This year I’ve decided to make a departure from the talk-by-talk trip reports I’ve done in the past. Most of the interesting presentations are already online (the whitepapers and slide decks, at least) and I’ll link to them here, but overall this was a very interesting year in information security and I think the gestalt and the keynotes are more important than the specific exploits demonstrated.
Having finished with BlackHat, I checked out of the Flamingo and moved to DefCon’s new location this year, the Rio. This was an enormous upgrade from the Riviera, the previous location. For one, the conference center is nearly 50% bigger, and it’s beautiful. Traffic flow was greatly improved, despite record attendance (~12,000, from estimates I’ve [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]