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Defcon 12 Running Man Contest 85

Posted by michael
from the family-feud dept.
LiveSecurity writes "Contests involving Wireless Access Points have been a staple of Defcon for a few years now. This year at Defcon 12, three reporters from WatchGuard Technologies followed contestants in the Running Man mini-contest. Five teams had one hour to find a roving, low-power AP serving up a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Add hundreds of hackers, 104-degree F. desert heat, and stir. The report on WatchGuard's Web site is officially sanctioned by the contest's designer, Frank Thornton, who mirrors the story. Long but good geeky fun!"
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Defcon 12 Running Man Contest

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:02PM (#10060938)
    Pictures of Arnold? Would've been done quicker if they were looking for pictures of Natalie Portman.
  • by lothar97 (768215) * <owen@@@smigelski...org> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:02PM (#10060942) Homepage Journal
    Did the losers have their heads blown off?
    • Did the losers have their heads blown off?

      Hey - you don't blow the heads off of lusers in front of _any_ computer equipment. Luser brains are dangerously high in bogons and are also gooey and difficult to clean up. As well, you might hit the gear with a stray round - no luser is worth that.

      Youth these days. Sheesh.

      Soko
    • Yep. That's no way to get ahead in life.
      It really is a shame they weren't more headstrong.
      After all this, none of them will probably ever be a head of a major corporation. ...

      Okay, that'll do.
    • Apparently the mods have never seen "The Running Man". At least the prison scene at the beginning.
  • DF for wifi (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quelrods (521005) * <quel@nOSpAm.quelrod.net> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:02PM (#10060945) Homepage
    Are there any other similar DF events like this with wifi? I did amateur radio DF some years back and it is certainly entertaining.
    • Re:DF for wifi (Score:5, Interesting)

      by carbolic (616993) * on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:22PM (#10061129)
      Yes! There's several, of what I call, AP Games using wireless access points. NZWireless in New Zealand performed a treasure hunt in their home town. My pals and I designed a capture the flag game where you drive around the city trying to find an access point. And the traditional foxhunt (or RunningMan) where you seek to find a single AP moving around in an erratic fashion. I prefer using a car since I live in L.A. and don't walk.

      In Chapter 11 of my book, Wi-Fi Toys, I describe some of these DF-based AP games in great detail. I love it how these guys are breaking the rules with traditional wireless.

      Instead of using access points for boring Internet access, these guys are going extreme and creating a giant video game.

      --
      carbolic
      Wi-Fi Toys [wifi-toys.com]

  • by Nos. (179609) <andrew@nospaM.thekerrs.ca> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:04PM (#10060964) Homepage
    I like the Watchguard story which, true to the book, counts the chapters down to. Of course the actual find in this case was hidden very well. Nice contest.
  • Pshaw! (Score:5, Funny)

    by b!arg (622192) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:07PM (#10060988) Homepage Journal
    I can do the running man for an hour no problem. Try doing the Macarena for that long though! Your head will explode. Oh wait...
  • Not bad. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by James Turpin (789479) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:08PM (#10061003)
    From the article:

    Contest designer Frank Thornton of Blackthorn Systems has added a technological wrinkle or two to this year's contest. The Running Man Web page has a secret message on it, which will require cryptographic and puzzle-solving skills to decode. Competitors can't run around the hotel simply asking everyone, "Are you the Running Man?" Instead, they have to decode the message and say it to the Running Man. The first team to do so wins.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:10PM (#10061023)
    DJ in the corner starts spinning electronica, adding to the chaos. Near the Scavenger Hunt table, a brown-haired, bearded guy bellows, "I need six people to dogpile on me right now!" He lays on the carpet on his back, limbs spread

    This is the defcon form of entertainment? I'll pass

  • by Aerog (324274) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:13PM (#10061044) Homepage
    For a second there I saw Running and Defcon in the same sentence and thought "Here's an idea that's doomed to success".

    Then I read the description and realized the paramedics might not be so busy after all....
  • That's nothing... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rorschach1 (174480) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:15PM (#10061069) Homepage
    People have been doing radio direction finding as a sport for decades. I learned a lot from weekend transmitter hunts - we'd have one team hide somewhere in the general vicinity of the city (had to be heard from the starting point), transmit a signal on the 2 meter band, and the rest of the teams would hunt them down.

    Sometimes it would be a tiny unattended transmitter. One of our favorite tricks was to bury the whole thing and use a 1/4 wave brass rod as an antenna, and insert it into a dry weed in a vacant lot. Still, a good team starting 10 miles away could often find it in 30 minutes.

