DEF CON 30 Talk Schedule

DEF CON 30 Aerospace Village Talk Schedule

Aerospace Village will be held in-person in the Forum Ballroom from August 12 (Friday) – August 14 (Sunday)

  • All talks will be in-person at specified time under each presentation
  • Workshops & CTFs will operate at specific times and format listed in the schedule
    • see workshop/CTF list here
  • NO recording will be made this year, see you all in-person!

FRIDAY, AUG. 12 Aerospace Village Theatre (10:00AM – 5:00PM PDT)

[10:00PM – 10:50AM] Hack-A-Sat 3
Hack-A-Sat Team – Steve Colenzo (Air Force Research Laboratory), Rachel Mann (Air Force Research Laboratory), Capt Elijha Williams (Space Systems Command), 1st Lt Kevin Bernert (Space Systems Command), Mark Werremeyer (Cromulence), Mike Walker (Cromulence), Jordan Wiens (Vector 35), Aaron Myrick (Aerospace Corp)

Abstract:  Hack-A-Sat (HAS) is an Air Force/Space Force satellite hacking CTF, now in its 3rd year. This talk will: 1) educate the audience on the HAS series of competitions, 2) review challenges/solves from the HAS3 qualifiers in May 2022, 3) preview the HAS3 Finals (Oct 2022) including the 8 finalist teams vying for $100K prize pool, 4) talk about Moonlighter, a cubesat designed and built as a hacking sandbox in space. Moonlighter will be the platform for HAS4, the world’s first CTF in space.

[11:00AM – 11:25AM] That’s No Moon – A Look at the Space Threat Environment
Mike Campanelli

Abstract:  Outer space has changed, and changed our lives, since the first DEF CON in 1993. This informational talk explores the industry trends we have seen over the last 30 years, growing threats we face to our satellites, and why everyone needs to be informed about the ultimate man-in-the-middle: space.

Bio:  Mr. Campanelli currently leads aerospace professional services at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Prior to joining AWS, Mike was the vice president of federal for SpiderOak, leading the creation of OrbitSecure, a zero-trust security protocol for space assets.

[11:30AM – 11:55AM] DDS Space Signal Lab
James Pavur

Abstract:  The goal of this demo lab is to teach participants that radio signals can often be received and interpreted by people who aren’t their intended recipients. A secondary objective is to explore the consequences of that in the context of other critical infrastructure and convey why privacy in SATCOMs matters. 

Bio: Dr. James Pavur is a Digital Service Expert at the DoD Directorate of Digital Services where he advises and assists the US Department of Defense in implementing modern digital solutions to urgent and novel challenges. Prior to joining DDS, James received his PhD. from Oxford University’s Department of Computer Science as a Rhodes Scholar. His thesis “Securing New Space: On Satellite Cybersecurity” focused on the security of modern space platforms – with a particular interest in vulnerability identification and remediation. His previous research on satellite security has been published at top academic venues, such as IEEE S&P and NDSS, presented at major cybersecurity conferences, including Black Hat USA and DEFCON, and covered in the popular press. Outside of tech, James enjoys flying kites and collecting rare and interesting teas.

[12:00PM – 12:50PM] Hackers Help Make My Airline Secure
Deneen Defiore

Abstract:  Ensuring passengers are safe while flying goes well beyond the cybersecurity of just an aircraft. Join this fireside chat with Deneen DeFiore, the Chief Information Security Officer for United Airlines, to learn how she is building an enterprise security program that leverages smart, experienced hackers. Deneen will share her background in infosec along with her approach to engaging security expertise to maintain the trust her customers have in her airline’s safe and secure operations.

Bio:  Deneen is an accomplished technology & risk management executive with experience across multiple critical infrastructure sectors. She has expertise in advising global companies & their most senior executives on technology, cybersecurity, compliance, and digital risk related decisions associated to products, services, significant initiatives, & ongoing operations. Deneen currently serves as Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at United Airlines. She is responsible for the leading the cybersecurity organization to ensure the company is prepared to prevent, detect, & respond to evolving cyber threats; as well as commercial aviation cyber safety risk initiatives & improving cyber resilience across the global aviation ecosystem.

