DEFCON 20 Roundup: Lessons in Security

The infamous security convention has wound up, leaving hackers of all hat colors bemused, befuddled, and bewildered.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: The hills are alive... Lucian Constantin reports:

"This is the world's best cybersecurity community," said [NSA director General Keith B.] Alexander, who also heads the U.S. Cyber Command. ... Hackers can and must be part...of a collaborative approach to secure cyberspace, he said. ... Gen. Alexander [said] that if the industry could share some...information from their intrusion detection systems in real time, the NSA could take it from there. ... He encouraged [white-hat] hackers to get involved. ... "We can sit on the sidelines and let others [act] who don't understand this space...or we can help by...informing them" of the best ways to go forward. Read More ... But Kim Zetter relates accusations of dissemblement:

A former NSA official...William Binney...[accused] NSA Director...Alexander [of] playing a word game and that the NSA was...collecting e-mails, Twitter writings, internet searches and other data...and indexing [them]. ... He said the NSA began building its data collection system...prior to 9/11, and then used the terrorist the excuse to launch the data collection project. ... Binney was contradicting statements Alexander, who told the crowd...that his agency absolutely does not maintain files on Americans. ... But ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo...noted that a gaping loophole in the law...allows the agency to do dragnet surveillance...and hold onto that data. Read More ... Darlene Storm says she's in "hacker heaven:"

This intense excitement may be what regular folks feel when arriving at Disney World, except this is better. ... Its only the first day and more than 15,000 hackers, security professionals and feds have flooded into the Rio at Las Vegas for...the 20th anniversary of Def Con. Read More ... And Jon Fingas fingers the free swag:

...about 650 guests [have] access to a private, ad hoc GSM carrier from Ninja Networks. ... Ninja Tel is really an invitation to a party...where the lone cell site lets the privileged few call and text each other...after getting an equally rare, customized HTC One V for free. ... The Android 4.0 phone gets unique perks like triggering a nearby vending machine with Qualcomm's AllJoyn. ... Owners can even reflash the One V...afterwards. Just don't expect to see Ninja Tel popping up in your hometown anytime soon. Read More ...

Meanwhile, Moxie Marlinspike is up to his usual antics, as related by Juha Saarinen:

The CloudCracker service...[now] cracks an even greater range of encryption protocols and password hashing methods used in...wireless networks and VPNs. ... WPA, WPA2, NTLM, SHA-512, MD5, and MS-CHAPv2 protocols using a [FPGA] designed by Pico Computing. ... CloudCracker promised to run "your network handshake against 300,000,000 words in twenty minutes for just $17". ... [He] guaranteed a 100 percent success rate [against] MS-CHAPv2...for PPTP VPN connections and...WPA2 enterprise Wi-Fi. Read More ...

And Finally... The hills are alive! Oh, wait...

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's also the main author of Computerworld's The Long View and IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won ASBPE and Neal awards. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, Richi also publishes a full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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