Spotlight: Black Hat USA 2019 conference focuses on new trend in cybersecurity

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-09 12:38:20|Editor: ZD
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by Xinhua Writer Tan Jingjing

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of the world's best cybersecurity professionals gathered in Las Vegas this week for the Black Hat USA 2019 cybersecurity conference, which focuses on latest development and new trend in cybersecurity.

The two-day conference, which started on Wednesday, attracted more than 19,000 security professionals from all around the world, making the 2019 conference the largest show in the event's history.

Participates had in-depth discussions on a variety of topics relating to cybersecurity, including new vulnerabilities in 5G networks, the industry of social media manipulation and information security in public interest.

"Cybersecurity is a huge issue and we need to get ourselves updated with the latest information and awareness," Joe Van Loon, an application security engineer in Crypto Services of Apple, told Xinhua in an interview.

It is his first trip to Black Hat and the DEF CON, two annual world top cybersecurity gatherings which convene in Las Vegas successively this week. He said he has great interest in discussions related to Apple application security, and also hopes to learn about latest information in cybersecurity research, development and trends.

Cherise Esparza, co-founder and chief technical officer of SecurityGate, a cybersecurity company based in Houston, Texas, told Xinhua the conference offers a precious opportunity to contact to top experts in cybersecurity, and learn about the new trends, vulnerabilities, and techniques used to address cybersecurity.

"More than 300,000 malware variants are produced each day. That is 231 new malware per minute, (nearly) four every single second," said Saumitra Das, chief technical officer and co-founder of Blue Hexagon, a deep learning innovator focused on protecting organizations from cyberthreats.

"Blue Hexagon's real-time deep learning platform is proven in actual customer deployments to detect network threats at a speed, efficacy and coverage that set a new standard for cyber defense," he told Xinhua.

This is an event to talk about current and future technology in an ever-changing world, said Justin Harvey, global incident response leader for Accenture, a multinational that provides services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations.

"In today's world, companies are hiring good hackers to break into their own systems and find the weak spots to stop the bad hackers," he said.

As the city of Las Vegas is jammed with world's top hackers this week, he suggested the general public to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and not to connect to any unknown Wi-Fi networks, in order to keep their personal information safe.

The conference also revealed and discussed the sheer number of critical security vulnerabilities.

In a presentation on Wednesday about the remote, interaction-less attack surface of the iPhone, Google security engineer Natalie Silvanovich explored the totally remote, interaction-less attack surface of the Apple iOS operating system running on iPhones and discussed the potential for vulnerabilities in short message, visual voicemail, iMessage and Apple Mail.

"Several tools which can be used to further test these attack surfaces were released. We reported a total of 10 vulnerabilities, all of which have since been fixed. The majority of vulnerabilities occurred in iMessage due to its broad and difficult to enumerate attack surface," she said.

"Overall, the number and severity of the remote vulnerabilities we found were substantial," she added.

The two-day main conference brought on a wave of sessions, keynotes and security-themed villages to address latest cyber-threats. Prior to that, four days of technical trainings was held from Aug. 3-6, with experts providing hands-on offensive and defensive skill-building opportunities.

More than 200 speakers and trainers offered nearly 120 briefings and more than 90 deeply technical trainings during the conference.

Now in its 22nd year, Black Hat USA is the world's leading information security event, providing attendees with the very latest in research, development and trends.