Just look at the face: it's vacant, with a hint of sadness. Like a drunk who's lost a bet.
—Dianne describing a zombie in the movie “Shaun of the Dead”
It’s coming. In just two weeks security pros, crackers, hackers and other interested parties will swarm Las Vegas to learn, share and let off some steam.
We feel it’s our duty to warn the uninitiated and inexperienced. As a public service, your friends at SpiderLabs offer the following tips to help you avoid the Dehydrated N00b Zombie Virus (DNZV) to which some poor souls succumb each year at Black Hat USA, DEF CON, DEF CON Skytalks and BSides Las Vegas. You’ll read tips similar to last year’s, but they’re still relevant reminders to help ensure an unscathed departure on Sunday.
SpiderLabs’ Top Ten Dehydrated N00b Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tips:
9. Drink water—The infected prey upon the dehydrated. It’s important to socialize with other attendees and plan for zombie contingencies, but temper the booze and the heat by hydrating and pacing yourself.
8. Wear light-weight clothing (but bring along a hoodie or sweater)—The conferences will be air conditioned. Should the undead ambush the conference floor, however, escaping to the 100+ degree temperatures of the Las Vegas desert may be your only option. Even with your adrenaline pumping, exerting yourself in the hot weather can dehydrate you or give you heat stroke.
7. Plot your course—Some talks will only have standing room available or will reach capacity by the time you get there. You’ll want to plot your course through the con carefully, allow time for navigating any zombie feeding frenzies and arrive early if possible. Pick your priority talks and some back-ups in case.
6. Secure an invitation to Spiders Are Fun!—If you know someone in SpiderLabs, contact them and try to secure an invite to our annual Spiders Are Fun! party. You may need respite from battling the re-animated and the Spiders Are Fun! party will be a protected bunker filled to the brim with experienced allies (but reference tip five below).
5. Keep your wits about you when attending meetings, parties or other gatherings with SpiderLabs personnel—Various common, and usually innocent, activities can lead to unplanned outcomes (such as finding yourself on the floor incapacitated and unable to flee the coming hordes). A wide and creative range of schemes have been concocted by both the undead and their proxies to snare the unsuspecting (we speak from experience).
4. Heed the orders of the Goons—We’ve said it before and will say it again: do as they say, and you may just find your way out of DEF CON 21 alive.
3. Visit the Las Vegas Zombie Apocalypse Store—While we consider ourselves experts on the DNZV, staff at the Las Vegas Zombie Apocalypse Store possess knowledge of a number of other virus strains and can provide relevant advice and supplies.
2. Do not use insecure protocols on any of your connected devices—Dehydrated N00b Zombies typically begin communicating using insecure channels and authentications that lack proper complexity. You may notice usernames such as “GNnnaaaAAAhh” and passwords like “bRaiNs!******” filling up the Wall of Sheep. Your non-zombie username and password could draw attention to yourself. Not to mention the more covert sniffing of traffic that may occur. A safe bet is to avoid sending any sort of information via any Internet-enabled device that you wouldn’t just as soon announce to the entire conference audience using a megaphone.
1. Do not hand your phone over to anyone—The early stages of the DNZV taking hold include the typical symptoms of dehydration (dry mouth, lethargy, low or no or dark yellow urine). There will be plenty of uninfected individuals displaying similar symptoms—you can never be sure. Play it safe and don’t let anyone use your phone. There’s no telling what your phone may transmit to you or others.
We’d like this post and its comments to serve as a compendium of Dehydrated N00b Zombie Apocalypse survival tips, so help support the community effort by adding your own tips below.