Black Hat, DEF CON Founder Offers Insight Into Security Shows, Trends
Q&A: In-demand consultant and former hacker Jeff Moss offers his takes on trends, privacy, machine learning -- and why you should always keep your keys in your pocket.The Black Hat professional security conference is under way in Las Vegas through Aug. 6, and several thousand software developers, security administrators, vendors, government operatives, analysts and military officials are communing in Sin City to exchange ideas and sip a brew -- or a few. As soon as Black Hat ends, DEF CON -- which attracts some of the above people plus a horde of mysterious hacker-type characters -- starts and continues through the weekend, ending Aug. 9. Both of these celebrated international events were founded by the same man, Jeff Moss (pictured), also known as The Dark Tangent. Moss is a noted American hacker, computer security and Internet security expert. In 2005 Moss sold Black Hat to CMP Media, a subsidiary of UK-based United Business Media, for a reported $13.9 million. DEF CON was not included in the sale. Moss is a graduate of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He worked for Ernst & Young in its Information System Security division and was a director at Secure Computing Corp., where he helped establish the Professional Services Department in the United States, Asia, and Australia.
Moss, 40, is currently based in Seattle, where he works as a security consultant for a company that is hired to test other companies' computer systems. He has been interviewed on issues including the Internet situation between the United States and China, spoofing and other e-mail threats and the employment of hackers in a professional capacity, including in law enforcement.