How to tell DEF CON and Black Hat Apart

Both DEF CON and Black Hat Briefings are influential conventions in the world of security, but they’re still very different. See how they compare.

A more open Apple will talk iOS security at Black Hat

In another sign of the changing culture at Apple, the company is planning to speak at one of the premier information security conferences, Black Hat 2012, for the very first time. Bloomberg reports that Apple representative is set to address the conference about iOS security.

Smart Meter Security: Not Up To Par

Ask your favorite sysadmins or IT experts about computer security and you’re likely to get more of an earful than you bargained for (with a healthy dash of paranoia thrown in for good measure). Why? Because years of outwitting hackers, guarding against malicious code, and bringing infected systems back from the brink have instilled in most of them a cautious and rigorous approach to keeping data (and its users) safe.
Not so, it seems, for some smart meter makers.

“Unusual” Character Hack May Put All iPhones in Peril


Cybersecurity researchers Charlie Miller and Collin Mulliner claim they can bring down your iPhone by sending it just a single “unusual” character, according to Forbes, which first published news of the exploit earlier this week.

A single square character or a series of “invisible” messages can be used to confuse an iPhone, leaving it open to hackers. The exploit affects all models of iPhones, running all versions of the iPhone OS. The only way to protect the phone from attack is to shut it down. Read More about “Unusual” Character Hack May Put All iPhones in Peril

Today in Cleantech

Computer security experts are gathered in Las Vegas for the Black Hat hacker convention and this year there’s a presentation worthy of the smart grid crowd’s attention.  In what is typically the scene of clever network infiltrations and defeated security schemes, IOActive is planning to spotlight the hacker-repelling shortcomings of some smart meters.  The firm will be using a worm, malicious software that can spread on its own and the same type of code that ground many computer networks to a halt in years past.  Smart meter manufacturers will undoubtedly be watching, and given the U.S. Department of Energy’s expressed willingness to withhold smart grid funding over lax cyber security, so should utilities.