[1:00PM – 1:25PM] Cyber Star Card Game Tutorial
Rick White


Cyber Star© is a role-play game exploring the implications of cyber security on the projection of space power. Players compete to become the predominant space power by carefully investing in space assets, ASAT weapons, and cyber capabilities both to advance their own objectives and thwart those of their opponents. No specialized knowledge or skills are required to play.

This competition will consist of a practice round, main round, and finals. The winner will receive a 2022 Aerospace Village Badge!


[1:30PM – 1:55PM] Securing the Future of Aviation Cybersecurity
Tim Weston

Abstract:  Presentation will cover the future of aviation cybersecurity, including the security of Advanced Air Mobility/Urban Air Mobility, Space Port Security, Space Tourism Security, and the transformation of the TSA workforce. I will cover in depth the legal and regulatory framework that provides for securing IT and OT networks, as well as the airframes, for the next generation of air travel. I will close with an update and call for action to modernization of the aviation workforce.

Bio:  Tim Weston is the Director for Strategy & Performance in TSA’s office of Strategy, Policy Coordination and Innovation. Mr. Weston also serves as the TSA Cybersecurity Policy Coordinator. Previously, he worked in the TSA Office of Chief Counsel, as Senior Counsel in the Security Threat Assessment Division.

[2:00PM – 2:50PM] Final Boarding Call for Cyber Policy Airlines Flight 443
Ayan Islam, Olivia Stella, Mary Brooks, Rebecca Ash

Abstract:  Too often analysts to security researchers are left out of legislative activities. This presentation covers current affairs and the ways to get involved. We will share what has and hasn’t worked, why your participation is needed, and how the collection of cyber incident reports and statistics matters. By sharing the policy landscape, the opportunities for participation will be clear and can further efforts to build operations-policy connections. Your input is needed–don’t miss your flight. 

Bio:  Ayan Islam is the associate policy director of Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats at R Street Institute and adjunct lecturer of the Cyber Threats and Security policy course at American University’s School of Public Affairs. Previously, she served as the critical infrastructure portfolio lead in the Insights/Mitigation team, the Operation Warp Speed liaison, and cybersecurity strategist for the Aviation Cyber Initiative (ACI) at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

Olivia Stella is a senior systems engineer in cybersecurity for Southwest Airlines. In her current role, she focuses on aircraft and OT cybersecurity. Her experience spans over fourteen years with a focus on the aviation, agile space, and defense systems sectors supporting incident response, vulnerability management, pen testing, bug bounty & coordinated disclosure, and risk & compliance activities. 

Mary Brooks is a fellow for Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats at the R Street Institute. Before joining R Street, she was the lead researcher and associate producer for The Perfect Weapon (2020)—an Emmy-nominated HBO documentary that explored the rise of cyber conflict as a key feature of modern inter-state competition—and was a research assistant for the book on which the film is based. She is currently a fellow in the Aspen Rising Leaders Program. 

Rebecca Ash is a strategy and performance analyst with TSA’s Strategy, Policy Coordination and Innovation office. In this role, she works within the TSA and interagency offices to ensure effective cybersecurity strategies to enhance the cybersecurity posture of the Transportation Systems Sector. Rebecca has a degree from George Washington University in International Affairs focusing on Latin American Studies and has been with TSA since June 2015.

[3:00PM – 3:50PM] Ask an Airport CISO
Aakin Patel

Abstract:  In this talk, Aakin Patel goes over the unique aspects of IT and cybersecurity at an airport, what makes LAS different from most other airports. After this short overview, there will be a hosted Q&A for whatever questions people have about airport technology and airport cybersecurity.

Bio:  Aakin is the CISO of the Clark County Department of Aviation, which runs the Las Vegas International airport and 4 general aviation airports. He has worked in various CTO and cybersecurity roles going back 27 years across a wide variety of industries, and started his career as an UNIX Admin.

