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Organisers are putting together plans to stage two alternative security conferences in Europe this spring that aim to provide an alternative to vendor-driven events.

Security B-Sides, already well established in the US, is coming to London for the first time on 20 April. The event will go head-to-head with Infosecurity Europe, providing a community-driven event with plenty of opportunities for networking instead of the more staid and corporate focus that has become the fodder of Infosec over recent years.

Infosec works well enough for marketing suits and channel sales staffers but its far less successful for journalists – except on occasions when high-profile speakers such as David Blunkett make an appearance.

Security researchers are likely to be thicker on the ground for security B-Sides, which promises to offer far richer networking opportunities.

Matt Summers, Security B-Sides London founder and consultant at Symantec, explained: "Security B-Sides is a movement by the information security community. It is not your typical conference, as the events expand the spectrum of infosecurity discussions by encouraging participants to give voice, creation and refinement to the 'next big thing'.

"The London conference has already seen an enthusiastic welcome from the infosec community in the UK and Europe by having the quickest sell-out in Security B-Sides history," he added.

Security B-Sides London sold its allocation of 200 tickets within eight days even without the line-up being known, making it something of the Glastonbury Festival of the infosec circuit. Speakers' submissions remain open until 15 February.

Meanwhile, another alternative information security conference, Hackito Ergo Sum (HES), is due to take place in Paris between 7 and 9 April. The conference began last year with highlights including talks on breaking into packet-switching networks, including those that control satellite systems, and computer forensics.

"We aim to build a bridge between the digital underground and security vendors," Jonathan Brossard, one of the organisers of HES, told El Reg. "It's the only conference of its kind in France."

This year, contributions are invited from experts in various areas including SCADA architectures, the underground economy, attacks on banking or telecom infrastructures, cloud computing security and botnets. The events aims to bring together computer scientists from academia with underground hackers and enthusiasts as well as government and industry representatives. HES aims to feature original research as well as practical demos. The program committee for the conference includes various luminaries from the security research community – including Barnaby Jack, Charlie Miller and David Litchfield. Conference paper submissions are invited before the 20 February deadline. ®

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