Las Vegas locks down ahead of DEF CON hacking conference

Trust the hookers, don’t trust the Wi-Fi

Laptop user, photo via Shutterstock

DEF CON Businesses in Las Vegas are locking down their systems as hackers fly into the fetid hell of Sin City for a trio of security conferences.

This week the BSides conference, Black Hat, and DEF CON are all in town and folks here are worried that their computers are going to be thoroughly subverted by visiting miscreants. Caesars Palace, the new home of DEF CON, has already closed its business center in case hackers take control of its networks.

The irony is that a few years ago, hackers at Black Hat discovered an ATM that was skimming people's bank cards using a false front attack. The unwitting victims slotted in their cards, had their PINs harvested, and lost a lot of cash.

Some gleeful hackers thought that someone at the conference had set this up, but instead it was a machine that had been in the casino before the show commenced. It had just been spotted by the infosec pros, and was quickly removed.

Caesars isn't the only organization locking down its systems. UPS also put up a warning, but it's clear that it doesn't get this whole security thing.

Really. You're accepting attachments but not USB sticks? We can understand the thought processes involved here, but the biz really needs some top-level security advice. ®

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