Super Sweet Security Supplementals

This is a list of talks which I think are pretty great as supplemental study materials for anyone interested in learning a bit of the art and science behind keeping their computers and online presence a bit more secure. I selected these specifically to supplement crypto party workshops and talks, but each one stands on its own merit. With the exception of the first video, I listed them in alphabetical order as I feel they’re all pretty vital, and I can’t really pick and choose a fair ordering method.

Many of these videos use examples of people who did not use proper OpSec, Infosec, tools, etc. You may question why we should use these as materials to learn from. This is a fair question to pose. We certainly should study the right way to do things or else we will have nothing to model our security posture on, but that does not mean that we should not study those who failed so that we may learn from their lessons. I feel that the following riddle best explains my thoughts on this method. The answer to it is at the foot of this post.

Following the bombing of a major German city durring WWII the bomber crews were being debriefed by their Colonel. The Colonel asks the crews “From what direction did the luftwaffe attack?” Immediately and unanimously the entirety of the crews responded “From above and behind.” The Colonel wrote down the information and handed it to a courier ordering him to deliver it to the outgoing bomber crews immediately stating “This information could save their lives.” As the courier was about to exit the door the flight chief grabbed him by the arm and told him “belay that order, that information could cost the outgoing flight crews their lives.”

What was it that the flight chief was aware of that the colonel was not?


All of these can be found on youtube, but I also mirror them on my site for posterity here. I don’t hold any copyright on these videos, and have accredited them to their presenters and organizations as best I can. If you’ve got any comments or ideas of other videos to add to this list then please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!


The 1st presentation titled “OPSEC – Because Jail is for wuftpd” is from the Hack in the Box conference and is presented by The Grugq. This talk is about OPSEC (Operational Security). It is my personal favorite of this list, and if someone can find the time to watch only a single video from this list then this is the one I’d point them to. I’d be remiss to not link to The Grugq’s blog; it is the third link below.


The 2nd presentation titled “TOR – Hidden Services and Deanonymisation” is from 31C3 (31st Chaos Communications Conference) presented by Dr. Gareth Owen. It is a bit more technical, but, in my opinion, is pretty vital to people who might want to use T.O.R. for sensitive things.


The 3rd video titled “Encryption and Security Agencies” is from the Computerphile youtube channel, and the speaker is Richard Mortier.


The 4th video titled “Public Key Cryptography” is from the Computerphile youtube channel, and is presented by Robert Miles. It is a brief overview of how services like gpg work.


The 5th video titled “Security of Data on Disk” is from the Computerphile youtube channel, and is presented by Professor Derek McAuley. This video explains a bit of how data is stored on solid state and magnetic disk mediums and can (or cannot) be securely deleted.


The 6th presentation titled “Search and Seizure Explained – They Took My Laptop” was presented at Defcon 17 by Tyler Pitchford. It deals with some legal issues surrounding computers, encryption, privacy, and the like.


The 7th presentation titled “Anonymous and Ourselves” was presented at Defcon 19 by Aaron Barr, Joshua Corman, and Jericoh. This is a panel discussion, among other things, what the anonymous organization is, and in what ways that kind of model might or might not be useful.


The 8th presentation titled “Crypto and the Cops – The Law of Key Disclosure and Forced Decryption” was presented at Defcon 20 by Marcia Hofmann. The title offers plenty of description here, and Marcia does an excellent job describing what kind of crap the “authorities” might try to pull on you.


The 9th presentation titled “Forensic Fails – Shift + Delete Wont Help you Here” was presented at Defcon 21 by Eric Robi and Michael Perklin. In this presentation they talk about how you would want to and not want to destroy data on a disk as well as some things you should account for and know if you are considering storage or data destruction.


The 10th presentation titled “Dont Fuck It Up” was presented at Defcon 22 by Zoz. This talk is pretty dank tbh fam. Zoz talks about how to not fuck it up where (it == OpSec) | (it == InfoSec).


The 11th presentation titled “Dropping Docs on Darknets – How People Got Caught” was presented at Defcon 22 by Adrian Crenshaw a.k.a. Iron Geek. In this video Adrian talks about T.O.R., Bitcoin, and how some people got themselves caught while giving some pointers on how to not do that.


The 12th presentation titled “Crypto and State of the Law” was presented at Defcon 24 by Nate Cardozo. It talks about the history of encryption legislation and how the U.S.A. government attempts to legislate on and control encryption technologies as of July(ish) 2016.


The 13th presentation titled “How to Overthrow a Government” was presented at Defcon 24 by Chris Rock. It might give you some tips on how you might implement some tools and tactics to work against a tyranical state.


The 14th presentation titled “Destroying Evidence Before its Evidence” was presented at ShmooCon 2012 by Hanni Fakhoury. It deals with legalities around destruction of data. Hint, the scorched earth data retention policy is the best data retention policy.  😉


The final videos I’ll wrap this post up with is this youtube playlist. They’re pretty great.


The answer to the riddle above is: The flight chief was aware that since all of the men stated that they were attacked from above and behind the most fatal attacks might have come from a different direction, and the outgoing crews, equipped with incomplete information, would possibly fall to the same fate as the men that were shot down and did not return.



Happy Hacking!