Hacker conference rC3: Over 300 gigabits of bandwidth, 200 terabytes for streaming

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After four days, the official part of the second remote Chaos Communication Congress (rC3) of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) came to an end on Thursday evening. At the end, the numerous intra-structural teams who had been preparing the hacker meeting, which was held online again due to the corona pandemic for weeks and kept going together with 740 “angels” in the background, traditionally took stock. The computer network in the backend with its own content delivery network (CDN) therefore comprised – as in the previous year – a total of nine terabytes of RAM, which this time made 2121 multi-core processors available.

The included data centers, of which three were in Frankfurt am Main and others in Düsseldorf and Munich, among others, provided a total of over 300 gigabits of bandwidth, according to the technicians. The distances covered between the data centers were 2,800 kilometers. The CDN delivered data for streaming, DNS, video calls with Jitsi and network control. One server gave up the ghost, the so-called alert manager for interaction with the clients sent out 5161 warning notices. The networkers rely on the procedure “Scenic Routing“for the Internet protocol IPv6, with which the data traffic with the outside world should migrate as far as possible via green IT systems.

The hackers had “only” used 2.6 GB / s of the available CDN bandwidth, said one of the IT experts. Overall, however, the data traffic of the outgoing bandwidth would have occupied 3891 Euro pallets full of 3.5 “floppy disks, which, if spread out, would cover around 2500 soccer fields.

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The communicative and social highlight of the “rC3-World” was again a 2D world built in adventure style, which the data travelers populated with avatars and could exchange ideas via chat, video calls and larger conferences via BigBlueButton in separate rooms. The creators counted a maximum of 112 video meetings with up to 517 users at the same time this year. The largest conference had 65 participants, a total of 1.1 years came together on Jitsi streaming alone. In the 2D world, a maximum of around 1042 users were connected at the same time.

2D world

2D world

The digital meeting place of the rC3 will remain open until 11 a.m.

(Bild: CC by 4.0 rC3 media.ccc.de)

The Video Operation Center (VOC), which is supported by the Research Association for Electronic Media (FEM) at the TU Ilmenau, this time transmitted 245 lectures from numerous specially set up broadcasting studios, for example in Berlin, Hamburg and the Rhine-Main area, as well as from countless home offices multiple live channels. In 2020 there were even 350 corresponding contributions. In total, there were nine days of video material. 20 to 30 helpers took care of the integration of all content in the background in their own “hub”.

At the peak, around 6,000 interested people watched the streams, which together accounted for a good 200 terabytes of data traffic, at the same time. The volume for time-shifted requests is not included. Much of the lectures can already be viewed permanently on demand. The streaming was scalable up to a capacity of 300 GB / s. The viewers used a maximum of around 15 GB / s.

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23 interpreters managed to translate 139 lectures into different languages. In one broadcast center alone, winking cats made 3.9 million arm movements. For the first time, the Haecksen had their own streaming channel with 14 lectures and a maximum of 2160 viewers. According to their own statements, the female data travelers also contributed 29 million pixels for maps in the 2D world. In addition, the hackers were again able to exchange information using their own small GSM-3G cellular network, DECT, SIP and postcards using “Chaospost”.


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