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Kentucky's Newest Con: Hack Red Con

Cobalt will be at Hack Red Con for its inaugural year in Louisville this September. The conference was started by Core Pentester Zach Stashis.

On September 8-11, Cobalt will attend Hack Red Con in Louisville, KY, and will be raffling off some premium bourbons. The conference consists of training, talks, villages, and of course: a CTF. This is the first year the conference will be held and it was started by the Cobalt Core's very own Zach Stashis. We sat down with Zach to learn how he got the idea for the conference. 


Why did you decide to start HackRedCon? 

The idea started like most good ideas, by having good food, great drinks, with even better friends.

 Many people in the community (including ourselves) felt that a huge void was left when the organizers of DerbyCon decided that DerbyCon 9 would be the last one. After a red team engagement with some friends in Atlanta a couple of years ago, we found ourselves reminiscing about the good times we had at DerbyCon. Eventually, while enjoying some good bourbon, we were joking about starting our own conference to give everyone a reason to go back to Louisville. When the hangovers wore off the next day, and we discussed it, we thought, “hey, this isn’t a bad idea!”  We all loved the city, the food, the bars, the distilleries, the memories, and especially the friends we made over the years. So we knew we wanted this to be the home of our conference.

After the last decade of mentoring and training diverse talent into cybersecurity, we knew we wanted our core mission to focus on:

  • Diversity
  • Education 
  • Workforce Development, 
  • Cybersecurity awareness, 
  • Providing free resources for the community.


The first question we always get is, “is this a red team-only conference?”. We clearly are not marketing gurus and named a security conference hack “red” con for red teams, blue teams, and purple teams.

What will the conference look like?

The conference starts on the 7th and 8th of September with training days, including free training offered by CISA and some of our speakers who want to give back to the community. The free training (open to all) will feature penetration testing, social engineering, forensics, intel, hardware, and more. We also are featuring some paid training for advanced security specialists.

The 9th and 10th of September will be the core conference days with talks from dozens of security specialists from around the world, capture the flags events (red team, blue team, purple team, and social engineering), competitions, raffles, entertainment (Dual Core), and game shows (hacker jeopardy and slide shenanigans).

The 11th of September is a farewell hacker breakfast open to all attendees.

Who should buy tickets to the conference? 

Everyone (CISOs, researchers, engineers, penetration testers, red teamers, hackers, bug hunters, blue teamers, purple teamers, developers).

What are you most looking forward to? 

I look forward to giving people the opportunity to better their lives through the conference, whether it’s a training we provide or a new friend/mentor who gives someone the foot in the door they need to start their career.

Tickets for Hack Red Con can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hack-red-con-tickets-315578914027



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About Shelby Matthews
Shelby Matthews is a Community Content Associate at Cobalt. She works to empower the Cobalt Core of professional pentesters, by providing them with a platform to produce content and showcase their expertise. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Journalism and uses it to bring the Cobalt Core's stories to life. More By Shelby Matthews
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