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Black Hat 2008, First Day Sessions

by George Hulme

I've been in Las Vegas for a couple of days now, meeting with some old friends in the information security community, and making a few new ones. This year, the annual Black Hat confab will be serving interesting talks on the security implications of virtualization, social networks, and Web 2.0. Should make a good conference that will highlight some of the big security concerns going forward.

On Wednesday, I'll be attending the keynote, from the Application Security track, of Ian O. Angell, professor of information systems, London School of Economics, called Complexity in Computer Security: a Risky Business. While the name of the presentation doesn't pack much punch, this description pulled me in: The mixture of computers and human activity systems spawns bureaucracy and systemic risk, which can throw up singularities that defy any positivist/statistical analysis. Should be interesting, I'm always up for an economist's take on information security.

Next up, we're jumping over to the networking track for a ride with The Four Horsemen of the Virtualization Security Apocalypse, presented by Christopher Hoff, chief security architect at Unisys (NYSE: UIS). This network presentation will focus on both securing virtualization as well as virtualizing security from virtualization-enabled chipsets to the hypervisor to the VMs, we'll explore the real issues that exist today as well as those that are coming that aren't being discussed or planned for. There's no doubt virtualizing security, as well as securing virtualized environments, are two topics just getting warmed up.

Final session I'll be attending Wednesday will be Xploiting Google Gadgets: Gmalware and Beyond. Couldn't resist this description: This talk will analyze the security history of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Gadgets and demonstrate ways to exploit Gadgets for nefarious purposes. I guess social-engineering someone to install a gadget so you can scan all of the systems on their subnet will supplement malware-laced USB storage devices used for the same purposes.

I'll be posting my observations from the conference throughout the week. Stay tuned.

Or, you can follow my micro blogs from the event on Twitter.




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