White Hats splat Black Hat chats: Talks on home alarm flaws and Russian spy tools axed

Three presentations now pulled from hacking shindig

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Two further talks have been pulled from this year's Black Hat USA program.

A presentation on weaknesses in home security alarms systems, and another about Russian espionage software, have been yanked from the annual hacking conference, which opens today in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The move follows the cancellation of a presentation on how it may be possible to identify anonymous users on the Tor network, due to be given by academics from Carnegie-Mellon University.

CMU researchers pulled out on the advice of their lawyers. It's not clear why Logan Lamb is now unable to give his talk on home alarm systems at Black Hat. He works as a security researcher for the US Department of Energy's Oakridge National Laboratory, although his study is not thought to be linked to the government.

Sergei Shevchenko, of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, was due to blow the lid on Russian cyber-espionage tech dubbed "Snake", but his employer axed the talk.

"We are not now speaking on this at Black Hat as we are in the midst of writing a new report on Snake that we anticipate will be published in September," BAE spokeswoman Natasha Davies told Reuters.

Cancellations of Black Hat talks are rare. Conference spokeswoman Meredith Corley told the news wire: "It sort of comes with the territory when you have the latest and sometimes controversial research scheduled to be presented on stage." ®

Register man Iain Thomson will be at the event and covering talks from the floor: you can reach him on Twitter or via email.

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