NEWS FROM THE LAB - Saturday, July 31, 2004

Greetings from DEFCON 12 Posted by Mikko @ 02:07 GMT

This is a short conference report from DEFCON 12 conference in Las Vegas. DEFCON is the largest computer underground event in the world with thousands of black, grey and white hat hackers (as well as security professionals, law enforcment members and undercover agents) gathering for a weekend in extreme heat (41 C today) in Las Vegas.

defcon at day

This year's program is especially interesting from antivirus point of view, as several conference speakers focus on the issue. Today we've heard two presentations on mobile phone and PDA security, with direct implications for future mobile viruses. It seems perfectly possible that we will see totally automated Bluetooth worms in the future. Such worms would spread airborne among the mobile phone population, and really would spread much like flu - to get infected, it's enough to be close enough.

There has also been lots of discussion on Windows XP Service Pack 2, which should be out in August. This service pack includes a firewall which monitors traffic in both directions and which will be on by default. SP2 will also have generic protection against overflows. Consensus is that once SP2 becomes commonplace, it will make it much harder to create automatic network worms like Blaster or Sasser.

Also, I've seen three Feds spotted so far...

Signing off, Mikko

defcon at night