I've long thought that the UK needed a real security conference; for years we've had the booth-bunny fest that is Infosec where you get to see anti-virus pitchmen working the crowd like the guy at my saturday market vegetable stall; or there are "Industry" events like RSA Europe where you feel that "Industry" should be graven foot-deep Helvetica-Bold in a concrete block 100 feet high at the door.
Oh, and there are the UK "Cyber"-security events. You know. For government people, and the people who sell to them.
These events have no soul - I miss when I had an employer who would let me attend USENIX Security - which you'd attend for the hallway track, where you learned the deep secret that however anti-authoritarian, otherworldly, pierced and acne-ridden the media portrayed the "hacker" community, it was as nothing compared to the anarchism of the balding and dumpy ex-MIT and Bell Labs alumni whom you'd meet.
But there is hope for the UK.
Quote / extract from the press release:
44Con, the UK's first combined information security conference and training event today announces its technical speakers and training programs. 44Con will provide training by industry recognised trainers and talks by international speakers, and will take place over four days from August 30th in London.
44Con has been created to provide information security professionals access to accomplished and recognised global trainers and speakers at one event, targeting government, public sector, financial, security professionals and CSOs. The event has been designed to focus on current issues within IT security and will be split by business and technical track sessions. Each talk will be selected by a specialist handpicked panel made up of professionals from top UK financial, government and financial organisations.
The conference will break down into two parts - two days training on August 30/31, and two days of actual conference on September 1/2 with an interesting list of speakers. It's a familiar mix of training-and-conference, can't imagine where they got that idea from.
Given the state of the British - in fact, European - security conference scene, I think there's plenty of room for 44Con; the annual Chaos Communication Congress - but that runs expensively between Christmas and New Year, and there's also Chaos Communication Camp - but that only runs every four years. Occasionally the Dutch do something.
We have a dearth of opportunities to get together in narrow, carpeted hallways to talk together gleefully about vulnerabilities and mitigations amongst an audience almost all of whom can explain what ifconfig does.
I'm looking forward to it.
* Incidentally the next DC4420 meeting is tonight, 21st June 2011; see the website for details.