NorthSec 2021

NorthSec Online: May 20 & 21, 2021

We're back and fully online for 2021

What is the NorthSec Conference?

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 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!

Before applying, make sure to read our Code of conduct

CFP logistics


  • CFP Opened;
  • February 7th, 1st round of the CFP closes;
  • March 21st, 2nd round of the CFP closes;
  • April 4, 3rd round of the CFP closes

*Why submit during round 1? About 2/3 of the talks will be chosen during round 1. Since NorthSec is a generalist event, later rounds of the CFP will be focused on getting talks to fill gaps left by round 1. So if you submit a an amazing proposal during round 2, but it's on a topic that is already broadly covered by talks selected during round 1, you might get rejected. The same applies, but more, to round 3. *

Local submitters

While NorthSec 2021 will be an online event, we may consider a creative "IRL" component in order to promote community-building and bring a special sauce to the streamed event. This will be decided closer to the dates of the event, will be entirely optional, and will respect all public health best practices. We will reach out to participants who indicate that they are local with more information as we decide whether the logistics are feasible.

Event Format

The conference will be entirely free to attend. We will hold talks and workshops over two days.

As in previous years, talks and workshops will be exclusively in English.


Talks will be 30 minutes long.

We will be streaming talks live on a popular streaming platform (or several). Audience comments will be allowed and heavily moderated by both bots and humans.

We prefer that speakers participate live in the event. We will organize A/V testing sessions in advance of the conference to make sure that everyone looks and sounds good. Speakers who strongly prefer to pre-record their talk may do so -- however, we still ask that they participate in Q&A live.

In an effort to create more interactivity and real-time value, talks this year will be grouped into tracks. Tracks will not be concurrent, but rather blocks on the schedule.

A block will consist of:
Multiple (2-4) thematically related talks
A shared moderated discussion and Q&A.

Speakers will know in advance who will be part of their block, and will be connected to the moderator and other speakers in their track in advance of their presentation. The moderator will be a subject matter expert who will be able to guide the conversation.

The audience will have a chance to submit questions and upvote other participants' questions during the talks.

The tracks listed are just a suggestion. Feel free to not choose one. The conference team will take care of grouping your talk appropriately.

First time speakers

If you are a first time speaker, please let us know! We'd like to devise an initiative to mentor first-time speakers in advance of the event.


Workshops will be 2-3 hours long.

Workshops will be held on Zoom, with tickets "sold" via Eventbrite in order to handle capacity. You will be able to specify a maximum number of participants.

Presenters will have the option to stream the workshop to a streaming platform for additional passive participation.

At least one moderator will be assigned to your workshop and will help you with muting participants, managing breakout rooms and Q&A, etc. The moderator will also find a time to meet with you ahead of time to fine-tune settings and troubleshoot with you.

Special equipment

During the first round of the CFP only we will evaluate the feasibility of workshops requiring special physical equipment, which participants can purchase. Please submit as soon as possible so that we can discuss the logistics of any such workshops well in advance of the event.

Speaker perks

This is usually where we talk about our awesome speaker dinner. Instead, we just promise to get creative and send you some nice stuff as a thank you.

This Call for Papers closed on 2021-04-05 00:00 (US/Eastern).