Hacker’s Guide to Summer 2023: Volume 1

Rebecca Auguste
July 20, 2023
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Hacker Summer Camp is only weeks away, and we can hardly wait. This comprehensive eleven-day camp is the perfect opportunity to develop new technical skills that will help you maximize your information security and cyber security knowledge.

This annual run of back-to-back events brings tens of thousands of the world’s leading cybersecurity professionals together to share the latest news, innovative technology, and some of the most creative ways hackers have targeted organizations.

In this blog post, we'll cover:

What is the 2023 Hacker Summer Camp?

How to Get Prepared for Hacker Summer Camp

What should you bring to Hacker Summer Camp?

Top Activities to Do While in Vegas

There can be no denying it, Summer has officially arrived! With school out and work schedules easing, summer provides the perfect opportunity to reconnect with loved ones, explore new horizons, and create cherished moments that will be treasured for a lifetime.

The warm and sunny weather is a chance to spend time with those we care about most, and no doubt many of you reading this are planning on heading away on vacation soon. No matter what your plans are over the next few months, make sure that you are taking time to relax and unwind from the hustle and bustle of modern life. 

Of course, while summer might be one of the best times of the year, it's important to remember it’s not just about sipping tropical drinks on white sandy beaches or spending time with our loved ones. It's also an excellent opportunity to focus on personal and professional growth and exploration, giving you time to expand your knowledge, hone your skills, and embrace new opportunities.

If you are thinking of heading to the Hacker Summer Camp in August, then there are lots of ways that you can sharpen your skills and stay up to date with the latest industry news while still enjoying the summer holidays. Resources such as webinars and podcasts are able to provide valuable knowledge anywhere at any time. So whether you’re soaking up the sun or having a water fight with your kids, utilize these resources to your advantage! 

Let's make it a summer to remember and a time when we can truly enjoy our lives to the fullest.

What is the 2023 Hacker Summer Camp?

Running from the 5th of August through to the 16th, the camp is actually a series of back-to-back events that have become one of the highlights in the cybersecurity industry. Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hacker Summer Camp is a chance for the leading figures in the sector to come together to share insights into how organizations can improve their current systems against the ever-growing threat from cybercriminals.

Black Hat USA

The first major event of hacker summer camp will be the Black Hat USA (August 5th-10th) convention held at Mandalay Bay. Returning for its 26th year, this specialized conference begins on Saturday with four days of cybersecurity training, which is aimed at individuals of all skill levels and experience, working with them to ensure they have the most up-to-date information possible. 

The main conference begins after that and will see over 100 briefings and demos, networking opportunities, and social events.

Diana Initiative 

On Monday (August 7), The Diana Initiative will be a day-long conference promoting women in security at the Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa. Activities will include a keynote, talks, along with a career fair. There will also be a lockpicking village and a maker village. The event concludes with a networking social.


Another core event of the camp is BSidesLV, (August 8th and 9th), which aims to stimulate the cybersecurity sector and provide unique insight and education for professionals and industry newcomers alike. This is a great event, and the technical and academic presentations throughout the two days are given in the spirit of peer review and cover a huge array of specialties.


Finally, the other core conference of the annual Hacker Summer Camp isDEF CON 31. Running across Caesars Forum and the Flamingo, this year’s conference is all about the future. 

Every day we are bombarded with volumes of information that we need to ingest, assimilate, and resolve, and this is only set to grow for generations to come. This year’s DEF CON aims to bring people together to help them understand what the future holds and the role the hacker community has in the future of everything from hardware and policies to biohacking and even satellites.

Get Prepared for Hacker Summer Camp

If you plan on heading to Vegas in a few weeks, it’s time to start getting yourself ready! The Hacker Summer Camp brings together some of the most experienced professionals in cybersecurity, so taking the time now to brush up on your knowledge will put you in good standing when the event gets underway.

Mayhem Webinar Series

The Mayhem team has a number of fantastic webinars that you can watch ahead of time, including:

Welcome to Mayhem

This 45-minute webinar offers a live demonstration of the Mayhem Application Security system. Learn about how our software helps to transform the way you approach your application and API testing, supporting you in identifying vulnerabilities and understanding what you can do to improve your cybersecurity.

Uncover and Address Vulnerabilities in Open Source Libraries

This webinar explores the double-edged sword of open-source libraries and is designed to showcase the techniques required to identify vulnerabilities and how to address them.

How to Increase Test Coverage

Finally, this webinar will teach you how to increase your API testing coverage and give you confidence when building code with Mayhem.


Upcoming Think Like a Hacker Webinar

Don’t forget to join us on July 27th for our next webinar, entitled “Think Like A Hacker”.

The Hacker Mind Podcast

If you are a fan of listening to podcasts, then you can also listen to the Hacker Mind Podcast, which regularly covers some of the most important topics within the information and cybersecurity industry. While we recommend listening to them all if you are looking to get yourself prepared ahead of Hacker Summer Camp, then the following episodes will give you a strong insight into some of the most pressing issues:

What should you bring to Hacker Summer Camp?

