BlackHat USA 2011, Day 2

The second day of BlackHat started out with a keynote by Mudge. I attended this one despite the normally-dull nature of BlackHat keynotes, because while Mudge is a Fed now (he works for DARPA), he has a long history as a contributor to hacker culture and I wanted to hear what he had to say. […]

attacks, crypto, industry, risk, society

The Trouble With Fighting Your Users

Companies like Apple that try to control devices purchased by end-users create their own serious security problems. It turns out that Apple trying to protect itself from you makes you vulnerable to attackers. Apple doesn’t want you to run anything on your phone that they didn’t approve. But of course, customers want to run whatever […]

attacks, industry, risk, society

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

A “Clear” Case of Failure

Clear, the “trusted traveler” program that allowed customers to bypass airport security lines, has shut down. ┬áThe story is an interesting case of bureaucratic disincentives and general failure around the whole mess known as airport security. A privately-run alternative to the TSA’s Registered Traveller program, Clear started out with what seemed like a good idea […]

risk, society, terrorism