ChicagoCon by The Ethical Hacker Network

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    • #1146
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      Hi All,

      EH-Net is exploring the idea of hosting a security event in Chicago named ChicagoCon, and we need your feedback. We’re considering launching ChicagoCon this fall (early Sept 2007) and/or next Spring (April 2008) in one of the following formats:

      – 5-Day Work Week Event: This format would contain a collection of boot camps M-F including CEH/CNDA, CPTS, ECSA, CPTE, Security+, CISSP, CHFI and SCP (list due to change). Each morning before class, we would have keynotes by our columnists and friends of EH-Net. Lunch would be provided for the students. After class we would have evening keynotes and presentations with hacker competitions to follow. Both students and outside attendees are invited to the evening sessions.

      – 2-Day Weekend Event: This format would have all of the features of the Week Long Event minus the boot camps. We would just squeeze the keynotes, presentations and contests into a 2 or 3 day schedule.

      – Combination: We could combine the aspects of both to have a 7 day event.

      For either format, we are also considering an exhibit hall where the free lunch will be held. The exhibitors would not be allowed to approach the lunch tables but be able to have small booths around the perimeter of the lunch room.

      Price for the boot camps would be competitive with other boot camp providers. Price for the evening sessions and hacker contests would be minimal. We’re thinking under $100 and maybe free if we get sponsors and enough attendees.

      Let us know what you think and/or offer suggestions,
      Don

      PS – PM me if you’re interested in speaking, volunteering and/or helping coordinate.

    • #11689
      Anonymous
      Participant

      This is awesome! I fully support this idea and will plan on attending. 

    • #11690
      Cutaway
      Participant

      I think it is a great idea.  I doubt that I could get my employer to pony up to attend but I think you should drive forward.  I wish you the best of luck.

    • #11691
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Perhaps Eh members will get a discount or some special consideration? Autographed pics of Don? Ha Ha. Ok I was really just trying to bump this topic.

    • #11692
      Negrita
      Participant

      Wonderful idea.  😀 It’s a pity I can’t attend though. Sorry, but this is 9 timezones away from me, and there’s no way I could get my work to pay for something like that, nor get the offtime. Besides that I’d have to start organizing my visa for the USA now in order to get their by September.  :'(

    • #11693
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      EH-Net members always get special treatment, and this event would be no different.  8)

      Autographed pic from little ol’ me? Yeah… that might be worth a few cents on ebay someday. I’m laughing with ya, Kev.  😛

      Would September be too early to put this all together? Being in Chicago, I’d hate to force anyone to go through our winter, so then it would have to wait until 1+ year from now. Sept is awesome in Chicago… still warm, lakefront is great, baseball on both sides of town, football just starting, food to die for and it’s away from security juggernauts like SANS, RSA, Black Hat and DefCon. Can’t think of any other shows that might take away from our crowd. CES is not then. What else is there that I should worry about?

      Share your thoughts on dates and formats. Poll answers can’t answer that.

      Thanks,
      Don

    • #11694
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I would think middle to end of September would work well.  Get it a little away from the Labor Day weekend which is often a family thing.

    • #11695
      BillV
      Participant

      I think the 5-day idea is a good option, 7 is a long week, and 2 might be too short.

      I would personally prefer shorter than 5, maybe 3-4, like a Sun-Tue/Wed or a Wed/Thur-Sat. This way you don’t take a whole week from work, and it still gives enough time to take an ‘accelerated’ type course if available.

      As for dates, I think September is possible. The only thing I see happening that may be of concern (if any) would be this thing: Security Standard – Chicago. Other than that, should be fine.

    • #11696
      Thangvt
      Participant

      I think 5 day is too enough.Start : Monday and finish : Friday .Weeken we can go out and visit somewhere together.But Chicago too far for me.
      Some people who’s visited can take photo or make a film and then post to forum.So member can see What’s happening?  ::) ;D

      Havefun!

    • #11697
      Anonymous
      Participant

      5 days is a good length.  7 days and people feel like they dont get a weekend and will probably have to go immediately back to work with no break and that sux 🙁

    • #11698
      talkinelf
      Participant

      As everyone else is commenting id also say 5 days would be fair enough but if it could be shorten to 3-4 days then it would be much better i think. but sad thing is Chicago is far off my limits too. hope much of these events are held near our area (South Asia region)

    • #11699
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      The reason I chose 2, 5 or 7 days is as follows:

      – If we only did keynotes, presentations, hacker contests, etc, I think 2 days is plenty and scheduling the 2 days on a weekend would be preferable to most.
      – In order to include security boot camps, you MUST reserve 5 days. Most people who have done boot camps are already comfortable with the fact that boot camps are a M-F event. So if the entire Con was only 5 days including bot camps, then we would have to squeeze the keynotes in the morning before class and the presentations and contests in the evenings. Those are some loooooooong days.
      – But if we want the students to concentrate on studies completely (and have time to sleep), and then also participate in the other events, then we need 7 days. 5 (M-F) days for boot camps only and 2 (S-S) for the Con. Those not taking boot camps could attend just the 2 days on the weekend.

      Thoughts and feedback?

      Don

    • #11700
      talkinelf
      Participant

      Now the last point is much attractive. let the whole con be scheduled for 7 day period while participation can be left on the students. if they do  not want to take boot camps they could attend just the 2 days on the weekend and vise versa.

    • #11701
      BillV
      Participant

      @don wrote:

      The reason I chose 2, 5 or 7 days is as follows:

      – If we only did keynotes, presentations, hacker contests, etc, I think 2 days is plenty and scheduling the 2 days on a weekend would be preferable to most.
      – In order to include security boot camps, you MUST reserve 5 days. Most people who have done boot camps are already comfortable with the fact that boot camps are a M-F event. So if the entire Con was only 5 days including bot camps, then we would have to squeeze the keynotes in the morning before class and the presentations and contests in the evenings. Those are some loooooooong days.
      – But if we want the students to concentrate on studies completely (and have time to sleep), and then also participate in the other events, then we need 7 days. 5 (M-F) days for boot camps only and 2 (S-S) for the Con. Those not taking boot camps could attend just the 2 days on the weekend.

      Thoughts and feedback?

      Don

      Any reason for not doing just a 5-day and running both things simultaneously? Those that want to listen to keynotes/speeches, etc. can, while the others who want to participate in the bootcamps may do so.

    • #11702
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      That’s what we’re discussing, whether to have a 2 day event, a 5 day event or a 7 day event.

      The 2 day event would be con only.
      The 5 day event would be training and con simultaneously.
      The 7 day event would be training and con back to back.

      Your description of the 5 day event is correct. My concern is for the students who have to study all day and sometimes all night that still want to participate in the con events. That can be a little much. But you only live once, right? You’ll get enough sleep when you die.  😉

      Don

    • #11703
      BillV
      Participant

      Ok, from the post I quoted it sounded like you were saying that having things going on at the same time wasn’t an option and that’s why 7-days was a choice.

      I see what you’re saying. My vote still stays for 5 days 🙂

    • #11704
      BillV
      Participant

      *Bump*

      Didn’t see this topic in the ‘recent topics’ list and wanted to make sure it didn’t die out.

      Don, how’s this looking? Any updates/advancements?

    • #11705
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      OK… here’s how the planning is going…

      Looks like a 5 day event in mid Sept or late Oct 2007. I’m partial to the week of Sept 17th (PM me if you know of other events at that time). I know, I know… very fast to put together such a vast event. But for those of you who know me, this is nothing new. I’m prone to take risks. So to put your mind at ease, here’s what we have already:

      We have a venue that includes a 180 seat auditorium and plenty of individual classrooms with computers, projectors and white boards. We also have a highly regarded partner to provide most of the 6 – 8 boot camp style courses for the most widely known security certs in the industry. We’ll start each day with a cont. breakfast and 30 minute keynote by one of our columnists, then class, then lunch, then back to class, then evening presentations (we’ll have an open call for papers) in rapid fire style at 30 minutes each for 2 hours. First hour (2 presentations) will be Soft Core topics. Second hour (2 more) will feature Hard Core topics. We will also host root wars on 2 nights (hopefully by our friends at LSO with Chris Gates) and other misc fun activities during the week. On Fri afternoon, exams for your chosen boot camp, and then we wrap it all up with a party Fri evening to celebrate your successes.

      In Chicago, we’re known for our blue collar, hard working attitude. So, we’ll work hard and play hard for an amazing week of learning, career advancement and networking with peers… all in the city of broad shoulders.

      How about this for boot camp offerings at ChicagoCon (In no particular order):

      CISSP – For those looking to get into Management
      CISA – For Auditors
      CEH – For pen testers
      CHFI – For forensics
      Security+ – For newbies
      Linux+ and/or LPIC-1

      Under consideration:
      2 SANS Courses – Thinking GCIH and GCFA
      ECSA/LPT
      CWNA – Wireless
      CEPT – Expert Pen Testing
      CCE – Forensics
      CPTS – Pen Testing
      CPTE – Pen Testing Expert

      Should we try to include any Cisco courses? Any others you may want us to consider?

