back to article Inside the Black Hat network operations center, volunteers work in geek heaven

Every summer, pandemics permitting, a group of volunteers gather in a Las Vegas hotel to run one of the more unusual examples of IT infrastructure on the planet: the Black Hat network operations center. With more than 20,000 conference folk spending the best part of a week attending classes to hone security skills, and talks …

  1. bazza Silver badge

    This also allows a certain amount of overspeccing. This year the NOC was running 288TB of storage, for example.

    That's an awful lot of registrant data! What are they doing - logging the position of individual blood cells in each body coming in through the doors?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That's an awful lot of registrant data! What are they doing - logging the position of individual blood cells in each body coming in through the doors?!"

      It is Blackhat ..... so you never know !!!

      Personally, i think it should be enough storage to record *all* network traffic for .... future analysis .... with compression of course.!!!


    2. Roopee Silver badge

      I wondered that too, though my first thought was for all the video footage that they no doubt recorded from all the sessions and surveillance. Perhaps in multi-camera 8k?

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Could be!

        There's always the possibility that they're going for the Guinness World Record for storage over provision. Hundreds of TBytes available, less than 1MB of data.

  2. Roopee Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    “they are people who show up on time”

    Interesting that that is mentioned as a key standout feature of ex-military people! Not quite sure what it says about the “level of people” they have... :)

    1. ShortLegs

      Re: “they are people who show up on time”

      Because what happens when idle, shiftless "civvies" dont turn up on time? Or at all. Or fail to call ahead, thus allowing the duty manager to plan around and arrange cover.

      Its a soft skill one learns every very early, very very quickly, in the military. Amongst a number of other soft skills, such as attention to detail, and working until the job is done.

  3. t245t Silver badge

    Comprehensive platform that accelerates threat detection and response?

    "We understand that we're in a unique position where we have essentially an unlimited budget" Grifter told us. "So we have a lot of really shiny toys. For some of them, we ultimately decided we didn't need them. There's more overhead in managing those things. And so we're just like, let's trim that out, and just go with what works."

    How much is this comprehensive threat detection going to add to our annual tech budget?

  4. david 12 Silver badge

    Music will happen until you confess

    When I want to listen to my co-workers music, I'll move into their home with them.

  5. keithpeter Silver badge

    Quote from OP

    "It's understandable that someone being taught new techniques or skills is going to want to try those out, Grifter pointed out, and often the quickest way to sort this out is to locate the source – sometimes in a training session right there and then – and pop your head around the door and tell them to knock it off, please."

    Ah, yes, the point in the academic year when you (as duty rota manager) are asked to explain to a group of IT students that the College network is both reasonably secure and, more importantly, closely monitored. And could they knock it off.

    Icon: to all involved, beer or bubble tea as appropriate.

    1. JT_3K

      I've been there. Always a challenge knowing that those you have to provide access to your network and resources are those that are going to continually attack you. At least in my situation they were secondary school kids (so usually less experienced with the craft) and the local demographic had parents who were strict, offering a real deterrent in that their parents might hear of their exploits (pun intended).

      Still a nightmare to lock down though, lots of new stuff to learn. The most important thing for me was to simultaneously stop them from breaking/entering, to foster an interest and support their knowledge, and to not provide enough skills for them to get themselves in trouble before they'd properly developed a perception of risk (

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