IP EXPO 2013

I recently attended IP EXPO 2013, the UK’s leading enterprise IT event. Held at Earls Court 2 Exhibition Centre in London, IP EXPO is an annual two-day event featuring keynote speakers such as Kevin Mitnick. I only went on the Wednesday though.

I found the event to be an interesting mix of content. Surrounding the trade show floor, there were a number of ‘theatres’ covering different areas of IT such as datacentres, virtualisation, network security etc.

Trade Show:

Microsoft brought along a ‘Replicator 2’ 3D printer which they linked up to a Kinect. They were using the Kinect (and a swivel chair!) to generate a 3D image of the upper body, then sending the file to the printer to be printed.

IP EXPO 2013 London 3D printer

I thought the ‘Twitter wall’ was a cool feature.

IP EXPO 2013 London twitter wall


A few of the keynotes/seminars I attended included:

Kevin Mitnick’s keynote

The ‘must-see’ keynote of the day, I only just managed to get a seat. It ended up being standing room only!
IP EXPO 2013 London kevin mitnick keynote
We were first shown a short ‘Italian Job’-style film/presentation which covered Kevin’s main achievements.

Kevin believes he can “hack into any network”.

His interest in hacking into things started at the age of 17 when he pulled pranks. McDonald’s drive through etc.

“Started ‘fishing’ in the 70’s”

He had a natural fascination for telephone systems and would regularly hack into friends’ home phones, once even turning a landline into a payphone!

When he was in prison, he would play pranks on the operator

Whilst some people get addicted to other things, “my addiction was hacking.”

Having experienced being on the wrong side of the law, Kevin now runs his own security consultancy company – Mitnick Security Consulting, which offers network penetration testing and other security services.

But rather than just talking about what he used to do and what he does now, Kevin gave us various live demonstrations! Using a MacBook and laptop, he setup typical scenarios. For example, when an innocent-looking Word doc (which when scanned by any anti-virus software would show as being clean) is opened, the victim’s password hash is sent to the attackers computer. This can then be used to find out the cleartext password.IP EXPO 2013 London kevin mitnick keynote

Afterwards, Kevin gave out his unique business cards (which have lock-pick tools) and signed badges/books.

Kevin Mitnick metal business card IP EXPO 2013 London


“An Anatomy of a Hack and Client-Side Exploitation”

This seminar was by Ian Reynolds, from MTI Technology Ltd.

Ian started off speaking about how big corporations such as Sony and Google have suffered security breaches.

Zeus Trojan
For those of you unfamiliar with the Zeus Trojan, here are a few key facts as discussed by Ian:

  • Allows an attacker to gain control of the machine.
  • Can be used on botnet, which can then be used for denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Can be used to siphon off details (such as credit card details, usernames and passwords etc.)
  • Unlike many other pieces of malware, Zeus is professionally written, and comes with user manual, technical support etc.

If the attacker is hacking for financial gain, he/she can then sell the credit card details (10 credit card numbers can be sold for around $15).

Client-side exploitation
Malware called ‘droppers’, malicious URL’s. Exploits something in the web browser.

Facebook worm, publishing malware on facebook account
Java being updated often can cause issues. Java-based exploits are on the rise.
Zeus virus (as mentioned before)
‘Hash dump’
Web portals with back-end exploit server

Social engineering

Creating similar domain (ciscousersupport.com for example), then sending spam emails acting as Cisco.

Attackers will often pose as a job-seekers and will send in a CV. Once they get a reply, they copy the signature and use it to look as if they are from the genuine company.
Another trick used is namedropping individuals, and finding out important details. LinkedIn will often be used for this purpose, often targeting Systems Administrators, IT Managers etc.

Two types:

  • ‘Spearfishing’, which targets a specific individual within an organisation.
  • Bulk spam emails, which target immense amounts of people



How to prevent client-side exploits:

  • Employee security training
  • Keep 3rd party products updated
  • Use a threat management appliance (many available)
  • Malicious email detection (cloud-based)
  • Firewall rules
  • Minimal rights to users
  • Secondary accounts for administrators


Steve Atkinson, Dell

PowerEdge VRTX
One of the key advantages of the VRTX is that it potentially doesn’t need to be situated in a datacentre.

