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How to Stay Secure & Fail at Black Hat & DEFCON

26 Jul 2013

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

 

How to Stay Secure?
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 cautions when using ATMs, especially machines close to the venue.

  • Be very weary 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.

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