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CMP Media dons Black Hat

Spurs debate on future of security show

Website security in corporate America

Tradeshow and publishing firm CMP Media has acquired Black Hat, the company behind the incisive Black Hat briefings and conferences, in a deal valued at around $10m.

Black Hat's flagship conference, Black Hat USA, has been the venue for the unveiling of hard hitting security research over many years such as a presentation on how it might be possible to run hostile code on Cisco routers at this year's show. CMP Media's annual Computer Security Institute (CSI) conference, which took place in Washington, by contrast, is a far more conservative affair.

The deal has fueled concerns that CMP might shy away from controversy and thereby "crush the life" out of Black Hat. CMP's closure of the print version of Byte magazine (which still exists as a web site) is cited by critics as a reason for concern.

That happened a long time ago in 1998 but the memory still grates for some. CMP, meanwhile, is keen to reassure the security community that it won't interfere with Black Hat's successful conference formula.

CMP has pledged to keep Black Hat and CSI as separate entities within CMP. Jeff Moss, founder and owner, will continue to run Black Hat and will join CMP Media as Director of Black Hat. Black Hat USA remains scheduled for July 2006, CMP added. ®

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