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10 Newsmakers Who Shaped Security In the Past Decade

In celebration of Dark Reading's 10th anniversary, we profile ten people whose actions influenced and shaped the trajectory of the industry - for better or for worse -- in the past ten years.
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Other Newsmakers

In addition to the ten newsmakers we have profiled here, we wanted to give a shout-out to a few others who made the headlines, both good and bad:

Anonymous: The hacktivist collective was in its heyday in 2010 and 2011, waging crowdsourced distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against all kinds of targets. It hit Sony, MasterCard, Visa PayPal, Bank of America, and Amazon, as part of its so-called Operation Payback campaign of retaliation for those companies blocking donations to the WikiLeaks website. The group splintered into various segments, including one particularly aggressive one called LulzSec which preferred hacking into and doxing its targets and them dumping their emails, passwords, and other sensitive information. Among their targets were HBGary Federal and FBIs InfraGard. Key members of LulzSec were arrested, and its leader, Sabu, became an FBI informant and ultimately helped derail the operation.

Various regional Anonymous groups still exist and operate, but at nowhere near the extent the Anons operated in the early days.

Jeff Moss, aka Dark Tangent: Moss, who founded the massive DEF CON hacker conference as well as Black Hat, not only has helped steer and nurture white-hat hacking efforts, but also has lent a hand to the federal government with his cybersecurity work on the US Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, and served the Internet community as CSO of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Moss continues to run DEF CON and is involved with the Black Hat conference.

Jeremiah Grossman and Robert RSnake Hansen: Web security pioneer Grossman recently left WhiteHat Security, the web security services firm he founded in 2001 and is working on some as-yet undisclosed projects. He and Hansen, a renowned white hat hacker, helped shine light on so-called clickjacking attacks on the Web with their research, as well as critical browser flaws. Hansen in 2009 also created the so-called Slowloris attack, where a single computer can take down a Web server in a distributed denial-of-service attack using a small amount of bandwidth.

Chris Wysopal: Wysopal, aka Weld Pond of the famed L0pht hacker group that so famously informed Congress in the 1990s that they could take down the Internet, went from white hat hacker to software security advocate, launching application security testing service provider Veracode in 2007. Wysopals goal was to make it more cost-effective for software security testing using binary analysis.

General Keith Alexander, former NSA Director: The Snowden leaks happened on Alexanders watch, and the then-NSA director found himself in the hot seat with the security industry just one year after he had wowed and wooed them as the keynote speaker at DEF CON in 2012, where he commended the talent in the room and urged the security community to help the feds strike a balance between privacy and security. Alexander faced a more skeptical audience when he keynoted Black Hat 2013 and spoke in rare detail about how the intelligence agency's recently leaked surveillance programs had helped the agency and the FBI "connect the dots" and stop terrorists and terrorist plots. He said he wanted to set the record straight on reports about secret NSA spying activities, and to get the industrys input on how to protect civil liberties while protecting national security.

Image Source: Adobe Stock

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