t2’19 speakers confirmed

The CFP is over for this year and the speaker lineup is ready for your reading pleasure.

Without sounding too enthusiastic for a Finn, it’s difficult not to get excited when there are entries on the agenda like the keynote from John Lambert, Distinguished Engineer and General Manager of the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center. A seasoned t2 attendee might remember him from sparking the original inspiration behind olleB’s t2’15 talk ”If attackers think in graphs, why can’t we?”.

Looking at the schedule, it’s both refreshing and rousing to see research targeting wireless input devices and VPN clients. Both could easily be dismissed during target selection as mature technology, yet here we are. Having said that, there’s still a healthy focus on modern and up-and-coming tech in the agenda, such as using machine learning for vulndev.

Traditionally this post always ends with a gentle reminder to get your ticket early. The sales have been open for a couple of months and a good chunk of the tickets have already been sold. If you haven’t bought yours already, there’s not a better time for action than right now.

Call for papers 2019

We’re back. October 24-25 in Helsinki. CFP and ticket sales are now open.

Looking for an event worthy of your 0days or world class research? Prefer conference disclosure over jumping through hoops with uninterested vendors? Worried of sponsors doing shady backroom deals to block your talk? We’ve got your back. As an independent, vendor-neutral, practically-non-profit conference we value freedom of information and our guests over everything else – ethos, which has kept us going for the past fifteen years.

Organized for hackers by hackers, we’re the oldest technical security event in Finland. Our goal of providing audience with high quality technical content and a welcoming atmosphere, competitive on a global scale, brings people to Helsinki annually from all around the globe. Whether you’re coming from US, Israel, Russia, Germany, UK, France, Singapore, or heaven forbid, even Sweden, you’re guaranteed to find like-minded people to share ideas or drinks with.

“What happened in Vegas does not happen in Finland”

— Eevil Stöö


Never heard of Finland? No worries, we’re used to it! In addition to being the home country of Slush, we have a vibrant Moomin based import-export relationship with Japan. Luckily the Finnish language is as easy to learn as Japanese, only less popular. Here, in the home country of Linux, technology is so ingrained into our culture that even gangsta rappers know what’s up. As a nation, we’re also very comfortable with the idea of having a meeting naked – as long as traditional Sauna is involved.

t2’19 offers you an audience with a taste for technical security presentations containing original content. This is your chance to showcase the latest research and lessons in playing Jenga with memory allocators, practical cryptographic attacks against hardware, blinking the wrong LEDs, DIY torque vectoring, stealing Wu-Tang albums with Bill Murray, bypassing modern exploit mitigation techniques, combining policy work with offensive/defensive technology, running a Whisk(e)y distillery, having a complicated relationship with nation states, efficient data analysis of Internet traffic streams on botanical continent level, hacking space shuttles, catching bad guys with SIGNIT, nondestructive / covert entry, professional shitposting, elegant cyber crime or any other relevant research containing the type of love and happiness appreciated by seasoned conference attendees.

The advisory board will be reviewing submissions until 2019-07-31. Slide deck submission final deadline 2019-09-11 for accepted talks.

First come, first served. Submissions will not be returned.

Quick facts for speakers
+ presentation length 60-120 minutes, in English
+ complimentary travel and accommodation for one person[6]
+ decent speaker hospitality benefits
+ no marketing or product propaganda

Still not sure if this is for you? Check out the blast from the past.

Considering many of our visitors know what they want and trust us to deliver, we’re making their life easy.. The registration is now open!

The total amount of attendees, including speakers and organizers is limited to 99.

How to submit
Fill out the form at https://t2.fi/action/cfp

[0] {“enableDebug”:true, “password”:”changeme”}
[6] Except literally @nudehaberdasher and @0xcharlie

2019 dates announced

Get your calendar out and be ready for another edition of t2! Like a French scientist once remarked, in the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.

Dates announced: t2 infosec in Helsinki | October 24-25, 2019 | 15 years of technical security excellence #t2infosec

With that out of the way, we are also updating the process for giving out complimentary tickets. After successfully running the t2 challenge for over a decade, and then giving a shot at other formats, we are retiring the concept of a challenge. While this marks the end of an era, it does not mean we have stopped appreciating fresh and upcoming talent – on the contrary, we feel it is extremely important to give young guns a helping hand and an opportunity to jump-start their artisanal career in the craft of cyber.

