Washington, DC Security Community

Each week, we’ll highlight a major city in the US and cover the places and events you can go to in that area to get your security information fix. This post is part of the information security communities.

Washington, D.C. is not just about politics. The nation’s capital also is home to various groups dedicated to information security. Many of the brightest minds in the US gather here, from military security advisors to civilian and corporate IT professionals. Here are a few of local professional groups based here.

  • Washington DC OWASP Chapter – Originally, the DC chapter of OWASP had members from nearby Virginia and Delaware but those areas have since grown to host their own chapters. This chapter hosted the national OWASP conference last 2009. Meetings are free and open to all people interested in web security and if you would like to present something, you are most welcome to do so. Follow them in Twitter or sign up for the mailing list.
  • ISSA National Capital Chapter – The national chapter regularly holds open meetings that anyone can be a part of. Membership is likewise open to active security professionals. Some of the notable presentations given are “Becoming a Better Cyber-Warrior: Finding Advanced Persistent Threats Using Real-Time Situational Awareness” and “The Case for Network Forensics”
  • ISACA National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) – The NCAC is one of the oldest security groups around and was founded in 1974. The chapter regularly holds monthly conferences (except during summer), exam reviews and networking events. You can grab the newsletter here or monitor chapter news feeds. Some interesting presentations from the group are “Innovation in Federal IT – Enabling an open and transparent government” and “Myths & Realities of Data Security & Compliance: A Risk-based Approach to Data Protection”
  • National Information Security Group – Washington, DC Chapter – Membership to this group is open to the public. A couple of presentations to come out of the group is “InfoGraphX” and “Defending Against Cybercrime in 2010”.
  • InfraGard Nations Capital Members Alliance – This group is a public-private entity with close ties to the federal government through the FBI. It boasts over 1000 members both civilian and federal employees. Join Infragard here.

Of course, there are also smaller, less-structured get-togethers that happen in DC. Here are some local meetings that might interest you.

  • DC2600 – Covering Northern Virginia and Maryland as well as the DC metro area, the group meets regularly at Champps Pentagon. You can drop by a meet or follow their Twitter feed.
  • DC Organization of Hackers (DoH) – While their webpage might not be updated, ask around and you might stumble upon a member or two.
  • CapSecDC – Another down homepage but their Twitter feed is very much alive. Follow them here.

If you would rather smash transistors instead of code, there are also a few hackerspaces in DC.

  • HacDC – From disassembling computers to tinkering with microcontrollers, you can expect a lot of hacking action in this place. The organization started in 2008 and has been featured in The Washington Post. Some of their upcoming events are HacDC Narg and Disassembly Dienstag. Join them here.
  • Dorkbot DC – This group is dedicated to putting a cultural spin on electronics projects. Subscribe to their events mailing list or attend their free sessions.

Lastly, the capital is host to many security events where you can network and even learn a new thing or two.

  • USENIX Security Symposium – The upcoming 3-day program will be held on August 11 – 13 so mark your calendars. On top of the keynotes and discussions, USENIX will also be offering workshops prior to the main event.
  • SANS Whatworks – SANS comes to the capital with an event that focuses on virtualization and cloud computing. It’s going to be held at Fairmont on August 19. There is also going to be another event on December, this time focusing on incident detection.
  • CSI 2010 – Technically, this isn’t going to be in DC but as the largest security event on the East Coast, it’s one that you shouldn’t miss. From forensic workshops to medical device security, this two-day event will keep you pretty busy.
  • AppSec DC – OWASP is back in DC with a slew of training sessions and talks. Some of the notable talks are “Transparent Proxy Abuse” and “Unicode Transformations: Finding Elusive Vulnerabilities“.

There you have it, hope you got your security fix with the links we gave. If you need help or want to reach out to the DC community, just contact us.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matt Franz, z9m9z. z9m9z said: Washington DC area security community: http://j.mp/ddX6xK […]

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