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News and info about the con.

Book Stall

Since I moved house I’ve had a pile of tech books stacked under my desk that I know I’ll never read but don’t want to give to the local charity shop as I doubt they’d sell. So I was thinking, I might just bring them along to the con, put them on a table and if anyone wants one they can put some cash in a charity donation bucket. I’m sure there will be someone from a hackerspace there at the end who be happy to take any left overs away and if not then I’ve tried and Oxfam can have them.

If anyone else wants to bring along any that they don’t want then feel free, better given to a good home than collecting dust and taking up space.

Evening Entertainment

To keep the fun going into the evening, Jess Barker has volunteered to put together an infosec quiz for us which we are going to mix in with some rounds of PowerPoint karaoke MC’d by Freaky Clown. For those unfamiliar with PowerPoint karaoke, we pull a selection of slide decks from the internet and each presenter is given a random one to present on sight, how they do it and in what style is up to them.

All this topped off with a good helping of Northern cuisine and a nice large bar tab courtesy of Nettitude  should make it an evening to remember.

PS for those brave enough, the SteelCon shots will be making a return. For those who weren’t involved last year you’ll have to wait for the night to find out our secret ingredient.

Extra tickets

Last Thursday I was very happy to announce that we sold out of all 200 Hacker tickets that were available online. Since then I’ve had quite a lot of emails from people who left it a little late and are now stuck without a ticket.

The reason we capped the tickets at 200 was to allow us to budget for food, goody bags etc and to get things ordered, however the actual venue capacity is quite a lot higher than this. So, what I’ve decided to do is to release another 50 tickets however these will not get you goody bags on the door, the cash is needed to cover other things that weren’t in the original budget numbers. If there is spare cash then I’ll try to put together a minimal bag and last year there were quite a few bags left over from no-shows so these will be given out towards the end of the day so you may still get something.

I’ll be releasing the tickets initially to those on the waiting list then at 9AM tomorrow morning they will open to general sales.

Speakers Announcement

We still have more to come but here is the current list of confirmed speakers:

Opening Keynote

Campbell Murray – Getting started in SCADA testing

Closing Keynote

Freaky Clown and Jessica Barker – Get Hacked


Chris Ratcliff – Hacking Meatware

Finux – Wrong Side of History

Mo Amin – Popping the Bubble

Darren Martyn – 0wning the Internet of Trash: A gentle intro to IoT Ownage

Alastair – The Matrix LD_PRELOADED

David Day – HAL can read malwares lips

Dave Hardy and Ben Turner – PowerShell Fu with Metasploit  “Interactive PowerShell Sessions in Metasploit”

Grigorios Fragkos – Can you really hack an airplane? (myths & truths)

xtr4ngeAttacking the user to compromise corporate networks with FruityWifi

Tom Keetch – Reverse Engineering Android Applications


Finux – Docker for security researchers and pen testers (2.5 hours)

Rough Schedule

As people have been asking how the weekend is going to work I thought I’d put up a rough schedule. This is based on last year and could change but hopefully not to much.

Friday night is social night, a simple get together in a local pub for a few drinks. Kicking off around 18:30-19:00 but feel free to turn up whenever you get in. We will be picking a pub with food so we can settle in for the evening.

Saturday is the main event. Doors open around 9:00 with the welcome talk at 9:45 and keynote at 10:00. Lunch, which is provided, is between 13:00 and 14:00 and the last talk will be finishing around 18:30, or maybe a bit later if last year is anything to go by. The after party will be opening as soon as the talks have finished and will be going till 2:00 for anyone who can stay the distance. We have a nice large bar tab, thanks Nettitude, and food, with a Northern twist, will again be provided.

Sunday morning gives you the chance to work off your hangover with a game or two of Laser Quest thanks to Xiphos. This went really well last year and was a lot of fun. After this we will probably repeat last year and get together somewhere for lunch, everyone welcome even if you didn’t come to the shoot ’em up.

A more solid schedule will be posted closer to the date.

Bring a partner or the family

If you are thinking about coming but have a partner who doesn’t want to be left at home then why not bring them along. Here are some of the attractions Sheffield has to offer:

  • Ponds Forge – International swimming pool and large kids pool with water slides and lazy river.
  • Meadowhall – A shopping centre big enough to get lost in for a day.
  • Valley Centertainment – Cinema, bowling, Monkey Business soft play centre and various chain restaurants.
  • Kelham Island Brewery – An award-winning independent Sheffield brewery with tours, museum and of course an on-site pub.
  • Indoor Climbing – Sheffield is one of the country’s centres for climbing with The Climbing Works (county’s largest bouldering wall), The Foundry (an old-school climbing Mecca) and Awesome Walls (bring your 50m rope for the huge routes).
  • The Peak District – Walking, climbing and biking in stunning surroundings.
  • Spa 1877 – Pamper yourself with all sorts of treatments for both men and women.
  • Museums – Sheffield has museums and art galleries for all tastes.
  • Magna – A great day out for kids of all ages, Magna is an interactive science attraction combining air, water, earth and wind.

If you want any more information on any of these, or want information on an other local attractions, please get in touch and we will see what we can do.

Speaker submissions get ticket option

As we are opening both ticket sales and the CFP on the same day we didn’t want people who wanted to submit a CFP worrying over whether to buy a ticket as well, just in case they aren’t selected. So, if you submit a valid CFP entry (we can spot fake ones) and don’t get picked, you’ll still get the chance to buy a ticket.

If you want any more information please get in touch.

Documentation Competition

I was working through some SteelCon paperwork and realised that we still have a training course donated by SecurityTube that was never given out during the conference. I was thinking of different ways to give this away and decided to have a documentation competition.

People like writing code and open source projects regularly get contributions from one line bug fixes to multi-file new features but what they don’t often get is documentation so this is an attempt to change that. The challenge for this competition is to pick a project, or two or three, and help them with their documentation. This can be done in many ways, examples include:

  • Writing some for a project which doesn’t have any
  • Bringing existing documents up-to-date
  • Translating documents into other languages
  • Fixing typos, grammar and improving readability
  • Create tutorials or howtos
  • Create an installation guide

Most projects that I know will happily accept submissions but check with them first, they may already have work in progress so no point duplicating effort. If you really want to work on something for a project which isn’t interested then we will accept work hosted elsewhere but please show your efforts in submitting it first, this is not just an opportunity to write a blog post for your own site. Submissions also have to be for open source projects, no commercial tools.

All submissions must be new work created between today and the end of November. Ideally your submission will be a reference to the new documentation in place on the project site but where this isn’t possible send us a copy and some evidence that you’ve submitted it, this could be a pull request from GitHub or just a copy of the email where you send it to the developers.

If you are a project maintainer and want to create something for your own project then that is fine, nothing wrong with documenting your own work and if this gives you the incentive needed then great.

The documents submitted can be at any level, a beginner writing a beginners guide is just as good as an expert documenting some obscure feature that only hard core users will ever understand.

The judging criteria are being kept deliberately loose and the winner will be the person who shows they’ve put in the most effort. This isn’t necessarily most words written or highest quality writing, just effort and enthusiasm. The judging panel will consist of SteelCon organisers along with a few, hand picked, experts. The competition closes on November 30th and we will try to pick a winner this side of Christmas.

Good luck everyone and go get writing.