The DarkNet was inspired by a community concept of the same name presented in Daniel Suarez's seminal books, "Daemon" and "Freedom."
In it, an autonomous artificial intelligence implemented by the visionary Matthew A. Sobol and activated by news of his death comes to "life" and begins recruiting people to embark on a mission that will change humanity forever.
Sobol foresaw a clash between those who would use technology to centralize power in an elite few and those who would use it to empower individuals to maintain their autonomy, power and rights in an increasingly complex world.
About The Contest
At DefCon, the DarkNet-NG team has come together to inspire the hacker and maker communities.
Our primary goals are to promote community efforts in learning new technology and promoting good information security practices.
We hold an event every year that challenges our agents to gather knowledge from all across the conference, from villages to other events to communities like DeafCon, and use it to compete for the top honor our community members can achieve.
Just as in Sobol's and Suarez's vision, the highest form of competition does not merely consist in excellent individual achievement, but the degree to which an agent can help and raise up her fellow agents.
About The People
Many, many people have helped to bring this vision to life. Some of them are listed here listed as Operatives
CmdC0de is a force to be reckoned with. As one of the DarkNet’s seniormost operatives, he helps us keep the whole thing running - and that’s not even his biggest contribution. He's the main force behind the DarkNet badge, which has grown from a cool quest tool into a multifunctional, fully hackable device with more hidden on it than is obvious. When he's not melting boards as he finds bugs, he's probably becoming one with the electrical current of the universe. Or something. When relaxing he enjoys drinking the tears of his enemies from one of his many chalices.
Gater_Byte is our User Relations Lead/Community Manager/Evangelist. He runs the Holon.network site to help get people prepared for for DEFCON, and enjoys mentoring and teaching others about security. His focus is community outreach and how to help enable the growth of holons, temporary and permanent. He also likes taking long walks sipping on a long island iced tea, while wardriving.
Anyone who knows GuloGuloDesu will remark upon his inhuman height; but he has other fine attributes as well, not the least of which is his creation of some of the most clever, and some of the most bizarre, quests of the DarkNet. When he is in "mohawk mode," he is capable of both rocking out and performing feats of Kung Fu that would dazzle a casual observer.
Mansel, the only Operative with an entire Discord channel dedicated to himself (#satan), works on that elusive balance of “fun” and “challenging” as the lead of quest development. Nothing excites him more than to hear a triumphant “YOU ASSHOLE!” when one of his puzzles is solved; a nice bottle of tequila is a close second though. He does work you might be familiar with at a company you might have heard of. Or maybe not. Bring him a bottle of tequila and you might find out.
Sometimes seen stealthily and secretively searching to circumvent security services through subtle scanning, Silk ascertains suspect’s “secure” secrets somewhat suddenly through sensational subterfuge. Started solving and struggling, now selectively serving. Specializing in strategies to orchestrate the semantics and design of quests to systematically strain solvers seeking scoring by striving to surmise secret solutions through scrutiny. As well as soliciting social solidarity in a sensational resolution following solvers surveying a stupendous, perhaps superior, spectacular story seminal of Suarez’s series of Sobol’s final solution. This story summary seems somewhat suspiciously superfluous so at your service with a smile, simply call me, Silk. See Silk's sensational services at https://youtube.com/alexchaveriat.
Kernel started his hacking career in high school where he would reverse engineer the software on Commodore-64 games to remove the copy protection thus enabling him to distribute them to his friends. He also reprogrammed the family satellite receiver to enable certain channels that his parents had deliberately locked out. The dark side continued to seduce him, leading to work doing "vulnerability analyses" on all kinds of embedded systems. He loves working with FPGAs. And doing triathlons. He was also a huge help in moving over the quests from the old game engine to the new CTFd.
The Wild Samosa, The Mild Samosa -- the many personalities of this operative are infamous. What else would you expect from the social interface of the DarkNet? From Twitter to trivia, from reality to rebus, she has been the wicked mind behind DarkNet efforts to bring our agents together to solve puzzles together. When she's not out promoting chaos, she knits. No, really.
Sanity’s job, unsurprisingly, is keeping everyone sane (this is harder than it sounds, but she’s stubborn). Along with skyria, she writes the DarkNet’s story, building out the world of the game to match the world of the books. In her day job as a mild-mannered (ha!) security/privacy professional, she helps defend innocent customers from evil data-miners and black hats.
Skyria is a field agent extraordinaire and frequent featured story element in the growing lore of the community. The story team consists of her and Sanity; together, they help create the virtual world that is our vision of the DarkNet. She is one of only two agents ever to have confronted the Mad Hatter directly in an out-of-band story element from DC22, which is ironic, since she invented him in the first place.
l33tbunni, AKA BUNNEH, is the consummate tinkerer, assembling many of the cool hardware hacks you will find in the DarkNet. When he's not soldering stuff, he tests everything that 0a has broken and is an absolute master at the copying and pasting of JSON. There have been many eyes scarred by his involvement in super secret quests in the past. In his imaginary free time, he works on his DeLorean (which is actually real). He spends all of his DEFCON time at his passion : the Hardware Hacking Village (HHV).
Zeroaltitude is in charge of the infrastructure of the game and helped bring the pre-DefCon Casefile challenges to life. He enjoys long walks on the beach, sunsets and rainbows. When he is not helping out with the DarkNet, he crunches numbers and dances to Drum 'n Bass music whenever given a legitimate opportunity. Prime numbers excite him unnaturally.
Krux has been described as "Wicked smart, and all-around great person. 10/10 would recommend hanging out with." He's probably best known in the DarkNet as the designer of the DarkNet badge, and it's devious puzzles. Willing to hack just about anything in the spirit of camaraderie and friendship. Will challenge your mind but walk you through it when needed.
As a youth, Gateherder would take apart broken clocks and VCRs "just to see how they worked". Decades later he would find his vocational calling in digital logic design (specifically field programmable gate arrays). Just like you, Gateherder began his Darknet career as an agent (Defcon23), finally leveling up to the mystical "operative" status four years later. He is quite social for an engineer, but it doesn't take long to realize that, in fact, he often doesn't actually get the joke.
Consulting with Kaosaur aka Kao has been a bit difficult this year as he's gone a bit Nomadic. At least he hasn't become a Vagrant, but he has reached Boundaries unknown. He has a not-so-minor obsession with declarative infrastructure as code and Terraform. Following the Waypoints will lead you to what is Packed in this Vault.
McL0v1n is a chameleon. He can fit in and disappear into any situation, group, or setting. Known to change his appearance on the fly to avoid recognition or those hunting him. He's an expert with infrastructure and proponent of mesh networking technologies and encryption over all data.
This one is Gourry
** Smitty ** https://twitter.com/smittyhalibut
** Alvaro ** https://twitter.com/alvaroprieto
blakhal0 https://twitter.com/Blakhal0 was the physical side designer of the lockpicking challenge boxes (locks and the boxes themselves), is the brains behind the electronics. Physical security demi-god, all around security enthusiast, batch scripting genius, and one of the co-founders of the Peppercon.
** Fish ** https://twitter.com/hacktifish
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