We said we would do this blog post on Twitter if we saw certain behaviors, we weren’t kidding. ShmooCon, an annual security gathering in Washington D.C., is a great conference, we’ve gone for the past few years and have always enjoyed ourselves. The things that make it great: a lack of consumerism, technical presentations, and a good repeat crowd year after year. One thing that isn’t so great is the ticket reservation system, and this year it has been even more of a mess (but getting better). Tickets sell outs for this event, one which will only allow 1,250 attendees, have occurred in seconds each time registration is opened. Where there is this kind of demand, there is bound to be chicanery.
In their own words: “ShmooCon is an annual east coast hacker convention hell-bent on offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical infosec issues.”
Into this feel good environment of pure information security for the sake of information security have stepped the charlatans, cheap bastards looking to make a quick buck off their fellow industry peers: people who buy tickets only to resell them at a huge markup on eBay.
Without further ado, a list of people, now immortalized, who should be ashamed of themselves:
|Name||Sale Price||Desired Profit for Doing Nothing|
There is always someone who needs to be the best, and in this case it is user jonkhrome, who has placed his bar code up at a Buy it Now Price of $1000, an $850 markup.
Rob Fuller, aka mubix, summarized it best:
The thought that keeping this a small conference will preserve it’s charm is a good one, but at this point the conference is in danger of losing it’s loyal “year after year” crowd (you know, the repeat customers that make any initiative worth doing). At some point there have to be changes, because the small crowd idea only works if it is the right small crowd, hard core information security enthusiasts. This scalping nonsense above, which has happened in previous years a little but seems to be taking on a life of it’s own, has to stop. Bruce Potter and his team have made incredible strides tackling the ticket registration technology problems, what’s the right way to kill the “for profit” ShmooCon ticket resale market?
What’s that you say? This is only capitalism at it’s finest, a scarce resource for which demand is driving up price? If ShmooCon wants to become the equivalent of a Madonna concert, where scalpers buy up all the face value tickets and only glitterati sit in the front row, then that’s fine. But for me, when it becomes that, it becomes an event I’m a hell of a lot less enthusiastic about.
Do we put our money where our mouth is? Last year we had an additional ticket and we sold it to an enthusiastic security person via Twitter at face value. Now we’re stuck hoping the January 1 sales go better, or that someone will pay it forward and sell us a ticket. One thing we’re not doing is buying any ticket on eBay, whether we can afford it (we can) or not.
Filed Under: Industrial Complex