If you are planning on attending the Hacker Summer Camp, then it is important that you pack correctly. While you might not be spending vast amounts of time outside, Las Vegas is in the desert, and it’s not uncommon to get caught up in a heavy monsoon or dust storm. One year, guests even had to contend with a locust swarm!

The daytime can be incredibly warm, easily reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during peak times, so make sure you are bringing plenty of summer clothing. However, inside the conferences with the air conditioner on full, it can get a little chilly, so we recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt or bringing a light jacket with you.

Some top tips to remember when deciding what to pack:

  • The dress code is pretty relaxed, and at DEF CON, you will be able to wear whatever you like; however the Black Hat events are business casual.
  • You will be walking a lot during the camp, so make sure that you are wearing comfortable shoes as you will likely be clocking up long distances throughout the event.
  • The hot weather mixed with lots of coffee means you can easily become dehydrated without realizing it. Make sure you are staying on top of your fluids, and bring a reusable water bottle with you.
  • Everyone who’s attended the Hacker Summer Camp or a large conference before knows about the dreaded post-event flu. Bring some Vitamin C supplements with you so you can stay healthy.
  • While some events, particularly Black Hat, do provide snacks throughout the day, not every conference will, so bring some with you!

What devices should you bring?

While the Hacker Summer Camp is a tech-based event, you do not need to bring a lot of devices with you. However, electronics are an essential part of our day-to-day lives, and if you are going to be bringing yours with you, there are some top tips to remember:

Burner Devices

Although not a requirement, it is still possible for guests to be hit with some weird attacks. Thankfully this is becoming less frequent.

Strong Passwords

Whatever devices you do bring, make sure that you are using the strongest passwords possible. From your laptop to your smartphone, make sure that Two Factor Authentication is in place.


Choose Your Wi-Fi carefully

Equally, make sure that you are not just logging into any free Wi-Fi that you find. Make sure you are using legitimate conference accounts that you trust.


Tether your phone

For ultimate security, consider tethering your devices from your phone’s hotspot. Just remember you will need to have a data plan that will allow you to do this.


Use a VPN

We would recommend using a VPN wherever possible to maximize your security while at the Hacker Summer Camp.



Of course, if you are very concerned about your data and security, then you could add The Onion Router (TOR) to your internet connection; however, this is not necessary unless you are very worried.


Hacker Summer Camp is a lot calmer and more professional nowadays, and the games of elevators being taken over or the internet being shut down are a thing of the past. However, you never know who is around, particularly at DEF CON, which is why we suggest turning your phone off while in attendance. Equally, make sure that you are never leaving your devices alone, not even for a minute! 

Above all, though, remember that Hacker Summer Camp is a lot of fun. Not only will you be meeting some of the finest professionals in our industry, but also meeting new friends and connections throughout the event.

Top Activities to Do While in Vegas

Of course, while the Hacker Summer Camp is a fantastic event packed with insightful seminars and events, Vegas is also one of the most exciting cities in the world! There is an abundance of activities you can get up to during your downtime, from sampling some delicious restaurants to trying your luck in one of the many casinos.

The list is endless, but some of our favorite spots are:

1. Seven Magic Mountains 

Developed by renowned artist Ugo Rondinone, Seven Magic Mountains is a large-scale public art installation just a few miles outside South Las Vegas. It features seven colorful stacked boulders that stand over 30 feet high.


2. Bellagio Conservatory

A stunning botanical garden might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Vegas, but The Conservatory at the Bellagio features a 14,000-square-foot garden that takes visitors through the sights, sounds, and scents of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.


3. Ether M Chocolates Factory and Cactus Garden

What is a visit to Las Vegas without a little treat? That is why we also recommend a visit to the Ethel M Chocolates Factory and Cactus Garden. A staple of the city, Ethel M Chocolates has been providing a sweet treat to visitors for over 40 years, and this three-acre ornamental garden is a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of The Strip.  

Where’s the party at???

If you have ever been to the Hack Summer Camp before, then you know that it is also a great opportunity to let your hair down and have a big party! After a day of chatting with the leading figures in the industry, there are a whole host of parties and events to enjoy afterward!

The first parties get underway on Tuesday, the 8th of August, with Darktrace, BC Security, and HackNotice all hosting various cocktail receptions and happy hour drinks. You can get the full list of parties and RSVP to your favorite here.

See you there!

If you are planning on joining the annual fun of the Hacker Summer Camp, then we cannot wait to see you there! The Mayhem team will be in attendance throughout the event to demonstrate our powerful new software that will help you transform your approach to security and keep your business safe.

If you want to schedule an appointment to come and meet our team, get in touch today. You can also stay up to date with all of our latest news and industry insights by following our blog.



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