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Defcon 12 Running Man Contest

Posted by michael on Tuesday August 24, @05:00PM
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 | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 82 comments | Search Discussion
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
Wrong motivation (Score:5, Funny)
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @05:02PM (#10060938)
Pictures of Arnold? Would've been done quicker if they were looking for pictures of Natalie Portman.
[ Reply to This ]
Lose their heads? (Score:3, Funny)
by lothar97 (768215) * <owen&smigelski,org> on Tuesday August 24, @05:02PM (#10060942)
(http://www.smigelski.org/ | Last Journal: Wednesday May 19, @05:36PM)
Did the losers have their heads blown off?
[ Reply to This ]
DF for wifi (Score:3, Interesting)
by quelrods (521005) * <quelrodNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday August 24, @05:02PM (#10060945)
Are there any other similar DF events like this with wifi? I did amateur radio DF some years back and it is certainly entertaining.
[ Reply to This ]
    Re:DF for wifi (Score:5, Interesting)
    by carbolic (616993) * on Tuesday August 24, @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.

    Wi-Fi Toys [wifi-toys.com]

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
True to the original (Score:3, Insightful)
by Nos. (179609) <andrew_kerr@@@iamnos...ca> on Tuesday August 24, @05:04PM (#10060964)
(http://www.iamnos.ca/ | Last Journal: Tuesday October 01, @06:40PM)
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.
[ Reply to This ]
    Pshaw! (Score:5, Funny)
    by b!arg (622192) on Tuesday August 24, @05:07PM (#10060988)
    (Last Journal: Monday May 31, @01:50AM)
    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...
    [ Reply to This ]
      Not bad. (Score:4, Interesting)
      by James Turpin (789479) on Tuesday August 24, @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.

      [ Reply to This ]
      • Re:Not bad. by Metallic Matty (Score:2) Tuesday August 24, @05:13PM
        • Re:Not bad. by name773 (Score:1) Tuesday August 24, @06:11PM
          • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
        So there's a room full of ubergeeks, then.. (Score:5, Funny)
        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @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

        [ Reply to This ]
        Defcon + Running? (Score:4, Funny)
        by Aerog (324274) on Tuesday August 24, @05:13PM (#10061044)
        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....
        [ Reply to This ]
          That's nothing... (Score:5, Interesting)
          by Rorschach1 (174480) on Tuesday August 24, @05:15PM (#10061069)
          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.
          [ Reply to This ]
          • Re:That's nothing... by JVert (Score:1) Tuesday August 24, @05:27PM
            • Re:That's nothing... (Score:5, Interesting)
              by josecanuc (91) on Tuesday August 24, @05:31PM (#10061178)
              Its official name is "Radio Direction Finding", but goes by several nicknames like "foxhunting", "transmitter hunting", or "t-hunting".

              The "home base" of RDF information is the "Homing In" website at http://members.aol.com/homingin/

              The author of that site has written a very good book explaining various techniques and containing plans for building various kinds of directional antennas.

              Most T-Hunters are amateur radio operators (http://www.arrl.org), but that's not a requirement, since you aren't transmitting anything while hunting.

              It's great fun. Use the ARRL website to search for any Amateur Radio clubs in your area and go to a meeting (usually boring, but some have good presentations) and ask about T-hunting in your area. If nobody knows, poke around and see if anyone there has done it in the past and is interested in starting it up again. Usually all it takes is knowledge that someone else is interested to get the whole group going.
              [ Reply to This | Parent ]
            • 2 replies beneath your current threshold.
            Warning: Spoiler alert! (Score:5, Funny)
            by lpangelrob2 (721920) on Tuesday August 24, @05:17PM (#10061093)
            (Last Journal: Friday May 14, @02:53PM)
            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!

            [ Reply to This ]
            Easy (Score:5, Funny)
            by xsupergr0verx (758121) on Tuesday August 24, @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.
            [ Reply to This ]
              Who will be the first litigant? (Score:5, Interesting)
              by Speare (84249) on Tuesday August 24, @05:25PM (#10061147)

              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."

              [ Reply to This ]
              Triumph (Score:3, Funny)
              by Lunchy (696022) on Tuesday August 24, @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. ;)
              [ Reply to This ]
                I'm a bit confused. (Score:3, Funny)
                by goofyheadedpunk (807517) <goofy(underscore ... )punk(at)msn(dot> on Tuesday August 24, @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?
                [ Reply to This ]
                104 degrees (Score:1)
                by 4r0g (467711) on Tuesday August 24, @06:34PM (#10061713)
                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]...
                [ Reply to This ]
                • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
                I'm amazed (Score:5, Funny)
                by EvilStein (414640) <{jnichols} {at} {pbp.net}> on Tuesday August 24, @07:11PM (#10062072)
                ... 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!"

                [ Reply to This ]
                  Re:for the uninitated... (Score:4, Informative)
                  by coolsva (786215) on Tuesday August 24, @05:15PM (#10061070)
                  AP = Access point
                  [ Reply to This | Parent ]
                    Re:for the uninitated... (Score:3, Funny)
                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, @05:20PM (#10061117)
                    The "AP" in question is not the Assocated press, but an Apache Web Server.
                    The "Apache Web Server" in question is not a web server, but an access point.
                    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
                    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
                    Re:I don't understand this. (Score:2, Funny)
                    by Don'tTreadOnMe (686201) on Tuesday August 24, @05:30PM (#10061175)
                    Sorry but this all seems to be pretty stupid ?

                    I think so, too?

                    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
                    Re:for the uninitated... (Score:2, Informative)
                    by Guano_Jim (157555) on Tuesday August 24, @05:31PM (#10061179)
                    Ok, that would officially make me a dumbass masquerading as a know-it-all. Please mod down appropriately.
                    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
                      Armor Piercing? (Score:1)
                      by cyrax777 (633996) on Tuesday August 24, @06:18PM (#10061577)
                      as in AP ammo?
                      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
                        Re:I don't understand this. (Score:1)
                        by satoshi1 (794000) <satoshi1&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 24, @07:06PM (#10062034)
                        (http://trashfolder.org/satoshi | Last Journal: Thursday July 08, @02:49AM)
                        The point is to have fun using technology in ways it was never intended to be used.
                        [ Reply to This | Parent ]
                        • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
                        Re:7 or 8 dbm? (Score:1)
                        by HighWizard (91134) on Wednesday August 25, @11:11AM (#10068318)
                        Actually, if you took the time the time to read the article and then do a little check on the contest organizers [worldwidewardrive.org] you would see that your theory is flawed:

                        Lets extrapolate the data (we'll make it easier on you and your limited brain capacity, only looking at two of them):

                        1) Chris Hurley:
                        A quick google search with the term, "Chris Hurley", Wardriving turns up many useful results. I'll use his short bio [oreillynet.com] at oreilly to prove my point - "Chris Hurley is a Principal Information Security Engineer working in Washington DC on vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, forensics, and incident response on both wired and wireless networks. He is the organizer of the WorldWide WarDrive and has been the subject of several interviews and stories regarding the WWWD. Chris is a primary organizer of DefCon and the DefCon WarDriving Contest."

                        2) Frank Thornton:
                        We'll use the same method to find information on Frank Thornton, since it has proven to be useful. - From Oreilly: "Frank Thornton runs his own consulting firm, Blackthorn Systems and as a detective and forensics expert has investigated over 100 homicides and thousands of other crime scenes."

                        Perhaps it's just me, but from these two gentleman alone, it seems as though they are more than just "computer nerds talking out of their ass".
                        [ Reply to This | Parent ]
                        • 10 replies beneath your current threshold.
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