Black Hat USA, DEF CON 28 Go Virtual

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no in-person Black Hat USA or DEF CON conferences this year.

Cybersecurity conferences Black Hat USA and DEF CON 28 will not be held in person this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The conferences will both instead be transformed into completely virtualized events.

Both back-to-back annual conferences were set to take place in Las Vegas this year; Black Hat USA on Aug. 1 to 6, 2020, and DEF CON 28 on Aug. 7 to 9, 2020. The virtual versions of the events will still take place during those same days.

“We have been continuously reviewing the best ways to serve the information security community over the past few months as the global health situation continues to develop,” according to Black Hat general manager Steve Wylie in a Friday update. “While we will not be meeting in person, we are moving forward with a plan to transform Black Hat USA into an all-virtual event in order to best serve our community.”

Wylie said that Black Hat USA will be adapted into a virtual format that will be available for the entire global infosec community. More details on how the virtual conference will be set up will follow, he said.

For the virtual version of Black Hat USA, there will be no changes to processing for talks, workshops, demo labs, and training CFPs submissions (and the CFP has already closed), a Black Hat spokesperson told Threatpost. More details will be announced next week.

“Our team is working hard to deliver the same level of high-quality Briefings, Training and Business Hall programs that Black Hat attendees have come to expect every year,” Wylie said.

Right now, the plan is for Black Hat USA 2021 to return as a live event, said the spokesperson.

DEF CON, meanwhile, will be also be transitioning to a virtual version of the event, called “DEF CON Safe Mode.” DEF CON talks, workshops, demo labs, and training CFPs submissions will be processed on schedule as originally planned, according to its website.

“Even though our in-person Las Vegas event is canceled, we will run DEF CON 28 Safe Mode August 7-9 (Friday through Sunday) with 101 orientation Thursday – all of it remote,” DEF CON founder Jeff Moss (aka The Dark Tangent), said on DEF CON’s website. “We will use the DEF CON Forums to coordinate all the various ways you to participate. That is where everyone can announce their plans, do signups, post pictures and videos and get people involved.”

DEF CON remote events will include a new on-line Mystery Challenge, a DEF CON is Canceled music album, remote CTFs (including Hack-a-Sat, Villages like the Packet Hacking Village, contests like the TeleChallenge, and Ham Exams) and a remote movie night and drink-up, he said.

That said, the event organizers remain optimistic about in person events in future years: DEF CON 29 will run normally as scheduled, August 5-8, 2021, according to DEF CON.

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