Day 1 at the #31c3

The winter is the time for us members of @internetwache to meet in one place and there’s no better place to meet than the 31. Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg. So we did it :) This is a blogpost about our experience of the first day and the intresting talks we listened to.

First we must say that we were a bit late, so we missed the opening event and the keynote - but regarding to our timeline (on twitter) those weren’t that good. So no bad feeling on our side. The opening event is always a nice to have, but you also can feel the the real spirit and atmosphere of the #31c3 while you are walking around and see all the hackerspaces, hacking stuff, etc.

The first talk (“Wir beteiligen uns aktiv an den Diskussionen”) we listend to was a talk from linguist Prof. Martin Haase about the “digital agenda” here in Germany. He made an analysis of a paper which was published by the federal government and after all he has the opinion that this so called “agenda” is not an agenda as assumed. He pointed out that the plans are kind of neoliberal and that the goverment doesn’t want to invest that much in the network expansion here in Germany. He underlines his arguments with funny clips of interviews of german politicians. This talk is more interesting for german people or those who are intrested in the network expansion in the EU.

The next talk (“Mit Kunst die Gesellschaft hacken”) was about “hacking society with art” hosted by the Center for Political Beauty - which is an political art organisation. In gerneral it was about their recent activites, e.g against arms exporters. The talk was quite instresting and it’s facinating that those people think creative to about real life “hacks” to “manipulate” our society and change our lifes to a better or more reflective one. If you are instrested in human rights or in “hacking the society” you should listen to the talk! We think it’s very good idea to have talks about culture and politics on events like the #31C3, too, because IT cannot be non-moral and every hacker should at least think about the relationship between society and IT in general.

Another talk (“Practical EMV PIN interception and fraud detection”) we have seen was about EMV skimmers and fraud in general. If you’re interested in how real criminals act and what their strategies are, you should defnitely listen to this talk. In this case it was about using diffrent techniques to bypass the PIN-request. It’s always nice to see that other aspects of security, like for example chipsecurity and things like that ;).

The most impressiv talk (“SS7: Locate. Track. Manipulate.”) and maybe also one with the most media influence was the talk from Tobias Engel about the implementation of the SS7 (Signalling System 7). This system is collection of diffrent protocolls which are used for example for SMS or in general to route mobile data to mobile devices. Engel presented his research results and did a lot of live hacking: A tracking system which can be used for every person who uses a mobilephone/smartphone, a call forwarding which allows an attacker to forward any call without having access to the device. This was shocking, as all you needed to mount this attack is a SS7 access server and the phonenumber of the victim. If one considers that services like WhatsApp automaticly synchronize the addressbook with their servers, one can imagine how easy it would be to observe anybody in the world.

We deeply recommend you to watch this talk if you’re instrested in hacking or security stuff!!!

Now we are chilling arround with some other guys in the lounge and looking forward to the next day and of course the movie “Citizenfour” by Laura Poitras which will be shown at midnight. :)

And by the way: - All talks of the 31c3 are also available on: - digitalcourage (an internetrights activistsgroup for data protection) is looking for nominations of the Big Brother Award 2015 (it’s a negative price for companies which don’t care about there customers privacy):

We are on the #31c3 the whole week - so if you want to meet and talk or simply want to drink a beer with us write us on twitter (@internetwache).

We will keep you up to date ;)

Cheers, Sebastian und Tim (the team of

Links to all mentioned talks: