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Every year thousands of security experts, hackers and corporate executives travel to Las Vegas for the annualBlack Hat conference. From its inception in 1997, Black Hat has grown from a single annual conference in Las Vegas to a global conference series with annual events in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Las Vegas and Washington DC. For security professionals, Black Hat week in Vegas includes the Black Hat conference, the DEF CONconference and BSides Las Vegas. Each event offers attendees a different learning and networking experience, and San Antonio companies including Digital Defense, Denim Group, Infocyte, Delta Risk and Fidelis Cybersecurity were well-represented throughout the week.

CyberSecurity San Antonio Founding Sponsor Digital Defense (DDI) was on hand at BlackHat, serving as a Silver Sponsor of the event. Mike Cotton, VP of R&D at DDI, co-presented with Mike Klepper, Practice Director at AT&T Security Solutions, on the topic “Network Dark Matter: Threat Vectors Outside the Normal Range.” The session, sponsored by AT&T, educated attendees about high-level tactics companies are using to lock down devices and how these strategies intersect with new attacker methods and payloads, including the examination of previously unknown vectors.

Dan Cornell, CTO at Denim Group, gave a presentation at the Black Hat Arsenal regarding ThreadFIx, the company’s vulnerability management tool.  ThreadFix is the industry-leading vulnerability resolution platform that provides a window into the state of application security programs for organizations that build software. Offering a Community Edition version of ThreadFix, Cornell spoke to attendees about how they can best utilize and deploy the software to implement vulnerability merging through various existing scanning technologies and application security SaaS providers.

Also on hand in Vegas was Build Sec Foundry member company Infocyte. Chris Gerritz, CEO and Founder, spoke at BSides Las Vegas on the topic of “Hunting on the Endpoint.” Gerritz’s presentation focused on how to hunt for malware and compromises on windows endpoints using built-in Powershell commands and scripts. Infocyte is a startup headquartered in San Antonio that has developed Infocyte Hunt ™, an agentless threat hunting platform that closes the breach detection gap for organizations.

A more recent entrant to the San Antonio cybersecurity ecosystem with their move to Port San Antonio earlier this Summer, Fidelis Cybersecurity continued their significant presence at Black Hat, serving as a Sustaining Sponsor. Fidelis Cybersecurity also presented Advanced Threat Detection Talks and hosted the Wall of Sheep Challenge at Def Con 24. Contest participants are given network traffic data from the conference’s free Wi-Fi network to look for user credentials being passed in the clear. These credentials, when vetted, are posted to the Wall (a giant screen on one side of the hall) to expose users’ data. While “shaming the sheep,” the goal is to educate and emphasize the snooping activities on unprotected networks, and the importance of using secure transactions.

Once again, Black Hat attendees were able to compete in the popular Panoply competition, hosted and managed by the University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security(CIAS). UTSA CIAS members run the network assessment and defense competition which gives points to competitors who successfully claim ‘ownership’ of a critical network service and maintain the original functionality of the service.  Grand Prizes of a fully paid briefings ticket to Black Hat 2017 are provided to the contestant with the highest daily score, with other prizes being given out to second and third place finishers.

When the world descended on Vegas for Black Hat week, CyberSecurity San Antonio was well-represented by local industry and academia, showcasing the skills and expertise that exist in our community.  For more information on CyberSecurity San Antonio or the Build Sec Foundry, contact Will Garrett atwgarrett@sachamber.org or will@buildsecfoundry.com.

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