The annual Black Hat Briefings hacker conference got off to a rocky start Sunday after thousands of registered delegates to the Black Hat Briefings hacker conference in Las Vegas received a fishy smelling “account password reset” e-mail that contained a suspicious URL. But a message from conference organizers hours later said the errant e-mail was no phishing attack, but merely an “abuse of functionality” by a bored Black Hat volunteer. The e-mail, with the subject line “Your admin password” was sent to around 7,500 people who have registered to attend the annual hacker confab in Las Vegas, Nevada at around 11:50 AM on Sunday. The brief e-mail, sent from an e-mail at itn-international.com read: “This is a note from BlackHat 2012. You have requested a new password. Here are your details.” That message was followed by a blank Username and Password and a URL that recipients were asked to use to sign in. Reaction from BlackHat’s notoriously security-conscious attendees was swift. Security experts used their Twitter accounts to inquire about what many assumed was a phishing e-mail or social engineering attack. Just three hours later, however, conference organizers said jangled nerves to rest, acknowledging that a volunteer tinkering with a loosely secured script on a Black Hat registration server was responsible for sending out the e-mail blast to conference attendees. “We have reviewed the server logs, we know the user, host, and have spoken with the volunteer who has emailed each of you this morning…The email this morning was an abuse of functionality by a volunteer who has been spoken to,” wrote Black Hat general manager Trey Ford. “This feature has since been removed as a precautionary measure.”
Gunter Ollmann, CSO at Vectra networks, talks to Mike Mimoso about ransomware as a prototype for malware going forward, as well as the long-term future of exploit kits and whether IoT is something that can be secured sooner rather than later.
Two academics discussed just how woefully inadequate some services are encryption-wise in a talk at Black Hat on Thursday.
Joshua Drake of Zimperium Labs talks to Mike Mimoso about the last year post-Stagefright, the effectiveness of Google’s monthly patching cycle, and some of the security enhancements forthcoming in Android N.