Articles about def con

Election hacking

Democracy-minded DEF CON hackers promise punishing probe on US election computers

Organizers at the DEF CON hacking conference in July are planning a mass cracking of US electronic election machines. The event, which for over 20 years has attracted the best and the brightest in the hacking community, will see a group hackathon against the voting machines that are used in every US election these days. The …
Iain Thomson, 24 May 2017
Samsung Pay

Samsung: Hackers can't pwn our NFC payment kit. No way, nuh-uh, not true (Well, OK, maybe)

A war of words has broken out after a security researcher claimed last week that Samsung's contactless mobile payment system is vulnerable to skimming and spoofing attacks. In talks at both the Black Hat and DEF CON security conferences, held last week in Las Vegas, Salvador Mendoza claimed that he was able to intercept a …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2016
Open barn door

If you use ‘smart’ Bluetooth locks, you're asking to be burgled

DEF CON Bluetooth-enabled locks are increasingly popular, but an analysis of 16 such devices shows 12 are easily hackable with inexpensive kit and some can be broken into from 400 metres away. In a presentation to the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas security researcher Anthony Rose detailed how to hack these supposedly smart …
Iain Thomson, 8 Aug 2016

Latest Androids have 'god mode' hack hole, thanks to Qualcomm

Four Qualcomm vulnerabilities grant malware writers total access to modern Android smartphones. Yes, yes, nine hundred meellion "potential" users, if you're counting. Attackers can write malicious apps that, when installed, exploit the software flaws to gain extra privileges on Android Marshmallow and earlier versions of …
Darren Pauli, 8 Aug 2016
vibrator

Your 'intimate personal massager' – cough – is spying on you

DEF CON has a lot of odd talks, but the successful hacking of a vibrator by two researchers from New Zealand drew a big crowd. The two-person team of g0ldfisk and follower got hold of the schematics for the We Vibe 4 Plus, a U-shaped vibrator that can be controlled via Bluetooth using a remote control or a smartphone app. The …
Iain Thomson, 7 Aug 2016
DEF CON encryption panel

US Politicians tell DEF CON it'll take Congress ages to sort out how to regulate crypto

DEF CON It’s going to be at least a year or so, and probably a lot longer, before the United States Congress gets around to ruling on the second war on encryption, two members of the US House of Representatives told the DEF CON event. Alex Stamos, chief security officer (CSO) of Facebook, hosted a panel with Representatives Eric …
Iain Thomson, 7 Aug 2016
Tarah Wheeler

Symantec appoints first cybersecurity czar to woo hacking talent

DEF CON Hardcore hackers and the corporate security industry have never really got on that well. Symantec is looking to change that after hiring Tarah Wheeler to act as its website cybersecurity czar. Wheeler has a long career in the IT industry, including stints at Microsoft and Blackphone-maker Silent Circle. Both of her parents …
Iain Thomson, 6 Aug 2016

How many zero-day vulns is Uncle Sam sitting on? Not as many as you think, apparently

DEF CON While some fear the US government is hoarding a vast pool of zero-day security vulnerabilities, the reality is that it probably holds just a few dozen, according to a study by Columbia University. In a presentation at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas today, Jason Healey, senior research scholar in the university's …
Iain Thomson, 5 Aug 2016
darpa cyber grand challenge

Game over, security researchers – DARPA’s AI bug hunters are coming for your jobs

DEF CON A quest to build a smart computer system that finds and patches bugs faster and more efficiently than humans is off to a good start with all the teams in DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge performing very well indeed. The contest, held at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, was organised by the research arm of the US …
Iain Thomson, 5 Aug 2016
Twiki

White hat hacker AI bots prepare for DARPA's DEF CON cyber brawl

The research wing of the US military has picked the seven teams who will compete to build machine-learning software that can find and patch bugs automatically to fend off hackers. The DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge will be held at the DEF CON hacking conference next month. The agency has put up $2m in prize money in the unlikely …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2016
Def Con 23 Record Badge

Is this the most puzzling DEF CON attendee badge yet on record?

DEF CON 23 Attending the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas is always an unusual experience, but among the most celebrated features of the event are its unusual attendee badges. Reg man Iain Thomson attended this year's event – the 23rd – and we at Vulture Annex in San Francisco got a kick out of scratching our heads at the mystery …
Neil McAllister, 12 Aug 2015
White Hat for Hackers by Zeevveez, Flickr under CC2.0

Ten years after the sellout, Black Hat is solidly corporate and that’s fine

Analysis When Jeff Moss sold the Black Hat security conference to CMP a decade ago for around $13m (£8.3m), he faced a barrage of abuse from some members of the hacker community as a sellout. They were a little bit right, and a lot wrong, as this year's cons have shown. Black Hat was always supposed to be a little bit corporate anyway …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2015
Tesla job offer at DEF CON

Tesla tech top dog downs slug, hikes bug bounty to $10k

DEF CON 23 It takes guts to own up to your mistakes and Tesla’s CTO showed plenty when he arrived on stage at DEF CON to personally thank the hackers who uncovered six serious vulns in the Model S sedan. And in @_defcon_ tradition, first-time speaker JB gets to take a shot on stage with @dropalltables and @marcwrogers pic.twitter.com/ …
Iain Thomson, 9 Aug 2015

A close shave: How to destroy your hard drives without burning down the data centre

DEF CON 23 Four years ago at DEF CON a popular presentation examined how best to destroy hard drives in a data centre within 60 seconds of a three-letter agency knocking at the door. Now, that research has been updated with new techniques. Security researcher Zoz looked at three core methods for destroying platter and SSD drives – …
Iain Thomson, 9 Aug 2015
Broken skateboard

Beware, skateboarders! Hackers can switch your 'leccy plank into reverse at warp speed

DEF CON 23 Boosted electric skateboard fans will need to get patching after hackers exposed a flaw that can send them into reverse at maximum power. The hack – demonstrated at DEF CON in Las Vegas this week – was the brainchild of Richo Healey, a security engineer at Stripe, who was using his 'leccy board in Melbourne when he realised he …
Iain Thomson, 9 Aug 2015
DeathWish, Charles Bronson

It's incredibly easy to bump someone off online, and here's how to do it – infosec bod

DEF CON 23 Most of us have had occasional fantasies about killing someone. Now, as governments demand more personal information from citizens online, it has apparently become surprisingly easy to turn that fantasy into a reality, at least on paper – courtesy of some glaring loopholes. Or so says infosec bod Chris Rock, who presented his …
Iain Thomson, 8 Aug 2015
IMME

Hack a garage and the car inside with a child's toy and a few chips

DEF CON 23 Last month, pro hacker Samy Kamkar caused a kerfuffle at General Motors when he successfully hacked the car giant's RemoteLink mobile app to unlock and start vehicles, and now he's explained how it's done – and how to get into the garage that houses a target car. Speaking at a packed DEF CON talk on Friday, Kamkar explained …
Iain Thomson, 8 Aug 2015
Cory Doctorow

Death to DRM, we'll kill it in a decade, chants EFF

DEF CON 23 The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has used the DEF CON hacking conference to launch a campaign to stamp out digital-rights management (DRM) technology. In an ironic twist, the cyber-rights warriors hope to use the hated Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to kill off mechanisms that attempt to thwart piracy and …
Iain Thomson, 7 Aug 2015

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