Just got back from working (video & sucking dick for dollars) at a hacker’s convention in DC. And Elvis, I’m scared.
It was a whole lot less comic-book-guy than I expected. These guys are smart, scary and could speak for hours without me understanding one word. They had video screen captures of sites offering complete identities, credit cards, bank accounts… the “fullz,” at 50 for $20. They laughed at how easy it was to steal a complete identity – they did it live and showed real identities.
A lot of Tom Cruise types with strange faraway looks. Theta sevens vying to be alpha, to boldly go where no man has gone before: to be able to hack into any system and have a plug for every hole.
It was accepted there were spies, feds and some very bad people in attendance. VERY rich middle easterners mixing with 20 year old guys who made incredible claims about their associates in the RBN. You know, the Russian Business Network.
Shit, they all paid five grand + travel & lodging at the Westin City Center. Yeah, formerly the hotel where Marion Barry was videotaped smoking crack. He was re-elected you know.
They get together around the world (at the big Vegas show they play Find the Fed and the cell phone videos are hilarious on YouTube). They like to share their secrets, make connections, network. Trade exploits.
A few takeaways:
–NO line drawn between the “Defenders” and the “Attackers.” The right hand NEEDS the left hand and it seems these fellas were in the fight to make computer systems safer. And collect gigantic consulting sums for security engineering.
–Open source is where it’s at. The biggest and the best like to work together because discovering exploits (i.e., hacking) makes for a better & more secure world. Because it’s DC a lot of these guys had contracts with the govt.
–They laugh at how easy it is to take command control on some poor secretary’s PC when she’s home asleep. Those who catch the big fish are rock stars here.
–There is nothing in the world that’s secure. A lot of their exploits specifically target consumer anti-virus cuz it’s full of holes and back doors. It’s almost like you’re cheating by sneaking in through anti virus. It’s too easy.
–Even more laughable are the poor Mac users who think they’re immune to all this. You remember how funny it was the day The Storm took over every iPhoto application in the world and did something I never could figure out. It was a huge shot over the bow and Apple did a good job of keeping it quiet to the average user.
–Google, because it really does control the internet, is the ultimate research tool. You can find everything from….nevermind. too paranoid right now. Real black bag jobs.
Anyway, Google “Black Hat” for their official site. Be careful of any links you click. Honestly I feel unsafe even using my home computer to type this out. Fuck, there could be a keystroke logger running for years now… installed through a backdoor in my antivirus software…. because they could.
Thought you’d want to know.