Black Hat, DEF CON Put Spotlight on Major Security Issues, Hacks

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2013-08-06

The Black Hat and DEF CON conferences, which ran from July 30 to Aug. 4 in Las Vegas, stand alone in the pantheon of security events in any given calendar year. No other pair of security conferences tends to generate as much buzz, fear, uncertainty and doubt, as security researchers take aim at the flaws in the digital world we all live in. From big-name keynotes to attacks that threaten infrastructure as well as end-user devices, the two events never disappoint. The 2013 Black Hat event was highlighted by keynotes from NSA Director General Keith Alexander and Brian Muirhead, the chief engineer of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. The NSA's arch-nemesis, former contractor Edward Snowden, was also top-of-mind at the conference, making at least one 2D appearance. Researchers also revealed an inside look at the secretive world of "booters" that launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks as a service. At the DEF CON conference, hackers released new gear and demonstrated tactics for defeating security in both software and hardware.


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