Nullcon 2017

Jörg was talking a couple of times in past how great Nullcon was and so I decided to accompanying him this years. Usually I try to avoid all conferences which are not focusing on open source but in front of the conference there were trainings scheduled. Also it made it possible to visit Amrita University afterwards.

Jörg’s Audit +++ was placed on Wednesday  and Thursday including the option to do the OPSE certification. So we spend most of Monday and Tuesday preparing the session and the infrastructure. I built the test environment in the past years. For this issue of the training I switched to OpenStack because the deployment process is faster than the old way with Ansible. In the end I was running a mixture of a classic libvirt setup and OpenStack side by side. The problem was that running Debian 3.x, CentOS 4, and an old release of pfSense doesn’t really work with a tool like OpenStack. To show old vulnerabilities and the difference to a brand-new distribution I still like to use the ancient distributions.

During the actual session I acted as an adviser. In the past I was already part of this training for a couple of times and know a few things about the OSSTMM and the whole process myself. But I ended up maintaining the test infrastructure…in India power outages are normal. It happens a couple of times within an hour and at some point the virtual machines were no longer able to launch. It would definitely be a good idea to think about a more resilient infrastructure for the next year. Singleboard computers with a power bank or simple a laptop with a working battery.

During the conference I attended a couple of talks and joined the exhibition area for some rounds. It would have been the best place to distribute some of my Fedora business cards. “No sorry, I’m not with a company. I’m with the Fedora Project and not here to do any business.” was pretty much the phrase I needed to use all time. As Microsoft and others are present at open source events, open source projects should be present at commercial events as well. Unfortunately most of them don’t have the money to do it.

The conference was the perfect place to meet a bunch of really smart and friendly people. I was especially happy to meet Harish Pillay, Javier-Vazquez Vidal, Chokden, and sva just to name a few.

Anyway, I would like to thanks the guys behind Nullcon for making it possible for me to be there.


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