Black Hat: A Unique Conference

Article published on April 4, 2011
Article published on April 4, 2011
By Ilias Lappas The ‘Black Hat Europe’ Conference took place in Barcelona from 15th to 18th of March. foto: blackhat.
com

‘Black Hat’ is considered as the top global forum for hackers, an opportunity for those dealing with every aspect of cyber-security (private companies, governmental agencies, academia and independent researchers, among others) to exchange up to date information and roadmap current developments and trends in that highly sophisticated field.

In addition to the numerous presentations delivered on topics concerning cyber-security, unique intensive training sessions are provided, some of them orchestrated by the top digital security professionals all over the world.

‘Black Hat’ was an idea of the famous hacker Jeff Moss or ‘Dark Tangent’ as he is widely known in the cyber-security field, who organized the first ‘Black Hat’ conference in 1997.

Contrary to our ‘greek’ perception, Jeff Moss’s name is included in the member’s list of Homeland Security Advisory Council, a council that provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary on matters related to homeland security of USA.

Additional achievements of Jeff Moss include the contribution in editing the ‘Stealing the Network’ book series, which combine delusive stories that take place by using state of the art technology of today, while Jeff Moss is also the producer of a documentary about the history of hacking, soon to be released.

Keynote speaker of the event was the famous cryptographer and computer security specialist Bruce Schneier, who delivered a speech about ‘cyberwar’.

Schneier underlined that the governmental agencies are now in a position of exaggeration when dealing with cyberwar issues and there have been a lot of incidents for which the media intentionally made the headlines with, without having clear evidence that those incidents had something to do with ‘cyberwar’ attacks. He also stated that even nowadays it is dificult to attribute a phenomenon as ‘cyberwar’ not only because such kinds of ‘attacks’ are not easily traceable but also a clear definition of the term ‘cyberwar’ doesn’t exist.

For instance, nobody knows if the, as covered by the media, ‘cyberwar’ attack that took place in 2007 against Estonia was caused, by a Russian student living in Tallinn (according to the media), or by a third country.

On the other hand, Schneier affirmed that some events that can be characterized as ‘cyberwar’ attacks had been traced in both Estonia and Georgia, (more likely to have been endorsed by Russia) and that nowadays it is common knowledge that China has been involved in ‘cyberwar’ spying attacks against western countries. Even more, cyber security is one of the key priorities for the armed forces of USA and UK and for NATO.

The speaker’s list included the Greeks Patroklos Argyroudis and Dimitrios Glynos, representing the greek company Census (http://census-labs.com/), whose presentation was titled ‘ Protecting the Core: Kernel Exploitation Mitigations’. This was not the first participation for Census, since during last year’s conference, Patroklos Argyroudis delivered a speech on the topic ‘Binding the Daemon: Free BSD Kernel Stack and Heap Exploitation’.

To conclude with, in this difficult timing that Greece is facing, it is encouraging to realize that do exist some greek companies founded by Greeks that are competent enough in the field of digital technology. Similar success-stories just pave the way towards a new approach for the greek entrepreneurship.

Cafebabel Athens takes this as an opportunity to congratulate the Census team, it is for sure that we will shortly share with you more details concerning the company and its staff.