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Experts and hackers came together for Europe's largest hardware security conference

Hardwear.io held its third fabulous hardware security conference in The Hague, the budding epicenter of Netherland's technology ecosystem.

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The third annual edition of the event that was held from September 19th to 22nd at NH Den Haag comprised of two-days training with five advance technical trainings, each training specialized in different disciplines of hot areas in hardware hacking.

The two-days of the main conference included a bunch of technical briefings, first ever hardware CTF, a hacking challenge, multiple CXO panels, hacking villages and workshops in two parallel tracks.

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This year, the event saw an overwhelming response from

  • 285 attendees
  • 31 distinguished speakers
  • 10 exhibitors
  • 21 sponsors and partners
  • 5 hands-on hardware trainings
  • 6 workshops and villages

There was also a staggering participation from various industry leaders including, government officials, large corporates, individual hackers and students, among others.

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Over 135 companies and their representatives participated in Hardwear.io this year.

European Comission, Europol, ANISSI, Microsoft, Tesla, Damiler, ARM, Philips, NXP, BT, Bosch, TUV, UL, Riscure, IOActive, Darkmatter, Applied Risk, Deloitte, Dutch Police, HackerOne and Visa were among some prominent names at the event.

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"Security researchers are the key - who look for vulnerabilities proactively. Hardwear.io is supported by us at Europol along with European Commission because of the value it brings to the information and hardware security researchers community. Both, the policy and the operational wings believe in reaching out to the community proactively," said Col Jean-dominique Nollet, Head of Forensic laboratory, European Crime Centre EC3 (european Cyber Crime Centre), EUROPOL.

Dr. Sergei Skorobogatov, Senior Research Associate at University of Cambridge, Christof Paar, Chair for Embedded Security at Ruhr University Bochum and research professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Patrick Paumen, a biohacker and co-founder of hackerspace ACKspace were the key speakers for the event.

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The conference was held at an inflection point for hardware security. As the world gets connected through devices, security of hardware has become of paramount importance.

This year was also outstanding in terms of CFP (Call for Paper). The papers were a notch up in terms of quality of research and also in terms of quantity, where we saw a 40 percent increase in the papers received this year.

Speaking about the event, Olivier Thomas, Security Researcher and Trainer said: "A conference like Hardwear.io helps us bring out key vulnerabilities that are often ignored. When I began work on hardware security vulnerabilities at the level of the chips, I found that many were calling it a residual threat. But the fact is, it is security by obfuscation when we should be looking at security by design. Conferences like Hardwear.io helps us connect with the community, train researchers and build awareness on a very critical but a much neglected aspect."

We also witnessed a phenomenal response in terms of sponsors: large companies, media partners and government bodies encouraging Hardwear.io. The addition to our list of sponsors this year, including, HackerOne, the global bug bounty leader, TUV, the benchmark in hardware standards and European Commission along with Europol endorsing us is a testimony of the impact, popularity and effectiveness of Hardwear.io. Various Security news portals such as, HackerDaily & Security Guy TV have also shown significant interest in Hardwear.io indicating its growing clout.

"Securing networks and systems is always a struggle. Smart people are planning security, but equally smart people are trying to break it. Today we see infotainment systems in cars being hacked to gain remote access. These are real concerns and not enough people are paying attention to it. at Hardwear.io we train and network with other researchers to raise awareness and share knowledge. The opportunity is invaluable for us," said Javier-Vazquez Vidal, IT engineer, NIO.

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Following were the other highlights of the event this year:

  • CTF: Capture the flag contests have known to peak most interest among attendees. An exciting contest during the event involved exposing a certain Mr Szplodj--a Zeptotech employee who is believed to be an infiltrated agent of the Z.Z.R. Participants had a lot of fun learning in the event while trying to penetrate his garage and plant a bug in his vehicle without leaving any breaking-in evidences.

    Watch video

  • Hardwear Security Conference image

    Hardwear Security Conference image

  • Student Corner: Student Corner is dedicated to facilitate the process of companies reaching out to university students at the event. As a part of this initiative, our representatives got in touch with students and introduced them to the participating companies.

  • DeLorean: Originally the first hacked car that left the attendees spellbound

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  • Car-hacking Village: Car Hacking Village, a group of professional and hobbyist car hackers who work together to provide hands-on, interactive car hacking sessions set up a booth at hardwear.io for attendees to learn a thing or two about car-hacking.

    Watch video

  • Lock-picking Village: Toool, the Open Organisation of Lock pickers were present at Hardwear.io for attendees who are interested in locks, keys and ways of opening locks without keys. Attendees had a fun time trying to uncover the secrets of lock-picking from a group of one of the fastest lock pickers in the world.

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  • Exhibition area: Extended exhibition area for this year was presented with companies like Applied Risk, NIO, riscure, ARMmbed, DarkMatter, University of Applied Science Lieden, UCD Dublin, hackerone, Pentester Academy and null Amsterdam. The exhibitors not only showcased their products and services, but also prepared several fun and engaging activities for the attendees. For example at NIO booth, you could draw your favorite hacker in exchange of valuable goodies.

    Watch video

  • Hardwear Security Conference image

    Hardwear Security Conference image

  • Speakers Interviews: hardwear.io was happy to collaborate with Pentester Academy. With their help we are able to share with you many Speaker interviews so you can get an inside view on everything that was happening during the conference.

    Watch all interviews

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  • Puzzle Game: Have you been intrigued by the strange marker drawings on the papers? Here is the complete video about this game

    Watch here

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We hope to see you all at hardwear.io 2018!


Lady bird

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