After visiting several computer security events and being impressed by the energy and the open exchange of knowledge, a small group of people dreamed of creating a hacker conference of their own. After much hard work, BruCON was born.
Benny K., one of the organizers, comments that an event like this was absent from the "land of beer". With all other Belgian information security gatherings having a strong commercial undertone and, according to some, missing balanced research, the BruCON announcement was met with enthusiasm both online and offline. Soon volunteers began gathering in Brussels and organizing the minutiae of what was to become an important event for the European hacker and security research community.
It's worth noting that this conference is made by the community, for the community and everyone's input is taken into consideration. Some may think that this approach can alienate sponsors and make sure that the presented is not up to scratch with other security conferences that have rich corporate backing, but as I've witnessed first hand, this couldn't be farther from the truth.
Months of hard work and coordination came to an end last week, when BruCON opened with two days of workshops followed by two days of lectures, lightning speeches, classes and informal gatherings of like-minded individuals interested in the intricate details of the world of information security.
Unlike other events that are largely shaped by commercial sponsors that even have the power to prevent certain presentations, BruCON intends to welcome technical speeches that may be turned down at some events. In a conversation with Eric Filiol, who presented on cyber attacks, I realized how much some speakers welcomed this sort of gathering. With their studies being rejected at other events where organizers brim with fear that sponsors are not going to like them, BruCON has the unique possibility of bringing together cutting edge hackers that may not even want to submit to events that are enshrouded in a corporate veil or predictable talks.
The event was held at the Surf House in Brussels, a monumental concrete dwelling that evocates images of Orwell's grim 1984. On the inside, it is one of the most comfortable and visually pleasing conference venues I've visited in the past decade. Since BruCON had one track this year, all of the talks took place in the main auditorium.
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