PHDays 2012: Tunisian version
July 20, 2012
The Positive Hack Days Everywhere organized in Tunis on May 30, 2012, was held in the INSAT university and was open mainly for students and professional members of SecuriNets, the first security club in Tunisia, and also for the members of the Tunisian Information Security Professional Associations. The participants had a good opportunity to remotely assist at the conferences and to interact with the PHDays teams.
INSAT is the National Institute of Applied Science and Technology. Training technicians and engineers, it provides a post-baccalaureate education.
INSAT agreed to host the PHD event in Tunis and provided all needed facilities to organize a successful event. All the arrangements were made by Securinet, a security club of INSAT.
Securinet, one of the most active security club in the region founded in 2004, was in charge of the event subscription, conference room, video and audio equipment, welcoming participant, and other things.
APSIT, Information Security Professional Association, is the other organizer of the event, which gathered professionals in a very friendly environment to discuss security issues and come up with new best practices and recommendations to enhance cyber information security in Tunisia.
The organizers made all necessary arrangements to host participants and make them enjoy the event. Sessions were grouped on the basis of the content relevance to the audience. It was a very confusing task, regarding the variety of the content.
PHDays in Tunis began a little bit later due to the time shift, but when it started the audience got very excited, seeing the event remotely and discovering its scale, especially with the CTF area where the Tunisian team participated.
The participants were thrilled by the idea that Haythem was going to speak at the conference and, what’ s more, by the idea that he was going to speak about the Tunisian experience in fighting Anonymous. They looked forward to watching this presentation and a Tunisian speaker at such a big security conference.
According to Aymen Frikha, the Securinets Club President, the PDHays webcast in INSAT's auditorium was an opportunity to meet many information security professionals and students. Several students from INSAT and other universities were able to interact with the professionals about the topics discussed at the conferences, which were greatly appreciated by most of the visitors for their high quality and timeliness of their subjects. Questions posed after the conference had good and relevant answers, so the visitors were able to enrich their understanding of the topics. Moreover, the Tunisian teams, that participated in the challenges organized as part of the event, commented that the contests were of a very good quality. This event, thanks to the multiplicity and timeliness of topics, and the proper presentation of various conferences, was very useful and highly appreciated by the INSAT audience.
The CTF contest also provided the young Tunisian hacking team ForbiddenBITS with an opportunity to participate and to meet other hackers from everywhere.
According to Marwen Harzalli, the team coordinator, "PHDays CTF 2012 was an amazing event that gathered some of the most talented hackers around the world in a very friendly environment. We enjoyed each moment we had in the CTF although we didn't rank well. The only remark we could say is the frustration we had (and so other teams did) when announcing something new as the English translation was a little bit confusing. We hope we participate in next PHDays and do better. Thank you."
Summing up the first experience, the organizer commented that the next forum would be better and easier to organize. Thus, professionals and students are looking forward to hosting again this big event with the confidence that next time it will be bigger and more attractive.