ISSAF Conference FAQ

ISSAF Conference FAQ


  1. What is a FIST Conference?


FIST Conferences are free and open events where to present and talk different aspects of Penetration Testing and Information Security.

2. How they have come up with the name of FIST?

In March 2003, Balwant Rathore started a study group on Penetration Testing in Mumbai, India. A Yahoo group was created and who met initially in Mumbai and later in Bangalore, Delhi and Pune. In July 2003 the yahoo PenTest group's Madrid, Spain meeting was announced, Balwant met group member Alejandro Barrera to find out a venue, and they sent a message to the Argo hacking list. Two more security specialists Vicente Aceituno and Rafael Ausejo joined the effort. All of them decided to change the name "PenTest Study Group Meeting" to FIST Conference that stands for .First Improvised Security Testing. Conference, as we felt the fast-paced self-organizing way of finding the speakers, the venue and the public were defining of the July/Madrid 2003 Edition. As a plus, it doesn.t feel so bad when there is a small mishap in an improvised event!. Following conferences are known as .FIST Conference Place/Month Year Edition.. The .First. stands for the first of this kind, that.s why there are no .Second. of .Third. Improvised Security Conferences.

3. Who is the audience?

Anyone willing to learn about Information Security.

4. How much does it cost to attend?

  • Nothing, it.s a free event.

  • Participants have to take care of boarding and lodging expenses. Information for stay and travel will be available.

  • Generally FIST Conference is one day event, in case of organizig it for long (e.g. one week) with lab, internet access, material, tools etc... particiapant may need to pay for covering expenses.

5. Can I get a certificate for assistance?

That depends on the committee and the sponsor.

6. Is there any prize or contest?

We are in process on giving an award for the best presentation of every year, but nothing is set-up as yet.

7. Can I take photos or film?

As long as it doesn.t interfere with the presentation.

8. Do you Webcast the conference?

That depends on the sponsor.

9. Where can I get past conferences presentation slides?

You can find them in or

10. Do you have a mailing list?

World but for Spain at and Spain at The later mailing list aim is to organize, coordinate and foster FIST conferences on Security Testing and security in general. In the spanish mailing list if you want to receive FIST Conference announcements only, choose the "Special Notices only" email option. If you prefer to receive all mail regarding FIST Conferences organization, choose the any other option but for "No Email". Any "No Email" option will be changed to "Special Notices only" without warning.

11. How can I help?

  • Promote the event.

  • Help the committee.

  • Become a speaker.

  • Become a member of your city.s committee.

  • Become a sponsor.


Committee Members


13. I want to organize a FIST conference in my city, what do I have to do?

Create your own committee.

14. What are a FIST Committee duties?

Normally is a good idea to split responsibilities between committee members:

  • Find suitable venue.

  • Find volunteer speakers. Help them to tune the presentations quality and length to make the conference a pleasant experience for everyone. Make a presentation template available when possible. Tip: Get their phone numbers. Sometimes e-mail is not enough for coordination.

  • Promote the event.

  • Be prepared to be main or backup speakers.

  • Update information on the event.s to be maintained by the webmaster (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • Coordinate with the international committee.

15. What is supposed to be a Backup Speaker?

Being  a backup speaker means that you should be prepared to substitute a main speaker for any reason. In case someone drops or you don't get enough speakers, you should present your own speech.

 16. How  can I find speakers ?

Post a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Contact experts that you know or you meet in this or other events. Frequently the speakers for the next edition contact the committee during the very FIST conference.


17. I have to choose a date for my FIST... is there any restriction?

The date for the conference, depends on the sponsor availability. But we are trying to held it every two months, the last Thursday evening of the month.

18. Is it necessary to have a sponsor?

No if you can get all the resources (room, beamer, water, sound system) by yourself. Anyway, sponsors can help in many ways like providing a suitable venue for the conference, material resources and promotion of the event.

 19. Is there any Conference Banner Template?

Yes, there is and you can download it from the OISSG home page.


20. I don't know how to promote the event, what can I do?

You can try posting the conference banner to newspapers, magazines related to technology, blogs, Security Portals, Universities and mailing lists. You can prepare a poster too.


21. What are the important conference details to give?

  • Place.
  • How to get there.
  • Registration requirements.
  • Date and time.
  • Program / Agenda
  • Duration.
  • Web links for more info.

This information and the presentation slides must be available in the FIST conference website shortly after the event.

 22. How does the event develop?

Normally the sponsor presents the FIST committee, The FIST representative presents the speakers, then the speakers speak (there might be a short break), and finally the sponsor and the FIST committee close the event. Don.t forget to thank the sponsor, the speakers and the participants.


23. Is registration needed?

It always helps to manage things better. This is a sponsor.s decision. It.s often enough to show up, but a simple registration is used sometimes.




24. I want to be a speaker, what should I do?

Contact a FIST committee. To be a speaker means to have something interesting to say in the field of penetration testing or information security in general. Some guidelines:

  • The speaker should be the author of the presentations, but to speak on someone else work is ok, as long as you ask permission and give credit where credit is due.
  • Presentations should be licensed with an GPL-FDL or Open Content. The presentations will be made available by the FIST committee through or after the conference is held.
  • Be at the conference room early. Bring your presentation with you in at least two different removable media (floppy and CD for example). Don.t depend on your own laptop as using different computers with a beamer is proven to the troublesome.
  • Slides take two to two minutes and a half. Take this into account when preparing the presentation and fitting it into your time frame.
  • Be as technical as you like. This a free and open event, but that doesn.t mean that presentations need to be understood for people without knowledge of the subject matter.


25. I'm going to prepare a speech. Which language should I use?, Is there any language restriction for my presentation?

You can give the speech in the language of your choice, but your slides must be in English for the widest possible dissemination after the event.


26. Where can i get the Presentation Template?

You can download the presentation template from OISSG page.

  • Use PowerPoint or OpenOffice format, but make available the presentation as PDF.
  • General scheme:
    • Introductory slide.
    • Promotion slide. This is were you talk about you or your company.
    • Content.
    • References.
    • License (like GNU-FDL, Open Content, or some Creative Commons license). It should allow free distribution and retain credit to the author.
    • Thank you closing slide.
  • You can use a dark background/clear font for the presentation and a clear background/dark font for publishing. This makes the presentation better for printing.
  • The sponsor.s logo should appear in the first and last slides, but it can appear in every one with a small logo.
  • Using the template is not compulsory, anyway.



27. I want to be a sponsor, what can I do?

To be a sponsor means to provide some or all of:

  • A conference room.
  • Beamer.
  • Laptop.
  • Internet connection.
  • Webcast of the conference.
  • Conference promotion.
  • Attendance registry.
  • Some water for the speakers.