Black Hat Briefings
The Black Hat Briefings is a computer security conference that brings together a variety of people interested in information security. Representatives of federal agencies and corporations attend along with hackers. The Briefings take place regularly in Las Vegas, Europe (Barcelona and Amsterdam), Abu Dhabi and occasionally Tokyo. An event dedicated to the Federal Agencies is organized in Washington, D.C.
Black Hat was founded in 1997 by Jeff Moss, most famous for creating the Black Hat and DEF CON, which are considered the premier information Security conferences in the world, Black Hat 2009 hosting 4,000 digital experts and professionals. Black Hat started as a single annual conference held yearly in Las Vegas, and is now held in multiple locations around the world.
The conference 
Black Hat is composed of two major sections, the Black Hat Briefings, and Black Hat Trainings. Training is offered by various Computer security vendors, in effort to keep the conference vendor-neutral. In the past, the conference has hosted the National Security Agency's Information Assurance Manager course, and various courses by Cisco Systems, Offensive Security, and others.
The Briefings are composed of Tracks, covering various topics including reverse engineering, identity and privacy, and hacking. The briefings also contain keynote speeches from leading voices in the information security field, including Kevin Mitnick, Robert Lentz Chief Security Officer, United States Department of Defense; Michael Lynn, and Amit Yoran, former Director of the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Antics and disclosures 
Black Hat is known for the antics of its hacker contingent, and the disclosures brought in its talks. Conference attendees have been known to hijack wireless connections of the hotels, hack hotel TV billing systems, and even hack the Automatic Teller Machine in a hotel lobby. In 2009, Web sites belonging to a handful of security researchers and groups were hacked and passwords, private e-mails, IM chats, and sensitive documents were exposed on the vandalized site of Dan Kaminsky, days before the conference. During Black Hat 2009, a USB thumb drive that was passed around among attendees of Black Hat was found to be infected with the Conficker virus, and in 2008, three men were expelled for packet sniffing the press room Local Area Network at Black Hat.
In the past, companies have attempted to ban researchers from disclosing vital information about their products. At Black Hat 2005, Cisco Systems tried to stop researcher Michael Lynn from speaking about a vulnerability that he said could let hackers virtually shut down the Internet. However in recent years, researchers have worked with vendors to resolve issues, and some vendors have challenged hackers to attack their products.
See also 
- "Computer Security Conferences Attract Both Hackers, Anti-Hackers". Fox News. 4 August 2006.
- "Hanging with hackers can make you paranoid". CNN. 4 August 2009.[dead link]
- "Security Expert: PC Media Players Full of Holes". Fox News. 3 August 2007.
- "Microsoft Dares Security Experts to Find Holes in Windows Vista". Fox News. 4 August 2006.
- "Microsoft Challenges Hackers On Vista". CBS News. 3 August 2006.
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