      The CISSP class will have an option for a 7 day course, although the main conference and training will be only 5 days. We will also proctor a CISSP exam on the Sunday immediately after the training. Not many training events can boast that. Not bad, huh?

      We can only fit 180 in the auditorium, and students get first shot. Depending on registrations, we may not be able to offer seats to the general public. We’ll see how this pans out.

      Thanks in advance for your feedback,
      Don

    • #11706
      Cutaway
      Participant

      I have several suggestions.

      Although I am not sure if he will do it again but Ed Skoudis taught a two day version of the GCIH course at RSA.  This might be an alternative if you cannot book a full GCIH.  But I am here to tell you, the full course has a lot more detail and content.  I think the two day is good for management types or people with very little time for training.

      You should look at some Immunity training for writing exploits.  They have their full course: http://www.immunitysec.com/education-unethicalhacking.shtml and their cut down course http://www.immunitysec.com/education-windowsoverflow.shtml
      I have not taken these but I am sure that anything from these guys will be worth it.  Plus, an exposure to CANVAS would be great for all.

      Some of the Metasploit developers also teach courses on writing exploits.  They were also at the RSA tutorials but I am not sure how their courses went over.

      You may want to look at the other GIAC auditing courses as well.  These really provide detail for report writing and communicating with management.

      I hope that helps,
      Cutaway

    • #11707
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      Thanks. All feedback helps.

      In fact, Chris Gates recommended that I talk to Immunity about the exact course you suggested. I haven’t been able to contact them directly yet, and I didn’t want them looking at the list saying, “What the…”

      So there’s actually more I have in mind, but I’ve actually talked to everyone that is listed above.

      Either way… keep the suggestions coming!

      Don

      PS – I’m going to PM you about an idea I have for you.

    • #11708
      BillV
      Participant

      Sounds pretty good. I think it’d be nice to see the SANS courses added and possibly the CCE course. What Cisco courses did you have in mind if you were to offer them? CCNA and CCSP?

      I think going with the 5-day option will work well. September sounds good and a Friday night party sounds even better! 🙂

    • #11709
      linuxstarved
      Participant

      Sorry, I’m late to the party…this is a great idea, and will really help us to position ourselves as one of THE sources for the infosec community. 

      Nice work, Don!

    • #11710
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      Hey Venom77,

      Since it is only 5 days, I’d have to limit it to CCNA. Unless of course you’re already a CCNA and then have a class for CCSP. Networking hardware is by nature important to the security infrastructure of an organization. I’m just not sure if we should expand the scope of the event. Of course it is easier to fill seats in a Cisco and MS course. I have to remember to put on my business hat every now and then.  😛

      I’d almost rather offer some more hardcore classes like BackTrack to the Max or a Foundstone course rather than lose the security focus of the event.

      RichM,

      Never too late. Thanks for the compliment. Look for the official announcement this month.

      To all,

      Would Sept or October be preferable? This is just on the cusp of winter here in Chicago, so that’s why I’m leaning towards Sept. But since this is our first event, the extra month for planning would come in handy. You don’t won’t a bad first impression especially if we want this to be a regular event.

      Don

    • #11711
      El33tsamurai
      Participant

      Where would this take place in Chicago and is it going to be expensive?

    • #11712
      BillV
      Participant

      How’s this looking, Don? Anything I can do to help out just let me know.

    • #11713
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      So far it’s looking great. ChicagoCon is on!

      Final details are being squared away, but most of the major components are already in place. Here’s where we stand:

      It’s looking more and more like the week of Sept 17 (about 95% sure). We have the venue with the 180-seat auditorium and 10 classrooms for a total offering of 11 courses. The Training Camp is on board, and we are still negotiating with the likes of SANS, the InfoSec Institute and Offensive Security.

      ChicagoCon will be a 7-day event. Most of the activites will be during the first 5 days. In fact, all of the presentations and contests will be completed within 5 days. The closing remarks and party will be on Fri late afternoon – early evening. We are only bleeding into the weekend to accomodate the 7-Day CISSP course, 6-Day CHFI, 6-Day GCIH, etc.

      As for pricing, we are looking to have our partners offer the same exact training as they would for any other class. We are also looking at NOT charging a premium for all of the extra events like the keynotes, presentations, hacking contests, etc. So you will actually get much more for your money if you choose to attend ChicagoCon.

