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F-Secure's Hypponen leads RSA refuseniks to NSA-free infosec chatfest

TrustyCon scores speakers from Google, cash from Microsoft

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It was probably inevitable: a group of RSA Conference refuseniks have established a rival conference within walking distance of the original.

The one-day TrustyCon, to be held on 27 February at the AMC Metreon Theatre in San Francisco, has drawn Mikko Hypponen as its keynote, giving “The talk I was going to give at RSA”. So far, the only other confirmed speakers are ISEC Partners' Alex Stamos; Marcia Hofmann (EFA) and Christopher Soghoian (American Civil Liberties Union) who dropped out of the RSA Conference; Google's Chris Palmer; and Black Hat's Jeff Moss.

At the time of writing, that left three slots still open at TrustyCon. Microsoft and Cloudflare have both signed on as sponsors.

Momentum to abandon the RSA Conference has been building since a Reuters report emerged suggesting that the NSA had paid the company $10 million to put a backdoor in its encryption code in its Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator (Dual EC DRBG).

The report was denied by RSA in a blog post in December, but that wasn't enough to mollify everyone in the security community, and in early January, Hypponen, Palmer, Hofmann and Soghoian were among seven others to cancel their appearances.

TrustyCon says the RSA revelation is a “call to action” that technology doesn't only need to be secure, it also needs to be trustworthy.

The EMC-owned RSA still has something of an edge over the newcomers, with only a few gaps in its five-day conference agenda. ®

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