Thursday, August 6, 2009

Top 10 of Black Hat and Defcon

Security woes from Las Vegas.

Las Vegas airport is now crowded with home-bound crackers, hackers and those who oppose them, as the annual Black Hat and Defcon conferences close for another year.

Black Hat kicked off at the start of last week, and is the serious side of the sessions.

10. Internal hacks

Hackers are natural pranksters, like Loki and Brier Rabbit from legend. So it's natural that there would be many pranks played by members of the conference.

After all, there's major kudos to be had in beating the professionals at their own game.

Even before Black Hat had kicked off in earnest there were already problems. Security researchers Kevin Mitnick and Dan Kaminsky had their servers hacked by a bunch of crackers who wanted to display their prowess. Kaminsky brushed it off as "drama" and said they got nothing of value.

There were also reports that someone was spoofing the Caesar's Palace Wi-Fi address, changing one digit in the hope that some poor soul would log on and open up their laptop to scrutiny.

I didn't use Wi-Fi all week and all radio communication on my machine and phone stayed disabled.

Then, at Defcon, an ATM was found that was harvesting credit card information. It was rather poorly put together, but I wonder whether it was an attempt to steal money or just to get kudos.

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