[4:00PM – 4:50PM] Pen Test Partner Power Hour
Ken Munro & Alex Lomas – Pen Test Partners

Abstract: Pen Test Partners presents three quick hit talks in one hour. 

Hacking EFBs: What’s an EFB and how does hacking one affect flight safety? 

We’ll cover tampering with perf, W&B and detail numerous real incidents that have stemmed from EFB misuse or miskeying. So far we’ve found exploitable vulns in 6 different EFB app suites, covering nearly every major operator in the world. Separately, the flight sim will be set up to demonstrate a tailstrike and/or runway excursion as a result of tampered perf on our own EFB” 

Vulnerability disclosure in aviation: the good, the bad and the unsafe: 

“We’ve been researching aviation security for the past 5 years. Along the way we have responsibility disclosed numerous vulnerabilities. Our experience with various aviation businesses has ranged from excellent to appalling. Many of the issues stem from cultural issues at these businesses, failing to bust safety silos in engineering. What can anyone in aviation learn from our experience? How can one build a successful vulnerability disclosure program that boosts safety?” 

Getting started in aviation & avionics security research 

“Independent research in aviation has one big barrier to entry: airplanes cost $millions! How does a researcher or research group break in past this barrier?   We’ll talk about ways we have successfully (and legally!) carried out vanilla security research in airplanes. What will you find on board and how do the various systems work?” 

Bio: Ken Munro is Partner and Founder of Pen Test Partners, a firm of penetration testers with a keen interest in aviation. Pen Test Partners has several pilots on the team, both private and commercial, recognizing that the increase in retired airframes has created opportunities for independent security research into aviation security. Pen Test Partners has been recognized for its highly responsible approach to vulnerability disclosure in aviation and was invited to join the Boeing Cyber Technical Council as a result. Pen Test Partners has published research into aviation cyber security, covering topics from airborne connectivity, avionics hardware, and connectivity with ground systems.

Alex Lomas is Pen Test Partner’s aerospace specialist. Alex undertakes penetration testing of complex embedded systems including airport operational technology and avionics systems such as inflight entertainment and aircraft monitoring systems. Alex has a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering and has held a private pilot’s license since 2011. These, combined with cyber security experience in both offensive and defensive roles, gives them a unique perspective when approaching the testing of airlines, airports, and aeronautical service providers.

Saturday, Aug. 13 Aerospace Village Theatre (10:00AM – 5:00PM PDT)

[10:00AM – 10:25AM] Building Your Own Satellite Ground Station
Eric Escobar

Abstract:  Are you interested in satellite communications? Would you like to help a growing community of ground station and satellite operators collect telemetry data? Well this is the talk for you. With some inexpensive hardware and a trip to your local hardware store, you too can create your very own satellite ground station. In this talk you’ll learn about hardware, radio propagation and how to get started receiving data from satellites on your own ground station.

If you’d like to build along with Eric, here’s the parts list of what you should bring with you:

Bio:  Eric is a seasoned pentester and Technical Lead at Secureworks. On a daily basis he attempts to compromise large enterprise networks to test their physical, human, network and wireless security.

[10:30AM – 10:55AM] Quantum Snake Oil? What ailments can it cure?
Jose Pizarro

Abstract:  This presentation will provide a short primer on Quantum Communications in the Aerospace (Communications, Computing and Cybersecurity). We will cover what Quantum Communications overpromises (It will make you coffee in the morning) & talk about the right tools for the right job. Finally, an overview of the engineering challenges to implementing a QKD system in space will also be discussed.

Bio:  Jose Pizarro is System Engineer at ESA covering over 20 years of experience. He’s pulled cables under the floors of various labs covering space robotics to quantum communications

[11:00AM – 11:50AM] Cyber Threats Against Aviation Systems: The Only Threat Briefing You Really Need
Teresa Merklin

Abstract:  Developing and maintaining Aerospace systems for cyber resilient operation requires knowledge and insight into adversarial techniques and tactics. The historical origins of cyber risk assessment and cyber development standards center around an understanding of the threat actors who perpetrate attacks on Aerospace systems. This presentation cuts through the historical origins of that focus so developers and operators of aviation systems, space systems, and critical infrastructure can leverage that insight into effective adversarial targeting, capabilities required, and cyber effects that align with intent. Finally this talk describes specific actionable analysis that can help industry drive toward more cyber resilient Aerospace systems and get “Left of Boom” of adversarial cyber-attack.

