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BlackHat 2010 – Opening & Keynote


Black Hat 2010 Kick Off

The Black Hat 2010 Briefings kicked off Wednesday morning with an introductory welcome by Jeff Moss, founder & director of Black Hat.  This is the 13th annual Black Hat conference and is the largest thus far featuring over 200 speakers,  55 sponsors, and the first Cloud Security Alliance Summit. Moss had some interesting remarks in his opening speech, calling out the fact that we have “not solved any fundamental problems” and the technical community must catch up, simply band aiding issues is not acceptable when working towards a safe and secure internet for all. This year saw two new features: Black Hat Arsenal and Black Hat Uplink.  The Arsenal area gives independent researchers and the open source community a chance to showcase free tools they develop and use everyday in the industry. The Uplink program allows the growing conference to reach those unable to attend due to cost or schedule conflict by offering a subscription to web based streams of keynotes and presentations.


Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute was the keynote speaker for day 1, discussing DHS’ ongoing efforts to achieve security for cyberspace.  The mission of DHS is to “lead the unified national effort to secure the country and preserve our freedoms” and as Ms. Lute explained to secure our county cyber security is a major issue of concern for the department. The internet was compared to a war zone, including many observations of similarities because the chaos of war and the internet. Ms. Lute presented that securing cyber space is a challenge and many fundamental problems need the attention of both government and the wider community of security experts.  Towards the end of the opening ceremony Ms. Lute responded to attendees questions, including some critical of TSA which operates as part of DHS.  “Why should we believe that DHS, going forward, is going to protect cyber in something other than the same way?” he asked, “Now as the TSA slows down air travel, DHS will slow down commerce.” The audience erupted into applause as Ms. Lute attempted to disagree with his assessment of TSA saying,  “We want to keep out people who might be dangerous, but we want to expedite legitimate trade and travel.” The Deputy Secretary went on to state:   “We happen to believe that we can achieve our security, we can protect our rights, we can protect commerce and lawful interchange,” she said. “We can have all of these things, but we need to engage in a debate about how we will prioritize and how we will strike the balance.” The session came to an abrupt halt shortly after the exchange and the first briefings of the day began.

Be sure to join us the rest of this week as we follow Black Hat 2010 and DEF CON 18 here on location in Las Vegas.



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