Thin client device, connects to HDMI device

Steve also mentioned PocketCloud, which is
Access devices from anywhere
Don’t have to carry around laptop
Expanding capabilities
One-off payment of £10 for professional version. Quick setup.


“Smarter Wi-Fi for Smarter Indoor Location Based Services”

This seminar was by Bryan Hall, European Sales Director at Ruckus.

Bryan began by speaking about the origins of the company and the USP’s of their devices.

Multiple directional antennas 4,000 unique directions
By focussing the energy, this results in better coverage and signal.

Current location-based tracking systems include:

  • RFID
  • Wi-Fi Based
  • Mobile Device Based
  • Outdoor GPS
  • Active Tags

Mobile based GSM is getting more popular.
Wi-Fi is becoming a great way to track devices, but how?

“We are not ‘Location Intelligent'”

Ruckus devices can generate ‘heatmap’ style diagrams which show areas which are seeing the most traffic. With permission of the people being monitored, it can even pinpoint individual employees, customers etc with permission and give their x,y,z location.20131016_144530
I thought the interface looked a bit like ‘Google Analytics for footfall’.

Possible uses of the system could be:

  • Shops can give loyalty offers to return customers
  • Allowing shops to quantify return (ROI)
  • Owners of shopping centres/malls would be able to see which shops in malls are busiest, and maybe alter rent rates accordingly.
  • Schools could use systems such as this in emergency situations to see if there still people inside, and if so which room they are in.

One of the key issues surrounding location-based services is privacy, so this was covered explaining what organisations need to do if they wish to use these types of services.20131016_145217


Looking back, I really wish I’d organised to go for both days (Wednesday & Thursday)!

IP EXPO 2013 London earls court 2

IP EXPO will be moving to ExCeL London next year, and will be an even bigger event with the addition of Data Centre Expo and Enterprise Security Expo. I’m looking forward to it already!

Social CRM 2013 Conference (London) – Live Blog

Here is my event blog for the Social CRM 2013 Conference at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, so the main focus of the conference was on how Social can be used to build customer relationships.


The day was kick-started with welcome drinks and networking and a brief introduction by Luke Brynley-Jones, CEO of Our Social Times.


The second speaker of the day was Ben Kay (@Benjamin_Kay) – Digital Strategist & Digital Media at Everything, Everywhere.


Ben spoke about “Bringing Social to the Heart of the Business”, and how EE combined social and mobile to create the ultimate mobile network.

After Ben spoke about how EE became a ‘Social business’, we were then shown a short video of EE’s ‘Social Hub’. Rather than placing staff in a typical office or call centre environment, EE chose to design a purpose-built room called the ‘Social Hub’ as a central HQ for their Social operations. The video can be found here.


It was then the turn of Jacqui Taylor (@jacquitaylorfb) – Managing Director at FlyingBinary, to speak about ‘Looking beyond Social Data to Social Business’. As a data scientist, Jacqui showed how mentions through social channels can be categorised by sentiment then analysed.




Lunch break! We were all given an hour’s lunch break which also facilitated networking and discussions with sponsors and exhibitors.



Nico Henderijckx (@tweety2b) – European Forum & Community Manager at Sony Europe spoke about “Managing relationships with Brand Fans and Superfans”.

It was interesting to hear about how Sony uses “superfans” to moderate the online community and engage with fans and forum members on Sony’s behalf. Whilst these “superfans” are not paid a salary as such, they are provided with a support package which includes regular training, bi-annual conferences and week long team-building trips where Sony flies them out to a location in Europe along with a number of top-level executives to allow them to bond together. Sony’s “superfans” are also given confidential information and access to new products before everyone else.

At the end of the presentation, a representative from Spotify had asked about how they could make the most of their “superfans”, so it was good to see that they had set an example for other companies to follow.


Bian Salins (@b1an) – Head of Social at NOW TV.

