Black Hat and DEF CON 2018 – two of the world’s biggest cybersecurity conferences – just wrapped up for the year. Security professionals, hackers and hacking enthusiasts descend upon Las Vegas, Nevada, every summer to attend the annual Black Hat USA Information Security Conference and DEF CON.
These back-to-back events were founded by hacker, computer security and Internet security expert Jeff Moss (also known as The Dark Tangent) and are among the largest security gatherings in the world.
Black Hat USA 2018
August 4-9, 2018, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
The annual Black Hat Conference brings together some of the greatest security researchers and instructors from around the world, providing security information in a vendor neutral environment. Now in its 21st year, Black Hat sets the benchmark for other security conferences as the world’s leading information security event for the very latest in security research, development and trends.
This year’s Black Hat drew in over 17,000 information security professionals, experts and security solution providers across 112 countries. This internationally renowned event attracts the brightest minds from across the globe.
Attendees from all industries are represented, including non-profit, education, retail and commercial, telecom, transport, utilities and energy, financial services, government and military, healthcare and IT.
Black Hat is an opportunity for security professionals to connect with international peers, clients, researchers, and consultants. It also provides a forum for security professionals to learn and discuss the problems faced by businesses and Governments, and the solutions to those problems.
It also helps pave the way for the future generation of security professionals by providing scholarship programs. This year there were 233 scholarships awarded for students to attend Black Hat.
Black Hat Technical Training
Black Hat USA 2018 opened with four days of technical training (August 4 – 7) followed by the two-day main conference (August 8 – 9). The Black Hat curriculum covered a broad spectrum of information security topics and offered over 50 training classes on essential knowledge and skills needed to defend enterprises against today’s most ominous security threats.
Black Hat Briefings
In Black Hat Briefings, visionary industry leaders shared the latest risks and trends in the information security landscape, including ground breaking research, open-source tools, zero day exploits and more.
In Jeff Moss’ opening address (video below) he notes the momentum toward offensive security, thanks to continual advancements in machine learning, AI, and reinforcing algorithms. While great strides have been made in computer security in the last decade, it is clear that the past way of building on security as an afterthought must be replaced by a transparent, built-in approach to security.
With vulnerabilities existing everywhere, from items we use every day to large systems on which society depends, a foundation of security is a must, particularly when third party risks increase exposure as we go to the cloud. This requires more clarity and responsibility around data retention, and understanding who has access to your data and what is being done with that data.
Keynote Speaker, Parisa Tabriz, encouraged organizations to build a practical offensive program for better security, with more transparency and more collaboration.
The Latest Trends & Announcements From Black Hat
The latest announcements, trends and reveals are available on the Black Hat Press Page.
Black Hat USA 2018 Keynote
DEF CON 26
August 9-12, Caesars Palace and Flamingo, Las Vegas
DEF CON is the world’s longest running and largest underground hacking conference.
Regularly drawing in between 18-20,000 attendees, DEF CON is one of the largest annual international hacker conventions where hackers, corporate IT professionals, security researchers, students, government employees, media representative and hacking enthusiasts the world over, get together to share and learn about insecurities they have uncovered.
Not your average conference, DEF CON goes beyond the usual speaker tracks and vendors, to include contests and events, demo labs, and hands-on learning “villages”. Of course, there is plenty of entertainment and many opportunities to let loose and party as well given the original DEF CON (1993) started as a party for a member of “Platinum Net”, a Fido protocol-based hacking network out of Canada.
DEF CON Speakers
This year’s event consisted of an impressive 188 speaker line-up presenting on computer- and hacking-related subjects that varied from hacking the humble fax machine through to hacking Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and causing havoc on critical infrastructures, such as industrial plants, factories, nuclear power plants, dams and wastewater systems.
DEF CON Villages
The event had twenty-eight villages, covering an incredible spectrum including:
Internet of Things (IoT)
Crypto and Privacy
Voting Machine Hacking
Mobile Museum of Vintage Technology
CAAD (Competition on Adversarial Attacks and Defenses)
Industrial Control Systems
For a full list of media available from the latest DEF CON 26, see media.defcon.org
The Latest Trends & Announcements From DEF CON
The latest announcements, trends and reveals from DEF CON are available on the DEF CON press page