NorthSec 2020

Round 1 is open!

Crafting your submission

Subject matter

NorthSec covers the full spectrum of applied security. We try to take a practical approach to covering security topics, so we very much like talks that feature demos and/or working POCs and/or open source tool releases. We do not accept talks that are essentially sales pitches for commercial products, nor do we accept sponsored talks. We greatly prefer practical presentations that are based on open source tools rather than commercial/proprietary counterparts. If you are presenting a practical guide to using a tool or set of tools, consider submitting a workshop proposal instead of a talk!

Topics we love:

Application & Infrastructure Security: Got talks about about pentesting, network security, software and/or hardware exploitation, web hacking, reverse engineering, malware/virii/rootkits, or anything low-level that makes your personal clock tick? We’re here for it! The conference is followed by a 48h on-site CTF — if your talk or workshop can be “weaponized” in this event, we’d like to know!

Cryptography & Obfuscation: From theoretical cryptosystems to applied cryptography exploitation, steganography, covert communication systems, and how to break all of the above, we’d like to hear from you!

Society, law & ethics: Technical subjects are at the core of the security field, but they also exist in a world of humans, affected by their social environment & political context. If you’ve got something great to say about the social implications of privacy, security, censorship, etc. this is the place for you.

Something we forgot? Not sure if your talk fits? Got a great subject that you think would appeal to our audience? Write us an email at and we’ll give you feedback!

Talk format

Please note that we accept talks and workshops in English exclusively.

The conference runs over two days, with two tracks. This year we have changed our format and all talks have a 45-minute slot, of which 10-15 minutes should be reserved for Q&A.

Check out last year’s talks on YouTube in order to get a feeling of the kind of topics we appreciate 🙂

Workshop format

Workshops will take place in smaller dedicated rooms with a projector & whiteboard. The attendance will be limited to the most motivated individuals (20-50 seats max). Workshops should be between 2 and 3 hours long. We will have up to 4 tracks of workshops running at any time.

Villages and community projects

This year the NorthSec conference will have a huge room dedicated to mini-villages and community projects. This will be a space dedicated to freeform, hands-on learning over the course of the conference with plenty of areas for participants to sit, hack, talk to each other, and enjoy a mate, coffee, or beer.

We would like to fill this room with stations or villages dedicated to some of the specific interests of our community and are now accepting applications.

Some examples of the kinds of things we are looking for:

  • A badge exhibit (like the one we had in 2019!)
  • A soldering station with semi-guided tutorials
  • A lockpicking village
  • A 3D printing/laser-cutting village and experiment area
  • Open source hardware demos
  • Domain-specific mini-CTFs
  • Exhibits of existing art relating to the themes of NorthSec
  • Collaborative art-making stations
  • Any kind of participatory academic/public interest research project
  • Curated discussion/meetup corners

Being a speaker

Travel & accommodations

We have a limited budget for speaker travel and accommodations. If your employer is not in a position to sponsor your travel, the CFP process will guide you through specifying your needs, and if you are accepted we will provide you with a budget for travel. We will do our best to make sure speakers can make the trip!


As a speaker, you get an entry to both the conference and competition (the largest on-site CTF in the world!), for you and one other person along with two distinctive and exclusive NorthSec badges (the second one upon request). You will also be invited to a speakers’ dinner, and much more!

You can enter submissions until 2020-03-15 23:59 (UTC), 1 month, 2 weeks from now.