Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

8/8/2008
03:08 AM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Black Hat: French Reporters Ejected From The Conference, Accused Of Hacking Fellow Journalists

After being accused of sniffing the network traffic in the pressroom at the Black Hat security conference, three French reporters were given their walking papers by conference organizers. If you can't feel safe accessing the Internet at a hacker's conference, where can you feel safe?

After being accused of sniffing the network traffic in the pressroom at the Black Hat security conference, three French reporters were given their walking papers by conference organizers. If you can't feel safe accessing the Internet at a hacker's conference, where can you feel safe?Everyone knows hardwired Ethernet connections are much more secure than wireless network connections, right? Not really all that much. But that's the perception. To hack a wired connection, it is somewhat harder to get your hands on the network traffic. For instance, you might infiltrate the end point of a user somehow, hack the network from the Internet, or jack in to the network and run a traffic sniffer. And sniffers can capture everything, from credentials used to access Web sites, E-mail, other networks, and the data exchanged between the two sites. The three French reporters are accused of hacking reporters' network connections -- Marc Brami, Mauro Israel, and Dominique Jouniot -- by using a sniffer on the private press network connection.

According to this blog posting by Wired.com's Kim Zetter, Black Hat representatives said that the reporters sniffed the network to prove a point when it comes to accessing untrusted networks, and that they wanted to convince organizers to post the names of reporters caught accessing Web sites insecurely (in this case, probably the production systems of their respective publications) on the "Wall of Sheep."

In case you're not familiar with the Wall of Sheep, it's a traditional part of the DEFCON security conference, which also runs the week of Black Hat. And the Wall of Sheep is a wall where the usernames and partially-blocked passwords of anyone crazy enough to access Web sites or e-mail using the conference's free wireless access are displayed by a projector. Needless to say, you don't want to make the Wall of Sheep. And at DEFCON, you're probably wise to just not turn your computer on, let alone use wireless.

This year was the first year that the Wall of Sheep was brought to Black Hat.

And for this incident, the Wall of Sheep organizers refused to display the names and logon credentials of any reporters who were pwned.

The network facilities in the press room are used by reporters, industry analysts, and conference speakers, and were supposed to be not in play for the Wall of Sheep demonstration.

We'll have to learn more about what actually happened. But if anyone sniffed the communications of users on the network who were connecting to systems or networks -- and neither of those parties knew of the sniffing -- it's very likely a violation of federal law.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-24368
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-20
The Quiz And Survey Master – Best Quiz, Exam and Survey Plugin WordPress plugin before 7.1.18 did not sanitise or escape its result_id parameter when displaying an existing quiz result page, leading to a reflected Cross-Site Scripting issue. This c...
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33185
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS contains a buffer overflow in the set_range test in TestBitmap which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33186
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS in test-crypto.cpp contains a stack buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-31272
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS before commit 3844e8569689dd476064a0759d704bc64fb3ca2c contains a directory traversal vulnerability in tar/unzip that may lead to command execution or privilege escalation.