I had the opportunity to present NetRipper at BlackHat Asia Arsenal 2018 and it was amazing. As you probably know, BlackHat conferences have trainings, briefings (presentations), vendor’s area and Arsenal. Arsenal is the perfect place for anyone who wants to present its open-source tool. It is organised by ToolsWatch and I totally recommend you to check it out if you participate to any BlackHat conference.
Since it was my first BlackHat conference, I did not know what to expect and how things will go. I knew that Arsenal presentations take place in booths (stations) in the vendor’s area and this might look strange at the beginning, but as soon as I saw it, I realised that this is perfect.
At BlackHat Asia, there are 6 Arsenal stations where 6 open-source tools are presented at the same time, each tool being presented for about two hours. This is followed by another round of 6 tools, for another 2 hours, and so on, to the end of the day. This is how a station looks like:
You can find the list of tools here: https://www.blackhat.com/asia-18/arsenal.html
It is important to note that you will not see slides at Arsenal (or just a few). Arsenal is focused on interaction between the speaker and the participants and you will see a lot of demos. You go there to talk to people about their tools, ask them questions and see them in action. There is no time for slides (I used only one, with contact information and GitHub page) and you can learn anything you want from each tool and even recommend new features and improvements.
It will take you just a few minutes to see each tool in action, so you will have enough time to see all of them. You should take your time, as you might realise that those tools might really help you on your engagements.
If you develop your own open-source tool, I suggest you to apply to Arsenal call for papers. The only issue is that you (or your company) have to cover the travel and hotel expenses, but it will worth it.
Arsenal is one of the best places to show your project, to get real-time feedback and to find bugs during your demos (it happens, a lot).
You will have the opportunity to interact to a lot of people with different views: some of them might be very technical, some of them might not, but for sure, all of them will help you to build a better tool.
You will also have the opportunity to interact with other Arsenal speakers and you might find that your tools can do a good job together. Here is a a photo with all (or most) of us:
Also, as anyone working on his free time on a project, Arsenal might be a very good motivation to build a powerful and stable tool. You will not want to go there with an unstable tool, of course.
Oh, if this is not enough, you should also know that you will receive a Briefings pass as well, so you will also have the possibility to see the presentations. And since a Briefings pass is not very cheap, this should encourage you to present.
BlackHat Arsenal is an amazing place, both for visitors and speakers. Also, even if the trip might cost some money (however, my company paid for my trip), it will totally worth it. Oh, I almost forgot… Singapore is a really nice city to visit. 🙂