BruCON 0x0A is over .. and it was awesome !

The 10th edition of BruCON is officially over and we have to say, it is everything we hoped it would be. Preparing for this anniversary started even before last year’s edition by brainstorming for ideas amongst the crew.

Xavier (@xme) came up with the idea of doing retro talks. Essentially we let everybody select which talks of the last 9 editions they liked most and we re-invite the top 7 for a “retro-day” on Wednesday. The responses were awesome and we managed to select a great set of speakers for the first day of our 3-day BruCON edition (check out the schedule here).

Next we wanted to make sure the “BruCON founding fathers” were present. In 2009, five guys all working in the infosec business came together and started the first Belgium security conference for hackers. It was great to have them back and let them experience what the current crew has done in all these years with their creation. We talked about how it all started, why it moved from Brussels to Ghent and shared some memorable anecdotes (check out the full video here). Besides the retro-talks and having our founding fathers there, two more great ideas came out of our brainstorming sessions. Electronic badges and beer… yes we have always had beer at BruCON in the past (#HackingForBeer) but we never had our own.

After several tasting (I mean quality assurance) sessions, the one and only BruCON Beer “Z3R0D4Y” was born. This whiskey infused beer has 0x0A % of alcohol and was very well received by our visitors. We managed to sell out all of the gift packages which include a 75cl bottle and two unique BruCON glasses.

Since this wasn’t crazy (and stress) enough, we also wanted a electronic badge! We were warned by other conference organisers that this takes a lot of time and planning and yet, we cut it extremely close. Massive kudos to Jean-George (@NoNonyme) for designing the entire badge and writing all the code!

We had to engage volunteers (solder soldiers) to help us with attaching the batteries and screen to the badge. This lasted through the night, while our designer kept on working on the final firmware. The result is something we are extremely proud of. Each badge has a updated schedule (gets updated upon reboot), a map of the venue and most important locations and comes with a alcohol sensor. All badge designs are released on Github, this includes the badge designs and firmware.

On Wednesday, suddenly Matt (core crew member) decided he wanted to offer his epic beard for a fundraiser for CyberSKool (our Security conference for kids between 7 and 15, and we raised a massive 5000 EUR!

Next year, we will go back to two days but will stick with to our proven formula! A single-track conference and tracking track that is affordable, with many workshops, a village, social gatherings, great talks and beer. BruCON 0x0B will take place in the week of the 7th of October 2019. (7-9 October training, 10-11 October Conference)

Special thanks to our entire crew, volunteers, speakers and visitors!

Hope to see you next time!

Philippe Bogaerts, Koen Burms, Stephen Corbiaux, Matt Erasmus, Tom Gilis, Xavier Mertens, Jochen Raymaekers, Pieter Van Goethem, Larry Vandenaweele, Stephanie Vanroelen, Bertrand Varlet and Marijke Vinck