back to article White Hats splat Black Hat chats: Talks on home alarm flaws and Russian spy tools axed

Two further talks have been pulled from this year's Black Hat USA program. A presentation on weaknesses in home security alarms systems, and another about Russian espionage software, have been yanked from the annual hacking conference, which opens today in Las Vegas, Nevada. The move follows the cancellation of a presentation …

  1. Someone Else Silver badge

    Let's try this on for size...

    "We are not now speaking on this at Black Hat as we are in the midst of writing a new report on updating our bid for updates and add-ons to Snake that we anticipate will be published in September," BAE spokeswoman Natasha Davies told Reuters.

    There...fixed it for ya

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge

    "The move follows the cancellation of a presentation on how it may be possible to identify anonymous users on the Tor network, due to be given by academics from Carnegie-Mellon University."

    FBI & FISA working to squash this perchance?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talk amongst youselves

    It's going to be pretty boring this year at the Mad Black Hatter's Party.

    Soon they will be left with presenting how the "who" command can show a list of logins on a Unix box. - ooooh naughty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Talk amongst youselves

      Not to mention the 'write' command, or if the target machine has X running:

      DISPLAY=:0.0 xmessage hello

      Used both more than once.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Talk amongst youselves

        "Not to mention the 'write' command, or if the target machine has X running:"

        X-Wars :)

        The trick was to infiltrate as many surreptitious background tasks to slow your opponents machine down before they noticed and started running tasks on your display. Santa claus, cockroaches, ants, stars, shiny 3d edges to background windows etc.

        The trouble was it escalated pretty much like real wars do in terms of weaponry and eventually everyone had scripts that could detect the tasks being run and ran a barrage of counter-tasks against the source address.

        The war was finally ended when someone *cough* spoofed the manager's IP address which triggered the target's nuclear-task script to completely obliterate the managers desktop environment.

        Up until that point the manager didn't know this war was even going on - it was very funny to see his reaction to all those 'eyes' and clocks and cockroaches suddenly appearing on his screen. Happy days. If you tried that now you wouldn't only be sacked you'd be imprisoned without trial as a terrorist.

        And yes, this final tactic was inspired by Terminator :)

  4. Andy Tunnah


    Now that the world is (more) aware of the NSA et al's tentacles, those agencies could be trying harder to secure unknown intrusions to use for their own nefarious deeds.

    You can just imagine the G-Men approaching the CMU people and saying "you've heard what we're capable of, if you ever want a private moment in your life again, you'll give us exclusivity in your Tor method"

  5. solo
    Thumb Down


    The lid is open now, all the worms are getting in..

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    It's time to cancel and bury BlackHat conferences

    It would seem that anything interesting gets cancelled, so it looks like it's time to cancel BlackHat.

    Publicly at least.

    I expect BlackHat to go underground if they ever want to get on with things properly. Right now there are way too many people overseeing their activities and imposing restrictions under cover of perfectly defendable reasons.

    I suggest that BlackHatters should no longer communicate publicly either the location, time or program of their activities. Keep a list of interested people, only accept newcomers based on referrals, encrypt email with a 4096-bit key from a one-time pad, etc.

    It's time to go dark, gentlemen. The limelight is obviously not suited to your conferences.

  7. NitricJerkSud

    It's time for presenters to keep their titles vague, and their identities a secret until they walk up on stage. No more of this publishing the details and names of presenters weeks in advance. Yeah, some people will get fired, but they won't be jobless for long after the bidding war to hire them starts.

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