r2con2017

barcelona held, as it did last year, the radare conference r2con2017 with its focus on manual and automated reverse engineering, static and dynamic analysis, fuzzing, forensics, exploiting, unpacking, malware, and many more. it also allowed attendees and developers to meet and discuss design and implementation tips for the future of the project.

the event started the 7th at Universitat de Barcelona, historical building, amazing venue, the place was in the middle of the city, made you feel like in Harry Potter’s Hogwarts school. the first day had 2 trainings scheduled:

-Beginners training by pancake and alvaro_fe: starting almost from 0, they explained how to download, install, set up and run our first analysis with r2, showing how to modify configuration variables and solving doubts. it’s good for people new at r2, but also for experienced users, there are always things to learn when it comes to r2.

-Intro to Unpacking on Windows by newlog, Giomismo and zlowram: they covered the basics of packers in a initial theoretical part of the training. have to admit that it was extremely well explained by newlog, in a way even newbies wouldn’t miss the track of the session. also useful r2 commands for unpacking, debugging, memory dumping and parsing. afterwards they distributed some windows images to start the training unpacking Locky malware. they did it in a really educational way, allowing attendees to try and from time to time revealing some hints in order to help and speed up. afterwards they also taught how to do it with UPX and Dridex.

there was also a hackathon to learn, ask, experiment, play but I did not attend (unpacking training sounded too good to miss it).

the second day dark_k3y was the trainer for “Tiny uControllers firmware RE and exploiting”, which had an extremely interesting low-level theory about Atmel chips. one of the highlights is “ALWAYS READ THE DATASHEET” and the other one is, after Atmel’s purchase by Microchip Technology, their datasheets became shitty, so “ALWAYS TRY TO FIND THE ORIGINAL ATMEL DATASHEET”.

that day at night more than 150 people were congregated in a very good catalan cuisine restaurant near the venue, to have a group dinner, it was very good food and wine. it was a great time to socialize and get to know better people met during the CON.

the 8th and the 9th took place at Mediapro building. this was a completely different place from the initial one, very futuristic architecture, nice videowalls streaming radare AV. the 2 days were packed with awesome talks and speakers, CTFs announcements, r2wars competitions and surprises that only the ones there got the pleasure to enjoy ;)

i’d like to highlight the funny time Nighterman gave the audience with his talks.

it’s worth mentioning that r2con organization also provided food, drinks, coffee and beers for all the audience, during the 4 days. good breakfast and tasty pizzas. all that helped coping the few hours of sleep with the needed concentration for the talks. the nightlife during r2con2017 was great.

I would strongly recommend this congress to anybody that is willing to learn radare framework, RE, malware hunting, and so on… but also to the ones that want to spend an amazing time with a bunch of guys and girls that look more like a family than to a developers community.

see you at r2con2018!

Written on September 14, 2017