Everything is Hackable
Tens of thousands of hackers and computer security experts from around the world gathered in Las Vegas (USA) for two of the largest cybersecurity events worldwide: Black Hat and DEF CON.
Darío Gómez, security analyst at LACNIC, was one of the thousands of visitors who descended on Las Vegas to learn about the latest trends in security vulnerabilities and the hottest cyberattacks and for a week of networking with professionals from the five continents.
The Black Hat conference is geared towards enterprises and focuses on commercial solutions, while DEF CON brings together the Internet hacker scene.
Gómez noted that the Black Hat program covered everything from the fragility of many mobile devices and the Internet of Things to more specific issues such as taking over self-driving cars and many other topics.
Attended by approximately 7,000 participants, Black Hat is considered the most relevant annual security meeting in the Northern Hemisphere and presents a “commercial view” of the tools for solving computer security issues as well as products to mitigate potential vulnerabilities of the devices connected to the Internet, Gómez observed.
The conference includes workshops and other training activities and presents the latest global trends in cybersecurity. “At Black Hat you can see everything from the usual every-day problems to global trends. To prevent potential issues, people show you what they have done, without providing any details on how they actually did it. They make it clear that everything is hackable and that an any type of device can be breached,” Gómez added.
At DEF CON, Gómez was one of approximately 30 thousand attendees, a diverse crowd of security researchers, professionals and fans from all over the world attracted by this annual convention. “At DEF CON, people show you the things we break and how we break them. They share what they do,” said the analyst.
A recent development that created a buzz was car-hacking: unlocking a vehicle and accessing the on-board computer while the owner is away to open the car and start the engine. “Today, practically all cars are managed by an on-board computer. Many people are trying to hack vehicles and while many are doing so in an attempt to improve the security of these devices, others have criminal intentions and manage to steal them,” said Gómez.
This meeting includes parallel sessions brimming with a spirit of collaboration, making it an ideal place for networking. Precisely this permanent exchange of knowledge was one of Gómez takeaways from DEF CON. “I believe South America is lacking this type of selfless, constant networking; we are more hesitant when it comes to sharing knowledge. At DEF CON, like-minded people work in teams. They come together to share their knowledge and challenge themselves to find vulnerabilities. Everyone works together selflessly and contributes their knowledge,” Gómez concluded.