[Dailydave] Conference Strategy vs Tactics

dave aitel dave at immunityinc.com
Wed Apr 13 10:44:05 EDT 2016

Someone asked me yesterday "Why do INFILTRATE? Why did you even start
it?" And the answer was more complex than I could say at the moment.
Strategy always is, because narratives are linear and strategy is by
definition a complex tree of weighted possibilities.

But I want to say a few things about it, now that INFILTRATE is a thing
that will clearly last. I have this byline coming out shortly, one of
the ones I consider important: a polemic against the DHS deciding to
indict the Iranians who hacked that dam in NY. I mention this only
because the people who came to INFILTRATE are those who would
vociferously agree with that position - a group ill-represented by other

In other words, INFILTRATE is the conference for people with one foot on
the "escalatory ladder" as Nate Fick's keynote
<https://vimeo.com/161996596> would put it. That's not to say it's all
Government contractors, although certainly like any conference, there
are some there. But your modern mega-software-corp has a team on fuzzing
bigger than most startups these days. Hearing about how to turn all that
fuzz-crash data into actionable exploit primitives is boring to people
who don't have the right capabilities and mindset - which was exactly
Sean Heelan's talk.

At some level, INFILTRATE was, of course, just about making a conference
that doesn't suck in all the ways other conferences can suck - and the
INFILTRATE crowd is noticeably older than that at almost any conference
I've been to other than, say S4, which is full of industrial engineers.
We like the music quieter so we can get onto the business of talking
about low level exploit engineering with people we rarely see. :)

And to bring us back to Badlock - conferences are at some level MITM
attacks on our industry. Why should we let a magazine company decide
what direction the conversation in our industry should go? (BlackHat is
owned by UBM)


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