Instead, starting 2019, each member of the advisory board has the power to annually reward a person (or an entity) with a free ticket. As before, this free entry entitles the recipient to all the same benefits given to a regular ticket holder. To commemorate that special moment, we have ordered custom t2 challenge coins. All hints and tips are naturally appreciated, so if you know someone who in your opinion deserves a free entry, please let us know! Elegant bribery, trickery, subterfuge, exploitation or other artful, mischievous behavior requiring skill is always appreciated.

Greetings to Daniele Bianco for the awesome challenge coin design! Pics will be posted on Twitter once the coins arrive.

Halvar Flake keynote

The advisory board and organizers of t2 are honored and pleased to have Halvar Flake deliver the headlining keynote for the 15th anniversary edition of the event. His speaking history with t2 starts in 2005, and Halvar is certainly recognized as one the luminaries in the field. The following teaser provides a taste of what to expect.

Risks, Damn Lies, and Probabilities

IT continues to bring pervasive change to our societies, industries, and everyday life. This transformation also brings individualized and complicated risks to individuals, companies, and to societies.

IT security is, to some extent, charged with managing these risks. But for an industry tasked with managing risk, we are pretty unstructured in thinking about risk, accounting for risk, and most of all: Holding ourselves and other tech executives accountable for estimates of risks and their probabilities.

The IT industry is often incentivized to incur risks on behalf of others – and to underestimate the actual magnitude of these risks. Customers are either not empowered or not incentivized to challenge excessively rosy risk estimates. Entire executive careers in IT are built on underestimating risks incurred for others.

This talk will cover my observations about the ways we think sloppily about risk and harm, about the IT industries’ lack of risk management for systemic risks, and some thoughts about holding IT industry executives accountable for their risk estimates and decisions.

— Halvar Flake

The Art of the Budget hacking

It’s that time of the year again. To commemorate the 15th anniversary edition of t2, we wanted to open up the reasoning behind the frequent reminders to allocate training budget for t2 and our friendly suggestions for early registration.

Before getting to the nitty gritty it’s important to highlight that we organize t2 out of love, both for community/scene and hackerdom. This cannot be done for any other reason.

Conferences, and event business in general, imposes certain rules of business and financial terms on the organizers. These are location and time insensitive, and apply to most parts of the world.

  • Venue
    • Needs to be booked well in advance, and unless you have been doing business for a long time, they require a prepayment of some sort.
    • Once you confirm dates, you are committed. Cancellation terms do exist but it’s not like you can bail out at the last moment.
    • Multiple this by the number of locations (e.g. you plan on organizing dinners related to the event).
  • Liquidity
    • To offset for invoices due before the event, you either need to have healthy finances with some buffer from the previous years or take a loan (usually from the main organizer who takes the biggest financial risk personally). If ticket sales start early, you might have enough cash flow to balance everything out.
  • Travel arrangements
    • After CFP is done, you have the confirmed speakers and the event is nearer, the booking of flights begins. If you are covering 100% travel cost, you want to optimize the time of purchase to get the best price. Not too soon, not too late.
    • Here you have the risk of cancellations, or other last minute changes – all part of normal life.
  • Scale economics
    • Applies to your business only if you’re Jeff Moss. Forget you ever heard the term, more important jargon is MOQ.
    • Smaller the number of maximum attendees and planned financial upside, smaller the window of error between loss, breakeven and profit.
  • Sponsors
    • Depending on the year, sponsors might save the day when it comes to event’s financial performance. Fewer sponsors means smaller risk margin.
    • Some sponsors would prefer to have the attendance list (with contact details, of course) or buy speaking slots. t2 does sells neither of those.
    • Please take a moment to check out what the valued sponsors are doing during the event and online. Few events could do without them.
  • Conference schwag
    • Needs to be ordered well in advance to account for unexpected delays. Typically a prepayment is required, as your vendor needs to pay their suppliers and/or material.
    • Even when using high quality partners, you will have defects. More professional the partner, the easier it will be sort out the mess.
    • You end up ordering a good amount of extras to account for everything, and then giving these away for free the following year (or during the year, unless you organize an exclusive luxury fashion event in case you burn the extras with the receipts)

Having been in the game for well over a decade, most of it with the same partners, we have been able to build the trust and negotiate cash flow friendly payment terms. It’s like playing Tetris during the year with the calendar, but the blocks are invoices and you are actually gambling.

Nevertheless, each year the familiar friendly faces in the audience, the first timers and returning speakers make it all worthwhile.  It’s an honor to have the event filled with enough intelligence to make your brain hurt. With that out there in the open, we hope you register your ticket to this year’s 15th anniversary celebrations sooner than later!