always looking for opportunities to share his passion for secret messages.

Hank Leininger has been breaking stuff and building stuff for a while. While playing defense, he wrote the HAP-Linux kernel hardening patches in the late ‘90s, which have been a part of GRSecurity since the 2.4 kernel series. In 2004 Mr Leininger co-founded KoreLogic, Inc., an expert security consulting practice. He does not have any interesting letters after his name.

Joe Klein, has played all roles in the security business over the last 30 years. As a researcher he developed the first IPv6 IDS, a Predictive Internet Threat Intelligence system, sensor networks security, hacked cars and other things that move, hacked time, and now runs a company creating the next generation security systems, based on biologically inspired methods and practices.  He also has patents and provisionally patents including  one in ‘Integrated cyber network security system and methods’.  When not geeking on technology, life is about training for triathlons, hanging out with friends at ‘hacker spaces’ and conferences, and enjoying an amazing life.

Mark is currently the Chief of Incident Management for a Industrial Control Systems (ICS/SCADA) focused response team where he has served in a variety of roles for the past 6 years.  Mark has previously done consulting in web application security, penetration testing and critical infrastructure security.  Mark has a BS in Computer Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.

Zak Zebrowski is a data miner, specializing in forensic database analysis. He is interested in all things Perl, and enjoys teaching. 

HacDC is a member-operated community organization in Washington, D.C. devoted to collaboration in the creative use of technology. Founded in 2008 by a diverse group of engineers, artists, and hobbyists, HacDC hosts free and open activities to share knowledge, skills, and ideas. It features a meeting space and a workshop stocked with specialized tools and supplies useful for the collaborative development of technological and artistic projects. Visitors are encouraged to call before coming to make sure a member is available to show them around. +1.202-556-4225

HacDC is a District of Columbia Non-Profit Corporation, incorporated on March 26, 2008 (file number 280867), and organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.




Jiffy 3D Aluminum

HacDC community member Julia Longtin and collaborator, Mason Mooney, have been developing a fascinating method to 3D print aluminum via a lost PLA method. It is remarkable for its use of commonly available consumer products such as microwave ovens, sugar, and hair spray. They have posted it to Hackaday and we are sure you'd agree that it deserves as many up votes as possible! Please spread the word if you agree!

Finished aluminum part, after removing from mold

“Our system uses consumer microwave units to perform burn-out of PLA from molds, and a second microwave to liquify aluminium, to be poured into the mold. 3d printer inspired mechanics will move the aluminium from the microwave, into the target mold under human control across the network, so that there is no risk to the person operating the machine.

“Lost PLA is usually dangerous, and time consuming. with this, we can go from [PLA] printed part to cast aluminium part in 3 hours!”

UPDATE (8/20/14): Julia et al. made the front of Hackaday!

USASEF 2014: Report from the field

Splat-shaped, acrylic give-aways engraved with the HacDC logo and domain.

HacDC member, condew, laser cut and engraved 2,042 “splats” of which 1,148 were given away to visitors to our table.

On Friday 25 April, Arte Technica reported:

Thanks to the generosity of Gary Mauler and Robot Fest we really do have an awesome location. Condew’s Arduino LED and hydrometer demo was in fact the highlight of our exhibit today. And the splats he made are going fast. They’re such a hit! Hope you can meet Danish, he is great with the crowds and has also decided to do add his own Arduino demo for our exhibit on Sunday.

The highlight of our day, after the close of Sneak Peek Friday, was a personal demo at our exhibit by the co-Founder of Backyard Brains. Ag4ve, condew, Danish, myself and eventually nearby exhibitors and even passers-by, witnessed an Giant South American Cockroach (Blaberus giganteus) turn right and around, and again, because of a miniature open source neural interface controlled by an iOS app.

FYI—Backyard Brains is looking forward to mirage335’s BioSignal Amplifier demo this weekend, and would enjoy a “Hangout” with other Biohacker enthusiasts at HacDC if there’s interest.

Last but not least, today’s heroes are Lee (N4TCW) and ITechGeek. Lee and his ARRL team literally opened doors for and helped HacDC quickly get to its destination. ITechGeek really busted his hump for us. He setup our very noticeable RasPi server with and and ALSO went to the space at 05:00, waited, and then helped with multiple transports. Of course, also of note was the staging by condew, Dan B., ag4ve and myself, but ITechGeek and Lee were singularly instrumental in getting us this far.

So even with a couple hours of sleep, all in all a good start.

The festival lasted through Sunday and our table had an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 visitors.

We’ve Adopted a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)!

SEM newly installedIt’s our pleasure to announce that HacDC is now the proud owner of a scanning electron microscope (SEM)! An SEM is a scientific instrument capable of producing extremely high-magnification images: magnifications of 5,000x to 500,000x are routinely achieved by these machines. Additionally, SEMs can be interfaced with additional detectors to examine the atomic composition and other characteristics of both organic and inorganic samples. These makes them extremely useful machines for imaging, scientific analysis, and even processes such as e-beam lithography.

If you’re unfamiliar with the incredible images that SEMs can produce, check out this gallery.

Our machine is an older, second-hand model, and was graciously donated to us by 757 Labs. It’s a Cambridge Stereoscan 200 from 1983. Despite its age, it was widely renowned for being a very versatile machine, and all the electronics are well within the realm of being understandable and repairable by the hobbyists and professionals at the hackerspace. It’s currently undergoing member-driven inspection and repair.

Its current status, as well as information about planned projects, can be found on our wiki.

For the inquiring mind: the theory of operation of a standard SEM is relatively straightforward: a metal specimen chamber and hollow column are pumped down to near-vacuum (between 10e-8 to 10e-11 atmospheres!) via the operation of a roughing pump and a turbomolecular or oil diffusion pump. A power supply then runs current through a tungsten filament to cause thermionic emission of electrons—very similar to the operation of a light bulb. Another power supply creates a voltage relative to a nearby anode, which accelerates the electrons to a high energy, adjustable from 1 to 40 keV (kiloelectronvolts). The electrons spray out from the filament towards the anode, but are gradually reduced down to a very small spot size via a series of electromagnetic lenses and one or more metal apertures. This small spot of electrons finally hits the sample. Additional circuitry deflects the small spot of electrons over the sample’s surface, effectively scanning it across the area to be examined, much like a beam inside of a cathode ray television. At this point secondary and backscattered electrons are kicked out of the sample and detected by a sensor inside the chamber, which passes the signal along to processing circuitry, ultimately resulting in an image being displayed on a TV.

If you’re as excited as we are by these images and would like to make your own, or if you’d like to learn more about the nitty-gritty details above, you’re probably the sort of person we’re looking for! We’d love to find members who would like to assist with the repair and operation of the machine, as well as planning future improvements.

(Written by: Dan K and Phil S)