Helena 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.

Thanks to Brad Smith for contributing to some of writeups in this post.

Howdy All, We’d like to invite everyone to Montana for food, fun and cyber edutainment. Helena, Montana: the last best cyber space. Helena is the capital of Montana and home to several Fortune 500 companies who do the state’s bidding. Why is the cyber so good? Cause we have all sorts of security groups here, especially for a town of 30,000 people and a state with less than a million people. Here are a few of local professional groups based here.

  • National Cyber Defense Force – Ok, it sounds very official but it’s just a bunch of people who want to help others be cyber safe. The group is comprised of a very mixed bag of hackers, Feds, businesses and educators. While they are based here, most of their work is getting security pros to help those who can’t afford security; read charities, think Johnny Long. Lots of people talk about cyber forces but up here they’re actually doing free training on cyber defense tactics. Meets 2nd Friday of the month.
  • Cyber Exec Group – State, Federal, Local governments, private business, public business and select others are part of an invitation only group of security executives who work on solving the problems of all the people of Montana, not just their own organization. Most are CISO for organizations that have large security departments.

There are also a few local meetings that happen in this fair city

  • Helena 2600 Group – We have an active 2600 group that meets on the 1st Friday of the month. Our hangout is the OX, a great place with art, live music, free WiFi and beer/wine. They were voted one of the 10 Best sandwiches in America by Maxim magazine. Free high speed internet, ETOH and great food, what more could a 2600 group want?
  • DC406-Hel – The Defcon 406 – Helena group meets with the 2600 group but has a great website and is really into Defcon parties. Is that surprising? Can you say Toxic BBQ?

There’s also a hackerspace here if you are itching for hot soldering action and such.

  • Montana Ethical Hackers – Membership is free until everything gets setup since the site is still under construction. Due to some personal matters though, activities will resume on September.

Lastly, Helena hosts a great security conference for all you hackers in the north.

  • CIScon – The Red Lion Colonial Hotel will be the place to be this coming August 10 where you will learn all you need to know on cybersecurity and physical security as well.

There you have it. While Helena might not be the most populous of cities, it sure has a lot of infosec professionals that keep the flame alive in this border state.

One Comment

  1. Saint December 16, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Meh(Montana Ethical Hackers) is up as of September^_^. Hurray! Though we got off to a rocky start in July with a charter member’s death. We’re going strong now!

    MEHmbership is still pretty much free. Cost is free for students or $30/mo if your unable to contribute supplies/labor/time. Thirty a month is cheaper than any hackspace we could find. We’re doing our best to keep it free. First month is free to check things out of course.

    There’s an XMas electronics competition that you may be too late to enter in(Mehmbership not required). However, there will be a Battle Robotics Competition just before Easter(Mehmbership not required either). Start conceptualizing!

    We’re also going to have to move to a bigger/more commercial place. Perhaps, one day, we can house a CIScon/DC406 for free? Really it depends where we can go and how much cash we can bleed for it.

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