Friday, June 8, 2007

TechEd 6.5 (Thursday, 6/7)

I wrote in the last post about the various prizes being given away here at TechEd. Shortly after I submitted the post, a company called Brocade gave away $10,000 to a single winner. I think that was the biggest "cash" prize this year. An ironic thing to note about Brocade is that their website is actually written in Java (.jsp). Kind of amusing since they're here at TechEd advertising their services.

The sessions I attended yesterday covered network hacking, features in Windows Mobile 6, data caching, data mining, and top web blunders. By far, the best session was "Why I Can Hack Your Network in a Day" with Marcus Murray from TrueSec Security.

He was very entertaining and explained how he can hack wireless networks like 128-bit WEP in 5 minutes and even WPA if your key is not strong enough. Plus, he showed how easy it is to build and deploy a Trojan that gives him 100% access to everything on the infected PC (even Remote Desktop) and potentially many other PCs around the company. The most interesting thing, though, was that he showed that you can log in to a windows PC or server using only a password hash without even needing to decrypt it, and he had any number of ways to obtain password hashes. Very interesting stuff. I think the webcast of his presentation should be required viewing for the Microsoft IT folks where I work. And at other places, for that matter. The speaker at the session on data mining sounded like the German Kermit the Frog. It was a little disconcerting at first, but the guy really knew his stuff. Overall, the session was very good. I also took advantage of the massages available in the Seagate Crystal Reports booth. It actually worked out very well because I got in 15 minutes before they closed, and the massages were supposed to be 5 minutes. People stopped showing up, so I got the full 15 minutes. It managed to fix my back for about 30 minutes until I sat in the very uncomfortable seats of the next session.

On to the attendee party at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. You can see the rain clouds moving in.

Todd and I arrived maybe 30 minutes early, so we were at the front of the line at the gate. When it opened at 7:00, we actually ran to The Hulk coaster just for fun. Oddly enough, the average IT person isn't very fast :). So, we were in the first 20 people on the ride. Then, we ran next door to the Spider Man attraction. How often do you get the chance to ride both The Hulk and Spider Man rides in less than 20 minutes!?

After that, the rain started to come down and all the coasters stopped operating for a while due to lightning warnings.

So, we took the opportunity to grab some free food and drinks. Let's see. I think we had subs, beef kabobs, popcorn, pizza, black beans and rice, potato salad, and various sweets. Neither of us drink, so we didn't take advantage of the free booze, but others most definitely did. The park was covered in beer bottles by the end of the night. Not the healthiest of evenings, but at least we had that little run at the beginning...

What else happened... The old professor from Jurassic park called us sissies for wearing ponchos on the water ride. At least we were dry. I "greyed-out" twice on The Hulk and Dueling Dragons coasters. Not sure what's up with that, but it was an interesting feeling. Finally, I took Todd's picture with a few of the performers around the park. Here are three photos. Can you pick the one that's not like the others?

All in all, the party was fun. You have to put up with thousands of drunk IT folks, but they were mostly harmless. I'll finish up my final thoughts on the Friday sessions and the conference as a whole over the weekend.

No comments: