It’s only so often that you can attend a conference with the dominant theme being the Zombie Apocalypse.
And no more fitting location than Atlanta, where it all started for the ‘Walking Dead.’ Yes, the walkers took Atlanta first and swarmed in an outward fashion from there to swarm the rest of the world for complete domination.
I’m talking about Hacker Halted, an annual gathering hosted by the EC Council, which featured a number of interesting presentations, and some fascinating conversations. A co-located CISO Summit was also happening where CounterTack CTO Mike Davis presented his case for using attacker-level technology against the attackers.
An interesting talk I made it to was by Tim Fowler, who discussed the importance of secure communication in the event of an emergency. He hit on how existing 802.11 technologies can be better leveraged to not only provide the critical communication medium needed to organize, but how defenders can use the same technology to disrupt attacker tactics.
What I found interesting was his focus on heat-mapping, and the tracking of bird migration patterns as it related not just to indicators of type evacuation scenarios and models. Then he said zombies weren’t real which sort of crushed my spirit.
I was up next, and was asked to focus on mobile security, and what an organization should consider in developing an adaptive, yet gradually-built model for mobile. I presented a case for developing a strategy focused on preparedness and proactive security, rather than relying on reactionary measures that will keep responders chasing point attacks on mobile endpoints – which ultimately pushes IT further away from Security. Check it out if you are interested.
Lastly, it was interesting to hear Tom Updegrove’s take on using simple reengineering tactics to exploit Android vulnerabilities. He peeled back a few layers of a few apps, then completely took it apart to illustrate some fundamental development flaws.
It looks like the zombies did not take over the conference, but the practical and the high-level discussions were worth taking in.