Last year in February when I was still in an 8-5 job doing System Administrator work, I got to know about, and attend the Africa Hackon conference. It was the first event of its kind organised and held in Kenya at the PWC towers in Westlands Nairobi. @iamckn did a nice review of the event here.
My Love for tech
I have always been fascinated by computers. Ever since I saw the first PC running on Windows 95 back in 1998 just after I finished high school. I had been contemplating taking medicine following ‘internships’ at my Uncle’s private practice clinic during my school holidays. As soon as I saw that machine, the graphics, the different things my half-brother was able to do with it, I was sold. I decided there and then that I would go into computers.
I have always had a lot of respect for individuals who could get a PC to do more things than I could especially when they decided to show off with keyboard shortcuts on C-prompt back then.
Information Security is becoming a huge concern as more and more industries and aspects of our lives join the digital world. I immediately signed up for the first conference eager to meet the Kenyan ‘Hacker’ community. The actual and true term is Information Security Enthusiasts as the word Hacker has been used to criminalize those who have mastered the art but use it for good. As it turned out, I made a lot of friends from that conference and developed a deeper appreciation for what they are doing.
Africa Hackon 2015
The event is back this year, happening on 30th July at the iHub following a call for Presentations for #opZeroDay 2015 whose deadline passed on 30th May. This is not a conference meant only for hackers. It is for anyone with an appreciation and fascination with information systems, gadgets and how they can be tinkered with.
If you are familiar with Defcon, a hacker conference run annually since 1993, then Africa Hackon is inspired by the global conference with the aim of looking at the unique challenges that are facing Kenyan companies as they digitize their operations, Telcos as they embrace seek ways to better integrate mobile money and banking institutions as they go into mobile and online banking.
Anonymous at re:publica 15
Last month I got to attend the re:publica 15 conference that brings together bloggers, hackers, reporters, creatives and everyone else to 3 days of talks on almost everything. The main focus was however on data, security and surveillance with many noteworthy speakers such as Gabriella Coleman who has researched and written extensively on the group Anonymous. Her presentation focused on how the group Anonymous were able to escape being termed as terrorists. Her focus was mainly on the many causes that they chose to support, some of which changed world history as well as being able to make theirs a leaderless movement for good and one that stood for something.
Its time we changed our thinking on hackers. Attending the upcoming Africa Hackon will be the first step in opening up our minds.
We will give you more details on the cost to attend even as we feature guest posts from some of the information Security practitioners and enthusiasts on this subject.