Telecomix Cyphernetics Assembly – Links and preliminary evaluation

Action picture of Felix Atari talking about tunnels
Felix Atari talking about tunnels in jungles

The two days of the Cyphernetics Assembly are over. Now there is one day of rest, then we roll over to Crack City for Hacknight #2.

All video material can be viewed (and downloaded with a few hacks) from the Telecomix Bambuser Channel. Open video formats will be available for proper download in some time. Stay tuned to twitter or, preferably the Telecomix Status for the latest updates.

I will comment on a few highlights, thus not covering everything.

The conference started off by introducing a few theoretical points of departure. Agents from the Crypto Munitions Bureau explained the distinction between Hierarchical Cybernetics, Decentralized Cybernetics and Distributed Cyphernetics. The latter of these enforce a state of crypto-anarchy, without identities or authorities, and trust is established inside tunnels. There is no ”whole” of the system, only (black) ”holes”. There is no panoptic gaze, since action takes place in cipherspace, and it is a redundant distributed system, which cannot be targeted by attacking a central node.

Then Felix Atari continued with another theoretical discussion about tunnel ontology. He pointed out how surfaces are affected by the existence of tunnels, drawing from the Tepito Internet Zero Tunnels, the Agent Orange deforestation of Vietnam and the Gaza tunnels.

Then kugg made a talk about the security vulnerabilities of VPN-based services such as Ipredator. It was immediately picked up by the tabloid Torrentfreak, thus receiving a lot of internEtional attention. Kugg explained the extensive flaws in the pptp protocol, originally created by Microsoft, allowing such VPN services to be intercepted very easily. However, kugg pointed out very clearly that VPN services are very important tools to avoid surveillance, but using certain solutions can be very dangerous. The presentation is highly recommended, since not only is it very constructive in argument, but it explains how virtual networks function in a very clear way.

The second day was a workshop day. Telecomix agents walked through how to use I2P in a basic sense, and then switching over to advanced features such as setting up sites inside the darknet, and tunneling ssh over I2P. These tutorials are very authentic in the sense that they are made on-the-fly, thus explaining the bumpy road to configuring darknet software. They are recommended for everyone to view.

Then Jonathan Brossard from Paris made an incredible talk about the security flaws in advanced disk encryption and bootloader software. The talk was very technical, yet possible to follow for non-technical persons (like me LOL). He explained how ”rouge bootloader” attacks work, which brute force the password used for disk encryption. Also he showed how the password entered during boot could be retrieved from memory on a system that is switched on.

I’m extremely satisfied with the conference. With zero lollars we managed to arrange a two-day conference with international guests, and the size of the event was small enough for everyone to have a chat with each other during the frequent coffee-breaks and the two pub crawls. I hope that there will be a Second Cyphernetics Assembly next year, anywhere in the world!

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