Bio:  Teresa Merklin is a Fellow attached to the Aeronautics Cyber Range at Lockheed Martin. That facility is chartered to perform highly specialized cybersecurity testing and evaluation of embedded avionics and weapons systems. She specializes in Cyber Risk Assessment across the Aeronautics portfolio.

[12:00PM – 12:50PM] Introduction to Aircraft Networks and Security Design Considerations
Sean Sullivan

Abstract:  How is a commercial aircraft’s avionics network designed? How is an aircraft architecture integrated with an avionics network? Come learn about complexity of the aviation systems environment, aircraft design security requirements, design assurance levels, and lastly dive deep from a cyber perspective into an aircraft environment we are all familiar with: the passenger cabin.

Bio:  Sean Sullivan is the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Engineer for Cabin, Network Systems and Product Security. Sullivan held multiple positions in Boeing over a career of 34 years.

[1:00PM – 1:50PM] Hunting for Spacecraft Zero Days using Digital Twins
Brandon Bailey

Abstract:  To ensure spacecraft architectures and software are built with security and resiliency, a focus on high-fidelity digital twins, purpose built for the testing need is recommended to perform research-based cyber evaluation and testing. This presentation will demonstrate how to use high fidelity digital twins for advanced cyber research. Focus will be applied on PowerPC750 environment.

Bio:  Brandon Bailey is a pen-tester for gov and commercial sector and has worked in space cybersecurity for about 8years. He previously was a presenter at the Aerospace Village in 2020 and 2021. He has worked for NASA for over 10 years and was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal for landmark cybersecurity work in 2019. Brandon currently work with Aerospace Corp.

[2:00PM – 2:25PM] Vulnerability Assessment of a Satellite Simulator
Henry Haswell

Abstract:  This research performed a vulnerability assessment of a realistic satellite system, demonstrated some of these vulnerabilities on a high-fidelity satellite simulator, and proposed security solutions for discovered vulnerabilities. If the attacks successfully performed against our satellite simulator were to be performed against a real satellite, it would have significantly harmful effects, including loss of data confidentiality, reduced functionality, or a total loss of access to the satellite.

Bio:  Mr. Haswell is a Research Engineer at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), supporting projects focusing on embedded software development and cyber security. He has performed penetration testing on satellite systems, automotive components, embedded systems, and automotive applications. 

[2:30PM – 2:55PM] The Emerging Space – Cyber Warfare Theater
Eytan Tepper

Abstract:  A combined space-cyber warfare theatre is emerging to become the primary battlefield in the twenty-first century and the main mode of space warfare. Cyberattacks on critical space-based infrastructure have already been launched by States, criminal organizations, and terrorist groups, and such attacks could even trigger a war. The risks are high, yet current multilateral regimes and most national policies do not address the emerging space-cyber nexus. A new project aims to identify shared norms.

Bio:  Eytan Tepper is Visiting Assistant Professor and director of the Space Governance Lab at Indiana University Bloomington. He earned his doctorate from McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law and pursued a postdoc at NYU Law School. He teaches and leads research on space law & governance.

[3:00PM – 3:50PM] Near and Far: Securing On and Off Planet Networks at JPL
Wes Gavins

Abstract:  If you know the names Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo, Salvage 1, Hubble, Cassini, Opportunity, and Spirit then you are familiar with the work done by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. But space operations are more than just the satellites and vehicles we typically hear about, and JPL’s Chief Information Security Officer is responsible for keeping the variety of complex ground networks continuously running. Join us to hear from Wes Gavins, CISO at JPL, and learn about his infosec journey, his inspiration, and how he leads his teams to ensure safe and secure space operations.

