BlackHat 2009, Day 2

The Thursday keynote was given by Bob Lentz, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the United States. His main point was the paradigm shift from network-centric security to what he called content-centric security, and the fact that this devalues the protections around network perimeters. Static defenses don’t work when all the services being used […]

anonymity, attacks, crypto, hardware, industry, legal, networks, passwords, risk, society

BlackHat 2009, Day 1

The annual Vegas security conference is upon us again, and there have been plenty of interesting presentations. Last year, it felt like WiFi was the “theme” of the year — this year, the most interesting (and well-attended) briefings were on SSL and mobile devices. The Wednesday keynote was presented by Douglas Merrill, the COO of […]

attacks, crypto, industry, passwords, risk

DefCon 16, Day 1

Having finished up with the BlackHat briefings, it was time to go on to DefCon.  While many of the speakers from BlackHat stay on for DefCon, there’s also a lot of DefCon-only presentations, usually with a more attack-oriented focus (in keeping with DefCon’s nature as a hacker convention rather than a security conference like BlackHat.) […]

anonymity, attacks, crypto, networks, physical security

Ubuntu/Debian CRNG Cracked – SSH Vulnerable

I don’t usually post about newly-discovered vulnerabilities, simply because there are so many of them — a dozen come out every day, especially in web applications.  However, this one has further-reaching consequences.  Security researcher HD Moore (of Metasploit fame) has discovered a vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic random number generator used by Debian Linux, the […]

attacks, authentication, crypto, passwords

Data Hiding at the Airport

According to the EFF blog, customs has taken to randomly searching electronic devices for suspicious data.  It is somewhat mysterious what they are searching them for — given only a few minutes and a technically unskilled border guard doing the searching, it’s hard to imagine them actually finding anything better hidden than a file on […]

attacks, crypto, legal, privacy, products, terrorism