I decided to cross something off of my "bucket list" as a way to celebrate my 40th birthday this year: make a movie. For my first movie, I've created a "hacker" contest in which the participants must gather information and solve problems. The contest is modeled on so-called "penetration tests" which is when ethical hackers attempt to break in to a company's computer systems with the target's permission. This is in an effort to find security problems before the bad guys do. The contest won't just involve sitting at computers, it will also involve other typical activities: performing reconnaissance of physical facilities, surveillance of individuals, urban exploration, infiltration of buildings, and surreptitious contact with moles in the target organization.
All of this will take place during a 48 hour marathon session and be filmed. The resulting hours of video will be edited in to a movie that is entertaining, but also explains the process of penetration testing and exposes computer security issues that are important to both large organizations and individuals. The contestants might be targeting a fictional company and will have permission to access the physical locations; but the techniques they'll use are being used every day by adversaries from bored teens to foreign spy agencies.
A friend summarized what I was trying to do as a "nerdy Fear Factory." That seems pretty close to the mark! I'm looking forward to it and appreciate any pledges you can make toward equipment rentals, digital video tapes, pizza and coffee. Thanks!!
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- (28 days)