      We want this to be a first-class event through and through, so we are putting together all-inclusive packages that will include a ride from the airport, hotel, breakfast-lunch-maybe dinner, course materials (books) and the exam voucher. Of course t-shirts and giveaways will also be part of the fun. It wouldn’t be an EH-Net event without free stuff, now would it? ;D

      So for example, the Training Camp currently offers the all-inclusive deal for CEH for approx. $3800. Although we could be justified in asking for more, we are looking to go the other way and actually cut $100 of the price. For other courses from SANS and the InfoSec Institute, we’ll have to work out a similar deal to offer the first-class treatment. Stay tuned.

      Something of Note: The 7-day CISSP course will have not 1 but 2 instructors in the class. Best of all is that we will be proctoring the exam on-site for attendees of ChicagoCon only. Along those same lines, this conference portion will NOT be open to the public. I’d love to, but the venue has strict rules on the amount of people we can cram into the auditorium, and we feel it is only fair to allow those who pay for training to be the allowed to attend the conf.

      As for course offerings, we’re almost set with our lineup. I’ll hold off on any official announcement, but rest assured that we will have a cross-section of security courses covering all walks of the industry including newbies, management, compliance, forensics and of course ethical hacking.

      The evening presentations will be broken into 2 categories – softcore and hardcore. Softcore will consist of topics like policies and procedures, advancing your security career, etc. Hard core topics will include hacking demos, programming for the security professional, forensic investigations, etc. Presentations will be given by the instructors, our columnists and friends of EH-Net. So although I was considering an open call for papers, we already have plenty of participants. Guess we got lucky.

      Hopefully that’s enough to get everyone excited. I know I’m about jumping out of my skin.  😮

      Please offer feedback and suggestions for course offerings as final decision time is upon us.

      Thanks again,
      Don

    • #11714
      BillV
      Participant

      Haha, wow! I was just looking for the “so far it’s looking great!” line, but a full explanation works too 😀

      Sounds very exciting! If I think of anything I’ll be sure to post.

    • #11715
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      We may need a few volunteers. So thanks for the offer. I’ll PM you.

      Any others more interested in this project, please PM me.

      Thanks for everything. I’m so excited about this event, I’m about to crawl out of my skin.

      Don

    • #11716
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      Hi All,

      Contracts are signed, deposits have been given, courses are set and at least one major keynote speaker has been scheduled… drum roll please…

      I’ve been rejected by some pretty impressive people for keynote requests, but I can take it because one of my favorite columnists of all time, John C. Dvorak of PCMag and CNet fame said yes to my begging.

      As for the courses themselves, we have 2 great partners providing the training for us, the Training Camp and the InfoSec Institute. For the final list of courses, please go to http://www.chicagocon.com and see At-A-Glance on the front page. This is not an official launch of the site as registration details are being finalized and course descriptions are being added. But that should be done in the next day or two. So we’re very close.

      I do need some feedback on the ChicagoCon site. So feel free to comment.

      As for pricing, we have negotiated with both partners to be able to offer discounts to their normal pricing for ALL ChicagoCon attendees. This is an event based on the bootcamp model of training, so it won’t be cheap. But your brains will be full of more useful info than you’ve ever had before. Bottom line, if you want to do a security bootcamp, you’ll get more by attending ChicagoCon at a lower price.

      Off we go…

      Thanks everyone. Hope I make you proud.
      Don

    • #11717
      BillV
      Participant

      Awesome! 🙂

    • #11718
      oleDB
      Participant

      Wow, thats impressive! Looks like all your hard work paid off. Hope its a success. I was really thinking about going because I have a few friends in Chicago and I’m not too far away and I just love that town, but alas my employer finally cracked and paid for me to go to offsite training the next week in Sept in Pittsburgh at the CERT CC. Can’t pass that up. I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s stories from the con though.

    • #11719
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      ChicagoCon registration is now OPEN!!! ;D

      Whew… after much work and still much more to go, we made it over the first giant hurdle. We are putting some finishing touches on the content and linked pages, so look for an official launch very soon.

      When we do, I’ll submit the main ChicagoCon site to digg. I need everyone’s help to get it on the front page. Are you prepared to do this service for me?

      Godfather reference. 8)

      Don

    • #11720
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Sì  Don Corleone !  😉

    • #11721
      Negrita
      Participant

      Well if you “make us an offer we can’t refuse….”

    • #11722
      gqblue2003
      Participant

      I wish you all well in this endeavor but alas I will not be able to make it this year. Rest assured I will do everything I can to attend the one next year once I return. I will gladly volunteer then for whatever you need so long as I am back and able to attend. That will be my 5th anniversary what better way to spend it than going somewhere we have never been.

    • #184665
      duane1221
      Participant

      This Article is Awesome. It’s help me a lot. Please keep up your good work. We are always with you and Waiting for your new interesting articles The Matrix Jacket

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