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How To Stay Secure & Fail at Black Hat & DEFCON

With Black Hat and DEFCON just a few hours away, here are some tips for those who are heading to Las Vegas, to stay secure and not fail in these conferences.

Before You Go

  • Make sure you are fully patched with the latest antivirus, browser and other programs.

  • Delete cookies and clear your web browser history and cache.

  • Encrypt sensitive files on your hard drive. If possible, go with full-disk encryption.

  • Make a full backup of your computer and other devices prior to leaving for Las Vegas; revert to this backup after you have returned.

Whilst You're There

  • Any device left alone is an invitation not just for theft, but compromise.

  • Turn off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections and any application that requires the use of these functions.

  • Do not charge phones, computers or any other devices in charging stations or any public power outlet. USB or iPhone-ready power hacks are the most worrisome. Don’t use them! A great option would be to use a very small, low-cost portable battery pack that charges independently through an AC outlet.

  • Do not accept storage devices, USBs or files from people you don’t know, no matter where you find them.

  • If you carry any RFID enabled devices, it’s best to leave them at home or in your hotel room.

  • Be cautious when using ATMs, especially machines close to the venue.

  • Be very wary of the wireless networks through the venue – and your entire stay at Black Hat.

  • When using the hotel’s Internet, choose a wired connection in a room, if available.

  • Use your VPN at all times. If you are working with sensitive information, use a wired connection with VPN.

  • Avoid sending sensitive data while onsite.

  • When roaming, if you have the option, use a 3G or 4G cellular modem for Internet access.

Whilst staying secure at these conferences, you should also ensure you get the best out of them.

How to Fail?

  • Follow the crowds

  • Avoid meeting new people.

  • Wallow in your cynicism.

  • Only attend talks by big-name researchers.

Sources

  1. Calling All IT Security Professionals: How to Stay Secure at Black Hat & DEFCON

  2. How to Fail at Black Hat

Shared by Emil Tan, Skipper & Co-Founder, Div0.

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