During this year’s annual computer security conference dubbed Black Hat, hackers were eager to share with their community and tech company representatives what they were up to in the past year.
The annual 6-day conference gathered over 10,000 cyber security professionals, academics and government employees and is slated to end this Thursday. Attendees can take part in about 300 sessions on cloud and network security flaws, news and trends, past attacks and methods to stay safe.
The disclosures are sometimes sobering, other times frightening, but there is also a lot of fun involved like the annual Pwnie awards, or the Oscars of hacking. This year’s nominees under the ‘Epic Fail’ category include the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the top dating site for cheater AshleyMadison.com.
Yet, this year’s themes were more frightening than in previous years. Hackers debate how to take over nuclear plants, remotely control autonomous cars, and hacking into $13,000 self-aiming sniper rifles.
“For security officials, this represents a scary new world. It’s just one example of threats to our modern-day society, and there’s more coming,”
noted Steve Wylie, the conference’s GM.
This year’s general theme was how frail our interconnected world is, featuring breaches in government and financial networks along with threats to nuclear power plants and water-treatment systems.
Last year’s general theme was the vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things, a project designed to connect home devices and appliances to one another via the internet and Wi-Fi connections.
An IBM researcher said this year that he was saddened to see the IoT designers still ignore warnings from cyber security experts on the system. He said that hackers would be taken seriously only when they would “go all the way” to prove that they can outsmart the connected homes.
And IoT systems were not the only ones at risk. Driverless cars are too. Last months two hackers managed to prove that they could hack their way into the system of an autonomous car with great ease. About 1.5 million 2014 Jeep Cherokees were recalled in the wake of the announcement. Both hackers will be keynote speakers during this year’s Black Hat edition.
The talks will include how to completely shut down a nuclear power plant via the Internet, how to jam computer aided gas pumps in gas stations, or how to hack a chemical plant.
Speakers stated that such talks are necessary because cyber security experts needed to be one step ahead of malicious hackers, who are not breaching systems just for the fun of it, but they rather want to monetize it.
Image Source: Arabian Business