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Not Your Older Brother's Black Hat

Walking around Black Hat USA 2014 today, I'm struck by how much things have changed. 

For many years, the event was held in the Caesars Palace conference center. The corridors were crammed with people between talks, and the extent of the exhibit area were tables lining one wall. Now it's at Mandalay Bay, which has a lot more space. But that's not the crazy part.

The crazy part is the exhibit hall. 

That there's an entire exhibit hall is alien to the Black Hats of old to begin with. To be fair, the conference has been using a full exhibit hall for a few years now. But the so-called Business Hall this year is massive. I walked in and the first thing that came to me was that I was at the RSA Conference. Half a dozen people made the same observation.

Not that it's a negative change. 

It simply is what it is -- a progression Black Hat has followed for the last decade.

This is now truly a business event rather than a hacking-research event.


News Sources for Black Hat, BSidesLV and DEF CON

It used to be that I went to conferences to report news. 

Now, as a member of Akamai's InfoSec department, my role is different. I still write about a lot of topics, especially those pertaining to Akamai's security procedures and beliefs. But for the most part, now I'm on the other side, looking for good news sources to keep track of what's happening.

Fortunately, I didn't have to look far...

One source is Dark Reading, which has a special page devoted to the conference, including radio broadcasts, blog posts and raw news stories.

There's also my former employer, CSOonline, which is already full of great coverage. Pay special attention to Steve Ragan's Salted Hash blog.

Threatpost.com is a good resource for articles on the talks as they happen. One particularly interesting item is Dennis Fisher's article about innovation in the wake of the Snowden leaks.

Paul Roberts' Security Ledger is another great resource, particularly this article on security luminary and Black Hat keynote speaker Dan Geer.

I'll update this post as I come across more.

Akamai at Black Hat USA 2014

A platoon of Akamites -- myself included -- will descend on Las Vegas this week for Black Hat USA 2014 as well as BSidesLV and DEF CON. We'll be there to network, tell Akamai's security story and learn from those of you who will be giving talks.

At Black Hat, you can find us in the Business Hall at Booth 858. Come say hi and collect some free items, including scan-blocking card holders, stickers and t-shirts.

Safe travels!

Wednesday, August 6: 10:00 - 19:00
Thursday, August 7: 10:00 - 17:00

Security in the News, Aug. 4

A look at security stories in the news that are relevant to Akamai customers and beyond.

Android vulnerability still a threat to many devices nearly two years later (CSOonline)
Many apps that use the Android addJavascriptInterface API are still vulnerable to JavaScript code injection, researchers from Bromium said.

Microsoft ordered to turn over customer data stored in the cloud (Computerworld)
Federal court says warrant for info stored in Ireland is not an extra-territorial application of U.S law; decision has privacy implications.

The World's Most Hackable Cars (Dark Reading)
Researchers find 2014 models of Dodge Viper, Audi A8, Honda Accord are the least likely to be hit by hackers.

U.S. government warns of point-of-sale malware campaign (SearchSecurity)
The U.S. government has divulged details on the 'Backoff' point-of-sale malware campaign, which purportedly targets remote access software for entry.

Sandwich Chain Jimmy John's Investigating Breach Claims (KrebsonSecurity)
Sources at a growing number of financial institutions in the United States say they are tracking a pattern of fraud that indicates nationwide sandwich chain Jimmy John's may be the latest retailer dealing with a breach involving customer credit card data. The company says it is working with authorities on an investigation.

The IETF as a Nexus of Cryptography

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The following is a guest post from Akamai Principal Security Engineer Rich Salz.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is becoming a center for the application of cryptography. There are a handful of factors contributing to this:

· It is the technical organization that defines the protocols and standards that enable the Internet.
· The recent Snowden revelations that showed how much government spying there is on Internet traffic.
· The IETF response (RFC 7258) to treat pervasive monitoring as an attack that must be mitigated.
· Increasing recognition in the academic community that TLS is an important protocol; papers discussing attacks on it get noticed.

Microsoft and Akamai have teamed up with Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) to create a security-focused accelerator program. It's based at the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Israel, and interested entrepreneurs and startups can apply now

Startups accepted into the program will be announced Sept. 7 and the class will run through January.

Security in the News, July 28

A look at security stories in the news that are relevant to Akamai customers and beyond.

BSidesLV Speaker Schedule, Shuttle Info, Etc.

The schedule for BSidesLV is out, along with details on a shuttle service that will transport attendees from the BSides venue to points throughout Las Vegas. Some of the speaker schedule is below, followed by the transportation and party details.

In this episode of the Akamai Security Podcast, I talk to Adi Ludmer, a senior researcher from Akamai's security engineering team in Tel Aviv, Israel. He discusses the daily role his team plays in keeping Akamai customers secure, and shares some of the research he's currently focused on.


Highlights of Prolexic Attack Report for Q2 2014

As attacks go, the second quarter of 2014 was quieter than the first. But when you compare the numbers to this time last year, that's of little comfort. According to Prolexic's newly-released attack report for Q2 2014, the rate of DDoS attacks rose 22 percent over the second quarter of 2013.

The report is now available for download HERE.