    We got a lot of weird looks driving around town with big home-built quad or yagi antennas hanging out the window, but there's no better way to learn practical RDF stills. And I'm still using those skills - Sunday evening I was out DFing an ELT signal from a crashed plane. Most search and rescue folks do this infrequently, and have a textbook education in how to triangulate the source of a signal, but there's no substitute for practice. I can hunt down a transmitter using a handheld scanner and omnidirectional antenna faster than most of them can do it with an expensive DF unit.
  • by lpangelrob2 (721920) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:17PM (#10061093) Journal
    The article as a whole is an entertaining read, so I preface this post with a spoiler alert...

    doo bee do...

    Standing front and center in the crowd, Dara, the young lady who photographed Renderman, reaches into her purse and pulls out a pocketbook. She unzips the pocketbook and pulls out a Zaurus handheld running Linux. The pocketbook is lined with a Lay's potato chip bag, the aluminum in the bag dampening the radio signal by about 7 or 8 dBm. She holds up the Zaurus, and sure enough -- it shows up on nearby wireless laptops as the real RunningMan AP.

    I therefore submit proof that contrary to popular belief, women do use Linux!

  • Easy (Score:5, Funny)

    by xsupergr0verx (758121) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:19PM (#10061111)
    Competitors can't run around the hotel simply asking everyone, "Are you the Running Man?"

    Yeah, they first have to translate it to Klingon in order for the nerds to compete with each other.
  • by Speare (84249) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:25PM (#10061147) Homepage Journal

    Who will be the first to threaten a gratuitous infringement/trademark lawsuit? Stephen King (aka Richard Bachman) for the story title, "The Running Man," or Arnold Schwarzenegger who played the main character of the screen adaptation?

    By the way, read the print version of the story. The last page of the book is a very interesting parallel to the September 11 attacks of New York. You know, the attack that "nobody could have foreseen."

    • Really.

      The movie "The running man" might even have been a nice one if the production team had at least bothered to read the book before making the movie.

      Btw, the rumors of Stephen King's death have been greatly exaggerated. ;P
    • Do you mean "Who will be the first to piss off a bunch of computer hackers"?

      I'd guess that with no deep pockets to tempt them, they'll all let that dog continue to snore.

    • By the way, read the print version of the story. The last page of the book is a very interesting parallel to the September 11 attacks of New York. You know, the attack that "nobody could have foreseen."

      Or read Debt of Honor and Executive Orders by Tom Clancy. Spoilers: At the end of Debt of Honor a plane is intentionally crashed into the capitial building during a joint session of Congress. Executive Orders takes up immediately afterwards, where in the confusion aftwards, terrorists unleash the ebola vir
  • Triumph (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lunchy (696022) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:39PM (#10061243)
    This reminded me of Triumph talking to the "super nerd"... "Pretend you've just run 10 feet" There must have been a whole lotta heavy breathing. ;)
  • by goofyheadedpunk (807517) <goofyheadedpunkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:40PM (#10061254)
    Oddest three lines in the whole article:
    A bare-chested, twenty-something young man strides into the room, wearing nothing except swimming trunks made of aluminum foil. He presents himself to the Scavenger Hunt judges, posing gingerly. He looks distinctly uncomfortable.

    Was this just random, or what?
    • A bare-chested, twenty-something young man strides into the room, wearing nothing except swimming trunks made of aluminum foil. He presents himself to the Scavenger Hunt judges, posing gingerly. He looks distinctly uncomfortable

      Understandably you are a bit confused. Human sexuality is a tough concept to grasp, as is your gender identity.
      Good luck sorting that out
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Understandably you are a bit confused. Human sexuality is a tough concept to grasp, as is your gender identity.
        Good luck sorting that out


        Obligatory Simpsons quote:

        "I didn't think it was possible, but looking at him makes me more lesbian."
    • It was infact for the scavenger hunt contest, though the authors of the article had a factual error. I wasn't just wearing a tin-foil speedo, I was also wearing a tinfoil hat. And while this did seem a bit outlandish to many people, it apparently help us since we won the contest.
      Just for some added information here was the point total for the first and second place team in the Scavenger Hunt:
      The Core of Social Engineers (us): 11554
      The second place team: 3065
      So as you can tell, we dominated the game.
  • First I thought Fscking degrees. Then Freakin'. Then I remembered that I can set my timezone to this ./ thingie but still it does not convert these strange units to ones used in most parts of the world. Oh well, have to resort to the google calculator [google.com]...
  • I'm amazed (Score:5, Funny)

    by EvilStein (414640) <spam@pbRASPp.net minus berry> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @07:11PM (#10062072) Homepage
    ... that while all of the geeks ran off, that a few other attendees didn't lurk around Dara, seeing as how there was now a whole lot less competition.

    "Hey, forget this game. Let's go for the chicks!"

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