Even though NOW TV was part of Sky, it was reassuring to hear that they had still faced the typical barriers that many start-ups face relating to getting their initial brand message out. Bian spoke about how they had run a number of Twitter campaigns with free tickets to exclusive cinema screenings.

Bian was very engaging throughout, and I’m sure she helped inspire the attendees.


Next up, it was Tom Ollerton (@mrtomollerton) – Marketing Director at We Are Social.

Tom spoke about how We Are Social had created a unique marketing plan for Marmite (Unilever), where they created a “secret society” group called the “Marmarati”!

A detailed case study can be found here: http://wearesocial.net/forrester-marmarati/

This actually turned out to be the most memorable presentation and talk of the day, as it was a rather unique marketing strategy.


Next it was a panel discussion with:

  • Guy Stephens, Managing Consultant – Social Business IBM (Host)
  • Naomi Trickey, EMEA Sales Director, Brandwatch
  • Thomas Messett, Head of Digital Marketing & Advocacy, Nokia
  • Matthew Brazil, COO, Conversocial

The topic of discussion was “Breaking down the ‘Social Façade’ between Internal and External Media”. Whilst members of the panel seemed to agree that internal social tools such as Yammer and Socialcast (although sometimes beneficial) actually wasted time, the opinion of the majority of attendees was actually the opposite.

One comment I found funny was that employees were getting emails from their CEO to say “I have just posted something to Yammer” – professional or what!


The day ended with Ronan Gillen (@AskeBay) – EU Complaints, Community & Social CS Manager at eBay, speaking about “Improving the Customer Experience with each social interaction”.

This was a good talk as I was interested to hear how eBay deals with what must be a large amount of enquiries coming in through Social channels.


eBay realised that social media could be used as a Customer Service channel and whilst they still have traditional call centre support are now focusing their efforts on providing support through social media (Twitter and Facebook).





Overall, it was a great event with interesting speakers, from which I learnt a lot about what companies are doing to utilize social media. It is clear that CRM through Social growing and is an area to watch out for.
The live ‘Tweet wall’ throughout the day was a great idea too! Thanks to Our Social Times for organising the event!

Social CRM 2013 Conference (London)

Our Social Times logo



Organised by Our Social Times, Social CRM 2013 is an annual two-day social/digital media event. The first day being a workshop with the second day a conference, which attracts speakers and attendees from a number of blue chip companies.

Key topics of discussion will include:

  • From Social CRM to Social Business
  • How Organisations are Managing Social Customer Engagement
  • Integrating Social Customer Service, Marketing and Communications
  • Brand Case Studies: Social CRM in Action
  • Measuring the Value of Social CRM
  • Beyond Big Data: The Long Road to Genuine Social Business
  • Leveraging Customer Communities
  • Delivering End-to-End Social Customer Service
  • Panel Discussion and Q&A

This year’s speakers are:

Ronan Gillen
Twitter: @Nanor23
eBay – EU Complaints, Community & Social CS Manager

Bian Salins
Twitter: @b1an
Job Title: Head of Social
Company: Now TV

Ben Kay
Twitter: @Benjamin_Kay
Job Title: Head of Digital Strategy & Adoption, Company: Everything, Everywhere

Jacqui Taylor
Twitter: @jacquitaylorfb
Job Title: Managing Director
Company: FlyingBinary

Martin Hill-Wilson
Twitter: @martinhw
Job Title: Consultant
Company: Brainfood Consulting

Chris Heffer
Twitter: @theotherhef
Job Title: EMEA Marketing Manager Company: Dachis Group

Leon Chaddock
Twitter: @leonchaddock
Job Title: CEO
Company: Sentiment Metrics

Luke Brynley-Jones
Twitter: @lbrynleyjones
Job Title: CEO
Company: Our Social Times

Nico Henderijckx
Twitter: @tweety2b
Job Title: European Forum and Community Manager
Company: Sony

Tom Messett
Twitter: @TomMessett

Social CRM London 2013 logos

A programme/agenda for the day can be found here:

Tickets are £295 and include complimentary breakfast and a 3 course lunch. It is being held at the Cavendish Conference Centre which is easily accessible by tube (Oxford Circus).

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