Cyber-security lessons from the world’s best “black hat” hackers

Black Hat Briefings is a cybersecurity conference held each year in Las Vegas.

The conference provides security consulting to hackers, businesses, and governments around the world.

The conference routinely draws a “who’s who” of hackers.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for attendees to get hacked while at the conference.

The joke is the only way to stay safe is to turn off your computer and smartphone the entire time you are there.

One year, three media members were caught hacking other members of the press.

Journalists were provided wired internet access to protect the integrity of their devices in the room.

Some attendees claimed the wireless public network was more secure than the private wired networks.

The hacker trio plugged into an unsecured physical port in the press room, and used the wired-internet connection to hack their way into the conference’s media network.

The unsecured ports granted the three hackers access to the contents of the entire network.

This included other members of the media who were attending the conference.

The three journalists were thrown out of the conference.

This serves as a reminder that overlooking physical security for your network or wi-fi connections can be just as damaging.

Like I mentioned, the Black Hat 2021 conference recently took place in Las Vegas.

There are a few things from Black Hat that will affect the average internet user.

Here are a few things you should know…

5G security:

Many cellular providers are promoting their 5G technology…

And one of the biggest things 5G was supposed to do was improve security, reducing the chances of mass surveillance.

But, it hasn’t quite done that.

Researchers were able to trick nearby phones into connecting to a fake 5G network.

They set up phony cellular base stations and the researchers were able to trick phones into using the fake 5G network.

Now, 5G is still a ways away from being mainstream.

But, right now it can still be used for targeted hacking and won’t be as secure as cellular providers make it sound.

You need a new router:

Many people use combination routers and modems. Internet providers give their customers these devices when you pay for their service.

But, the companies renting these combination devices typically provide cheap and outdated equipment.

Some low-end router and modem combination devices can give away your location to hackers.

So, if you have a combination router you received from your internet provider, it may be time to update to a newer, more secure device.

We need more cybersecurity experts:

Cybersecurity experts are in high demand…

And when it comes to cybercrime, the victims are fighting an uphill battle.

64 percent of companies say their organization lacks enough cybersecurity experts.

And only 18 percent of companies believe they have their cybersecurity adequately covered.

Organizations need to make cybersecurity a priority.

This is another reason why individual employees and customers need to protect themselves.

You should always use a VPN (virtual private network) and anti-virus software.

And, if you are looking for a new career, cybersecurity jobs are plentiful.

National defense issue:

The Colonial Pipeline attack got a lot of attention, especially from the federal government.

Because of this, the pipeline attack showed how much society depends on cooperation between the private and public sectors.

The federal government is going to play a bigger role when it comes to cybersecurity for U.S. companies.

This will be in the form of passing laws with requirements for security standards.

So, Black Hat USA 2021 is in the books…

The major point to take away from this conference is that it’s up to you as an individual to protect your cybersecurity.

You can’t depend on anyone else to keep your information safe.

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