Bio:  As CISO, Wes provides strategic direction for all IT security technology areas including applications, networks and storage; serves as the authority and primary JPL representative on internal and external security architecture teams; selects solutions to enhance security controls; and conduct risk assessments for major Lab-wide processes and make major security risk decisions. 

[4:00PM – 4:50PM] Space ISAC: Protecting our Space Assets
Erin Miller

Abstract:  Erin Miller, the Executive Director of Space ISAC, will lead a panel discussing the trends, data, intelligence, and threats that are affecting space systems and the satellite community.

Bio:  Erin Miller is the Executive Director of the Space ISAC. She leads this Public-Private Partnership (P3) with fervor to secure the global space community. Erin serves on the advisory boards of CyberSatGov and CyberLEO.

Sunday, Aug. 14 Aerospace Village Theatre (10:00AM – 1:00PM PDT)

[10:00AM – 10:25AM] Self No-Fly Area Designing for UAV
Utku Yildirim

Abstract:  His method is able to create a no-fly area by spreading signals that can display the coordinates of any selected area as airport GPS coordinates with multiple HackRF. With this method, you can ensure security and privacy by closing the desired areas from public areas such as homes, workplaces etc.

Bio:  Utku YILDIRIM is Red Teamer / Penetration Tester at Hoffmann Cybersecurity Netherlands. He is a computer engineer and MSc student in Cyber Security. He has multiple red team certificates such as OSCE, OSCP, OSWP and LPT. Utku has spoken at international congresses before DEF CON 30.

[10:30AM – 11:20AM] Control Acquisition Attack of Aerospace Systems by False Data Injection
Garrett Jares

Abstract:  The most dangerous cyber threat faced by unmanned air systems and other autonomous vehicles is the threat of hijacking via cyberattack. This work investigates and develops a novel method of attack by false data injection of the vehicle’s measurement data. It is shown that this approach is system agnostic and can be used to takeover a system without any prior knowledge of the system. The attack is demonstrated in both simulation and hardware experiments.

Bio:  Garrett Jares is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University and a 2020 Recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. His doctoral dissertation investigates cyber-attacks designed to take control of an aircraft by targeting the vehicle’s sensor data. 

[11:30AM – 11:55AM] Formalizing Security Assessment for Uncrewed Aerial Systems
Ronald Broberg, Rudy Mendoza

Abstract:  Increased adoption of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) by a wide range of local, state, and federal government entities requires greater attention to the security requirements of UAS. Such requirements must support both operational (flight) security and data security of the UAS. We discuss the architectural decomposition used for our security assessments, common security features and failures found in current UAS, and discuss the use of IoT security frameworks in a UAS context.

Bio: Ronald Broberg performs security assessments on Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) with Dark Wolf Solutions. Previously, he was employed with Lockheed Martin. He had presented at the Aerospace Village during DEFCON 29. 

Rudy Mendoza ( is Senior Penetration Tester with Dark Wolf Solutions. He has been working on the Blue UAS project for the past year conducting penetration tests on multiple commercial drones for the Department of Defense. Prior to Dark Wolf Solutions he was in the U.S Air Force, where he started out as a client systems technician but quickly moved over to stand up a pathfinder program called the Mission Defense Team, providing cyber security capabilities to detect and respond to cyber threats against Air Force Space Command mission systems. 

[12:00PM – 12:50PM] Drones and Civil Liberties
Andres Arrieta

Abstract:  Drones are capable of bringing many benefits to society but they also pose several risks to our civil liberties. With the FAA moving to create rules for BVLOS (mostly commercial operations) there are important privacy issues raised by a future with many commercial drones flying over our heads. Likewise government agencies want to be able to mitigate risks from operator error to use for nefarious purposes. But the powers they ask are broad, cut into civil liberties, and carry no protections. 

Bio:  As Director of Consumer Privacy Engineering, Andrés oversees projects and issues on privacy, competition, and cybersecurity. He has taken a particular interest in the benefits and risks that drones bring.