Saturday 9 October 2010

Epic FALE!

So I got back from Security Bsides Atlanta last night. There were some interesting talks out there. Especially the one on Google and Bing hacking. Some really neat stuff there. Right now though, I want to talk about the guys from FALE . I heard these guys were going to be at Bsides from Schuyler Towne's Kickstarter update. Here's what Schuyler had to say for all of your nonbackers:
I'm sorry you can't be there. However - you can and should go to B-Sides, Atlanta! My friends at FALE:, will be there running workshops, giving talks, and bringing tons of goodies. It's their first time running a Lockpicking Village, but I think they've got an honest shot to make it one of the best in the country. I just shipped them 1.5 gigs of material I've produced too, so hopefully that will add to their already considerable stores.
So go to Bsides I did. Hang out at the Lockpicking village I did. I walked in the door and John immediately says "Hey man, come on in and pick a lock". All the FALE guys introduced themselves, and I told them I was there because of Schuyler's post. That really got things going. Then I told them about the Charlotte Hackerspace and things really got going. I spent a lot of time in the Lockpicking Village, picking locks and hanging out with these guys. They had three challenges running, each one resulting in your name being entered into a drawing. The first Challenge was to simply pick a lock. The second challenge, "The MacGuyver Challenge", was to make your own tool out of scraps and open a lock with it. I went what I thought would be the easiest route, and made a padlock shim. It took me 6 or so tries to get one the right size that wouldn't break in the lock. In the process I cut my thumbs up pretty good. In the end I did open a Brinks padlock with my shim though. The Final Challenge was "The Pro Challenge". this involved opening on of their higher difficulty locks with security drivers. It took me almost an hour and half but I finally got that sucker open, and I was super happy! In the drawings,

 I actually got drawn twice in the giveaway, once for my MacGuyver win, which got me a nice starter set of the Sparrows Wizwazzles. I also got drawn for my Pro Challenge win and would ahve taken the largest Southern Specialties basket, but they had a strict 1 win policy. They wouldn't let me upgrade either =/ . It was okay though, because the guy who did win was pretty excited about it, and I was really happy for him. Besides, I will have a big set of Schuyler's picks coming anyways.

The day wrapped up and I braved the god forsaken Atlanta beltway to start home. Once I was clear of the heaviest traffic I decided to pull of at a Wendy's for dinner. Imagine my surprise when I am up at the counter and hear someone shout my name. I turn around, and there are the FALE guys. So we sat down, had dinner and hung out for a little bit. I have gotten past the straight boring facts now, so let me just say this: These guys are so awesome. I had so much fun hanging out with these guys it was nuts. They are smart guys, no doubt, but they are also super friendly, and just plain cool. One of the greatest things about them is their passion. These guys know alot about lock picking, and over that dinner they shared a lot of tips and secrets with me. What was great though, was not the knowledge itself, but the atmosphere around that table. These guys loved not only doing locksport, and knowing locksport, but sharing locksport. These were not like some of your typical hackers, who like to hoard knowledge and dole it out in small bits to make themselves pseudoimprotant. These guys couldn't stop spilling knowledge all over the place. It's like they couldn't help themselves!

They asked me about what I thoguht they could do better next time. I had really very little to offer from this standpoint, except that it would have been cool to talk more about wafer, disc, and tubular locks, and that competitions would have also been cool. They also asked me a bout the HackerSpace, and have expressed a lot of strong interest in coming and visiting, and maybe doing a talk for us. Whether they come up here, or I go down there next, I don't know. What I do know is that FALE and I have not seen the last of each other. Thanks John, Evan, Matt, Scott, and Adam! Oh, and thank you Schuyler for inspiring me to go in the first place!

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